Editor, the Gauntlet,
I am writing to extol the virtues of my profession, nursing. I came to nursing later in life, graduating in 1993 at the age of 32. Over the years, I have never regretted my decision to enter nursing. It is a portable career; I can literally go anywhere in the world to practise a myriad of nursing specialities.
Of course, there is also a downside to this career. A hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Heart attack patients don't know it's Christmas and babies get born when they're ready, not on anyone else's schedule. This means health-care workers are needed 24/7. We have to work either Christmas or New Year's every year and we don't automatically get statutory holidays off. The work can be very stressful; we see people at their worst, but often at their best.
Nursing is very hard work, but is also very satisfying work. I encourage students to consider nursing as a career choice. Opportunities are endless and the work is concretely rewarding. You see the good you do at work every shift, the impact on individual patients is powerful and you feel you have done something worthwhile at the end of the day (or night, depending what shift you're on!)