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‘You want to be a nurse? Well, every day will be exactly the same'

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When I first applied for nursing at the tender age of 18, a friend (who was about to go into theatre studies) told me that it was a boring career choice, that “everyday would be the same”.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a more inaccurate statement before or since and I hope that friend was watching the news over the past few weeks.

The images of Cumbria underwater made uncomfortable viewing. The shocking pictures will be particularly unsettling for anyone with a long-term condition requiring regular support from healthcare professionals.

Those who provide the care also have good reason to be concerned. Not being able to get to work or to service users’ homes is one thing, but when those service users rely on electricity to stay alive the situation gets scary.

This week we received a blog from Sue Smith, the Executive Chief Nurse at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust, who was at the frontline when Storm Desmond hit the area. She describes how not only the medical team but emergency services throughout the region pulled together with the shared aim of keeping people safe.

”This critical incident perfectly demonstrates nurses’ resilience”

I really recommend taking a few minutes to read this blog. Although Sue describes a situation none of us would want to find ourselves in, or put our patients through, this critical incident perfectly demonstrates nurses’ resilience.

Being prepared for the unexpected is an essential characteristic for nurses in most settings and it doesn’t take a major incident for this to be evident.

Thinking back to my friend’s comment, particularly in light of the work I’ve seen nurses do, still baffles me that someone can have so little idea of what the profession entails. As online editor for Nursing Times I feel I have some responsibility to challenge these views but to do this we need to hear from nurses whose every-day is very much not the same.

If you’d like to share your story with Nursing Times readers, please get in touch. You can email me at

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Readers' comments (1)

  • one of the things I loved about nursing was that everyday was entirely different. when I went on duty each day I never knew what new patients and cases I would find. Mine was a wonderful learning environment in a university hospital where we had patients from all around the world presenting with a very wide range of pathologies and very diverse care needs which was always a very interesting and stimulating challenge. Staff was also multinational and we enjoyed sharing our experiences and exploring the best approaches to care drawing on this.

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