1. Miracle, Vickie RN, EdD, CCRN, CCNS, CCRC
  2. Miracle, Jennifer BA

Article Content

Over the years as a critical care nurse, I have had the opportunity to hear the reasons nurses stay in the profession, why some leave for other professions or just leave, and why young high school and college students (with the help of my daughter) never even considered nursing as a career. There are multiple reasons for the nursing shortage. We are not going to list them here. Rather, we are going to convey to you the reasons for why we stay, leave, or never consider nursing.


Why We Stay in Nursing


1. I like taking care of patients.


2. I cannot imagine doing anything else; it's like a calling.


3. I like the flexibility: shifts, specialties, and facilities.


4. The patients appreciate my efforts. Sometimes they tell us more than they tell their doctors.


5. We get to spend more time with the patients. The doctors are only there a few minutes, at best.


6. Most of the doctors respect us. Those who do not respect us really do not know what we do for their patients.


7. The majority of patients respect us.


8. Once in a while a patient will come back to thank us.


9. While sometimes family members can be difficult to work with, the majority of them ask us more questions than the doctors. The doctors use medical terminology the layperson may be unfamiliar with so we step in and interpret.


10. Patients are usually appreciative.


11. I have always wanted to be a nurse, nothing else.


12. The rewards of seeing a critically ill patient go home.


Why We Leave


1. I just didn't like being a nurse any more.


2. Some doctors feel they are superior to nurses. They do not respect our opinions or us.


3. Insurance companies make it difficult to care for patients. They dictate what we can do and how long the patient can stay in the hospital.


4. Hospital administrators usually side with the doctors.


5. There are always some hospital administrators who do not respect nurses.


6. Mandatory overtime.


7. The majority of nurses are caught in the middle between the patient and the doctor and the insurance carrier.


8. I make better pa y and have better benefits in another profession.


9. It was just time to retire. I know I am only 55 but I couldn't take it anymore.


10. I don't like working nights and every second or third weekend. Sometimes that is the only time I have with my family.


11. I do not feel the same camaraderie with nurses now that I felt 20 years ago. It seems like we take our frustrations out on each other.


12. I wanted to try a different profession so I went back to school. 13. I started my own business.


Why We Never Considered Nursing as a Career in the First Place


1. I just didn't want to be a nurse.


2. I can make more money doing something else.


3. I want my evenings, holidays, and weekends free.


4. I don't like sick people.


5. My mother is a nurse. She complains about it all the time. Why would I want a profession I constantly hear complaints about?


6. I can't stand the sight of blood.


7. The pay is lousy when compared to similar positions.


8. Nurses are not appreciated. Both my mother and grandmother, who are nurses, told me that.


9. I don't like the hours.


10. My mother says doctors treat nurses like slaves.


11. Nurses are not portrayed well in the media. Look at the actors who portray nurses on television. It is difficult to see a positive image except maybe in the news reports.


12. Reports of nurses killing patients.


There are many more reasons but space limits what we can write.


But think about the above. Remember, people listen to you because you are a nurse. Be a positive role model for our young people. Do not speak negatively about nursing in front of potential nurses. Remember, we will need nurses one day and we want the best nursing care available.