Friday, September 17, 2010

So you just graduated from college, pinned that university nursing pin on your left collar, passed the board exam and pledged to God, BON and Nightingale that you will spend your life in purity and practice your profession faithfully. You undergo a myriad of trainings and seminars, First Aid, BLS, IVT, because it is considered mandatory nowadays and most hospitals will not allow you to 'work' for their institution without  expensive training certificates.

You pass your resume to several hospitals, use to your advantage every backer you and your parents know. After a couple of weeks of waiting, you get restless, bored and depressed from being an unproductive member of society. You are already considered a young adult. You're supposed to be doing something with your life.

You consider applying for call center jobs just to earn money, but your brand new PRC license, 4 years worth of nursing education and Nightingale's spirit floating in the air beside you like a Safeguard commercial stops you from letting go of your registered profession altogether. Mainly because there's nothing else left to do, you decide to file and volunteer for a hospital. You try to delude yourself that you are training, but inside, you know that  what you are doing is offering your services for free.

After months, even years for some, you find yourself again inside the busy bustling world of vital signs, charting, IVs and orders. It's amazing, fun and intoxicating. You meet new people, make friends with colleagues, learn new things and do procedures you were never allowed to do. You feel like you are now part of the health care system and not anymore just a nursing student trailing after her clinical instructor. You feel empowered, able and competent.

Add to that, you get to help people in one of the worst days of their lives. You feel like you're doing something right and selfless, probably for the first time in yours.

But then weeks, months, even years pass. Hospitals after hospitals will accept but never seem to hire. The initial bliss of having something to do and somewhere to go gradually dies down replaced by fatigue, burn out and this vague feeling of uncertainty. What am I doing here? How long will this go on? What's in it for me?

You start to question your purpose in life. Do you really want to be a nurse? If there's a better opportunity somewhere else, one that does not involve being an RN, would you take it? Should you take it?

With the current condition of nurses in the country these days, are you really waiting for a better tomorrow, when tides change and employment will be available once again, or wasting your time and energy being voluntarily used by these multi-million institutions, all of which can't seemingly afford to hire you even though it is fairly obvious that they need more skilled manpower? In fair trade, what company in their right mind will pay for nurses if hundreds of others are willing to work for them for free?

I once read an article referring to nurses as heroes of the current generation. Then someone commented on how self-righteous that was to call one's own profession as heroic. He then pointed out that it is called a job and not some superhuman feat of self-sacrifice. 

I think, it could only be called a JOB if you're getting paid for what you are doing, and not the other way around. Caring for the sick is probably not as noble as dying in Bagumbayan for your own country but it has a degree of altruism not seen in just about anyone.

I think the majority of the population is too selfish, too human to spend their days and years serving humanity with not much in return.

To be or not to be, that is the question.

If you took up Nursing just because your parents says so or you envision yourself in the middle of  glitz and glamour, strutting the streets of L.A. or London without much effort to get there, then this profession is not for you. If you can't handle carrying out orders for the majority of your professional life and if the weight of lives on your shoulders seems too much to bear, then don't do it.

But if you got into this profession in your own free will, without the lure of gold coins and fancy lifestyle, if the universe of health care and medicine just inspires and amazes you, then please, for all our sakes, continue what you are doing now and show the world there are still people like you who was born to serve and make  this country, and eventually the world, a better, more caring place.


Anonymous said...

I hope many more people will read this article!:)

Anonymous said...

I think many young nurses have the same feelings about your experience. Can I post this in another site?

Clarriscent said...

@Anonymous: Thanks for reading this post. Yes please, you can share this as much as you can just include the source. :)

Anonymous said...

thats true.. but i opted this because its my will to be a part of the Hx care team and be an effective one.. that's passion..

Clarriscent said...

@Anonymous: If that's the case, then please do continue what you are doing. The world needs more people like you.

badroilan said...

This is so true! However, some nurses are still having a hard time penetrating the healthcare industry. I'm one of them. It's just really sad. I'm really passionate about our chosen profession but it's just not working for me. I tried everything trust me. I just don't have any padrinos but hey I'm not hating those nurses with backers. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there so I understand. I really wanted to be a nurse. I don't just want a nursing job. I really want a career as a nurse and sadly, I think I'm losing grip of that passion and drive already because of so many rejections. I used to handle failures and rejections very well but things have changed. When it's your dream that's on the line and you keep getting rejected, depression builds up in you. I guess that's what's happening to me now.

Sorry I just had to sort of rant and get this one out of my chest. I love your blog btw. Keep it up!

Clarriscent said...


I'm saddened to hear that but I know it's the truth and a lot of our colleagues are also experiencing the same thing. Hopefully our government can do something about it in the months to come but at the same time, I wish for those people like you to not lose faith in the profession. It is truly a wonderful gift to have the capability to serve humanity.

