I have been working as a registered nurse in Sydney, Australia, for 10 years.
I often wonder if there would be a single nurse, or healthcare worker, who's waking up in the morning (or afternoon or night) and so excited for the coming shift of the day.
Well, I strongly believe the answer is no. If not, the number would be close to zero, in the entire universe from the past combined.
Of course nursing is a rewarding job. But the reward comes mostly in the monetary form and it never matches what the work demands you to do. I should just say nursing is meaningful and essential, rather than rewarding.
The mismatch is more awakening if you compare yourself to other professionals.
"Why am I doing this when I could've earned nearly as much or more doing X"
This is the effective sentence I have heard more than enough. It's blurted out as a complaint but sadly it's not a joke.
Nursing requires physical activities in most settings. This means you are trading your most valuable asset of your life, time, for money.
You get same salary as a nurse either you excel doing your service or staying mediocre just enough not to get fired. Hence misaligned incentives for the nurses to be passionate.
Passion wanes swiftly, if there was any to start with, and all that's left is the dread of working for the rest of your life without hopeful prospect.
Even though my salary has been maxed out since year 8, and benefits of working hard is scarce, I definitely work hard and try my best most of the days.
Thank you to other essential workers.