That Bitchy Nurse


I went into the wrong profession and it’s taken me five years as a nurse to finally realize this.

You see, I think I should have been in the business world.  

I don’t know exactly in what role, but dressing professionally, sitting at meetings in board rooms where strategy is discussed and projects come to life is more up my alley.

Determined, passionate, strong, resourceful and decisive are all adjectives that describe me.

Basically, I make stuff happen and when needed, I have no problem asserting myself in order to make stuff happen.

And that’s part of the problem.

This culture loves men who are strong, bold, determined, passionate, influential and assertive.  They’re leaders and they make things happen.  That is why there are a plethora of men who are extremely successful in the business world.

But women who are all those things, strong, determined, assertive etc. they’re just kind of bitchy.     

And that’s why I’m in the wrong profession.

Nurses are supposed to be sweet and kind.  They’re supposed to be helpful and do what they're told.  They are rarely supposed to assert themselves, whether to the doctor or to the patient.  

Being quiet is the best strategy.

Therein lies the problem.  I am none of those things.  I am kind but I do not tend to be described as nice or sweet.  I am not quiet.  I speak purposefully and assertively.

I am that bitchy nurse that, ironically, patients, doctors and other nurses bitch about.

But you see, along with all those characteristics listed; strong, assertive, determined, passionate etc.  I have an intense streak of justice that runs deep in my bones and a compassionate heart that, behind closed doors, will leave me weeping.

So this bitchy nurse that patients, doctors, and other nurses bitch about is daily striving to be the healthiest version of myself.

It’s taken five years for me to realize that I went into the wrong profession because of my character, my personality and my make up.

But over the past five years, as I’ve become a healthier and better version of myself through this profession, I have come to see that there is no other work, no other profession in which I am more cut out for and designed to do.

It takes a special kind of person, it takes a certain breed  and it’s not for the faint of heart.  

Some call it being jaded.  And sometimes we are.

But I’ll tell you what, I work with some of the best there are.

They are strong and determined.

They are hardworking and resourceful.

They are assertive and decisive.

But above everything else, they cringe at the sight of injustice and have hearts that bleed compassion for the people they treat.

So they may be those bitchy nurses, but I’m proud to bear the same title and I’m glad to call them my own.

And I may be that bitchy nurse, but that’s something that I’m ok with.  

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Vanderbilt University Medical Center,