Although there are countless reasons to become a nurse (and countless resources on the web telling you why it’s a good idea), this career choice isn’t all positive all the time. Nurses are some of the hardest working professionals in the world, spending long hours on their feet in oftentimes hazardous conditions. Still, the emotional satisfaction from this career is high, and many individuals go home every night tired but hopeful.
Which is why it might come as a surprise that some nurses work mandatory overtime. Depending on your terms of employment with the hospital or clinic where you work, you may be required to cover a shift on your day off (usually while you’re on call) or stay late to handle an overflow of patients. The reasons for this are valid, often because there is a staffing shortage, and your absence might mean a patient’s life is in danger. Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier on your body or your spirit. You might also find that you complete your 12-hour shift only to settle in for an extra hour or two of paperwork—also required to get the job done, but rarely part of the job description.