Thinking of becoming a nurse? We asked real nurses what advice they would give to someone considering a career in nursing.

Here’s what they had to say:

  1. Get some experience under your belt.


“Go to work as a CAN/PCA, or get some sort of patient care experience first. Many of the best nurses started there first.” —Crystal C.

“Get hands-on patient care experience however you possibly can! Clinicals won’t be enough and the best nurses are NOT the ones who are “book smart” but rather are well rounded, compassionate and have experience as a CNA (or similar) first.” —Rachel F.

“Start at the bottom. Become a nursing assistant. After doing that, you’ll know if you want to be a nurse.” —Rebecca C.

  1. Do it for the right reasons.


“Do it because you want to help people. People’s lives are at stake. If $$ is your goal, look somewhere else. If this is your calling, it will be the greatest career!” —Marie Anne L.

“Do it if you have a lot of patience and compassion and love for people.” —Mayee G.

“If you’re doing it for just money, find another job. You need to be compassionate, empathetic, kind yet stern at times. Do it if you’re really into changing lives, making them better and comforting people in the worse times of their lives.” —Clarece B.

  1. Have a good support system in place.



“Have a good support system throughout nursing school. It will test you to limits you never knew you had, and you will need people by your side to encourage you, study with you, and help keep your home life in order.” —Rachel F.

“Make sure you have a balanced family life. You will miss many weekends, holidays, birthdays, etc. Make sure you are ok with that.” —Carla B.

  1. Little words of advice.



“Marry well.” —Carolyn L.

“Helps if you have a good sense of humor!” —Angelica M.

“Learn to hold your pee and pack lots of nutritious snacks just in case you can’t take a meal break.” —Kymberly R.

  1. Follow your heart.


“No matter how long you have been a nurse, you can still learn something new every day!!! It’s fascinating, tiring, inspiring, rewarding, exasperating, not rewarding, back breaking work. I wouldn’t do anything else!” —Monica R.

“It’s a calling.” —Marie Anne L.

“Go for it. And don’t give up.” —Teri H.

A big thank you to all the nurses who shared their words of wisdom!

For those of you attending or planning to attend nursing school, best of luck and consider applying for our $5,000 koi Designing Happiness Nursing Scholarship. Get more details here.


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