Thanks for reading!

ThyMistressoftheInk said...

wow, i can seriously relate to this blogpost! i've just received my PRC license (after 6mos of waiting) and i am now LOST as to what the heck i'm gonna do next with my life. there are too many nurse training applicants the hospitals now think they have the right to choose. my goodness. harsh realities.

thanks for posting this, clarriscent!
(and i hope we can be blogfriends too ;D)

Clarriscent said...


Of course we can be blogfriends. :) I'm always interested to find colleagues who blog about our profession, mainly because there's so much to say and not a lot of people saying it. I know how you feel, been there, STILL there actually. Oh, we'll have our time, soon I hope.

Kudos on your blog, I've read it. Keep on writing! :)

Anonymous said...

pls take time to read this, we have to do something.let's use facebook. this was a post on our batch facebook group and i want to share this to you nurses.
I wanna launch a quiet movement sana here in FB to voice our staunch opposition against this practice. Simple lang ang gagawin naten - we will just replace our profile picture with a picture - it is a pic of FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE with the words "Stop the exploitation of Filipino Nurses" - I will send it to you - and then a letter about our stand against this practice that you can post as a NOTE, maybe, for your FB friends to read.

We will start doing this on MAY 1 - Labor day (because this is after all an unfair labor practice) - and we will end it May 12 - the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

That's all we have to do, replace our profile pic - (and then convince as many nurses, even non-nurses to let the government and the public know that we are against this unfair practice, and that IT HAS TO STOP.

Our goal is to get as many people to post this pic on their profile so that by May 12 - as a tribute to the mother of nursing - we can hopefully restore the dignity and nobility inherent in the nursing profession. We are not slaves.

Ang goal lang is for people to take notice. When people changed their profile pics to cartoon characters, it highlighted the crusade against violence towards children. Our goal is to give this issue the same mileage SANA. Kasi nobody seems to be doing anything. THAT KILLS ME!

I hope you're willing to help, Weanne, having noticed how your friends list exploded to maximum capacity since you topped the boards - that is leverage right there.
I wrote Kate as well, and as Christians from AUP, I hope you guys can lend a hand, and help spearhead this quiet yet worthy advocacy.

Changing our pic may seem like a big deal to some - pero if we think about the power of our message and what it can do to change nursing in our country - parang it's a small price to pay - for 12 days lang naman. I know some people might need convincing.

Clarriscent said...


I truly support what you're trying to do for the nursing community and I understand the frustration about the lack of awareness of people in general about the situation of our colleagues here in the country. Maybe you can send me a copy of the avatar we're suppose to use or should we make one ourselves? Hit me back and I'll see what I can do to further spread the news via social networking sites and even this blog. Kudos. :)

Clarriscent said...


P.S. You can email me at or contact me through twitter at :)

Anonymous said...

this one is a wake up call to all nurses out there

Anonymous said...

very true..i will post this on my wall..thank you for sharing God Bless!

Clarriscent said...

@Anonymous #1 and #2:

Thank you all for reading and sharing! I know a lot of people can relate to these kinds of scenarios. God bless our profession.

Anonymous said...

I'm a volunteer nurse and very sad that many of us nurses felt the same..
I myself are not happy on what is happening..I had a special training which cost me a lot of money (training fee, food, transportation, and boarding). What did I get..A good training.
I applied to a Hospital here in O.C. with the use of the special skills and training that I had..And the only position that they offer me is volunteer..(The hospital is newly opened)..And after 8 months of volunteerism...The head of the nursing department get mad at me, because she doesn't want me to handle a patient in a special procedure which i am very trained and familiar off..The only procedure that i am allowed is to take the vital signs...(which in my part was very insulting)...
How could other nurses ...hurt newly nurses like us...who volunteers for almost 2 years in different hospital...treat us like idiots...Volunteer nurses suffers alot of physical and EMOTIONAL abuse...which is very hard to accept...WE dont have prides anymore,...

allenmarisespina said...

i know a lot of nurses will hate me, but I quit my job as an OR nurse last year because Nursing truly isn't for me. To think I was a regular at a Tertiary hospital in our city, with good training in a special area. I got paid for every injection I rendered, for every case I scrubbed, and for every overtime I spent. But Nursing just isn't for me. Now I'm following my real passion which is in the field of culinary. I now realize that the road to your real dream is hard, but that's what makes it better. Now that I'm taking up culinary, I find myself beaten and more stressed than I ever was working at the hospital. But I don't seem to be fazed. My heart is fixed on being a successful chef, even if means doing everything I can, or if comes to it - work at restaurants for free. That's passion. If you are volunteer nurses with real passion, don't give up just yet. Things will go as planned for your lives. Just hang in there.

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin