The Sum Of A Nursing Career In One Brief Sentence

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

It’s an interesting question: If you had to sum up your career thus far in just one brief sentence, what would those words be?

My answer was almost immediate. I remember reading something about “gut” reactions–usually your immediate answer is the most honest. The lack of time to ponder removes any false motivation or external validation. (FYI, that immediate answer is almost always the correct answer to a multiple choice question on an exam.)

What’s even more interesting is my answer has remained the same throughout my ENTIRE career, from start to present. That’s six years and counting!

My sentence apply to all of the following:

  • My days as a new graduate nurse in the ICU
  • My days as a new registered nurse (after I officially passed my NCLEX boards!)
  • My days working in orthopedics
  • My days working in a trauma ICU
  • My days working as a travel nurse
  • My days working in telemetry
  • My days working in oncology
  • My days working in recovery

Like I said, all of my experiences can be summed up in the same six words. And in my opinion, I’m a spring chicken: I still have so much to learn and I’m still learning so much!

While one day soon I will transition from a bedside nurse to a mid-level provider Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, I strongly believe my new career will be summed up in the same six words.

So what brief sentence can sum up my career so far?


No matter where I am, no matter who I work for or with, this profession is a constant adventure. Sure, you may take care of the same illnesses or treat the same common challenges, but no two patients are ever the same. And just when you think you have it all figured out, that proverbial wrench always gets thrown in the system.

How about you? What is your one sentence to sum up your career? Share in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. Nursing has changed a lot since I started. I don’t like the politics, i don’t like the unnecessary things that take me away from patient care. I HATE COVID. It’s sad because I worked my whole life to be a nurse, I knew this was for me since I was 9yrs old and I have been in the health industry since 16yrs old, will be 33 yrs as a nurse this coming May but i’m depressed, have no clue whats my next step, I can’t wait to retire. Covid has caused a major anxiety and depression in me, the moment i get to work I wish i was home. I have 8 or 9 years to retire.
    Will work on reinventing myself to make this career work for me.

  2. Nursing is the most rewarding, yet occasionally exhausting job I have ever had. however, I would never change it for the world….loved my job.

  3. I think nursing is a complete joke. They don’t tell you in school what a joke it is or how petty and cut throat it is. Nursing is an overworked underpaid thankless job. It is no career

  4. Other than being a parent, I found my over 43 yrs in nursing to be the greatest learning curve in my life. I found & saw what the love & compassion given by healing hands can do for those in need. Those are the things that made me a better person.

  5. I get to be someone’s angel everyday. My 39 year career has afforded me a life filled with meaning and purpose and service to others. And yes, the other is right – no two days are alike. Nurses may complain about computer systems, poor working conditions, mandatory overtime, all kinds of stuff, but I have never heard a nurse complain of boredom.


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