Nurses reveal the best parts about their job, from the steady pay to helping save lives

JGI /Jamie Grill / Getty Images

  • Nurses told Business Insider a steady job market, good salary, and helping patients are some of the best parts about their job.
  • Nursing jobs are set to increase by half a million by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Nurses currently make about $75,000 on average.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Helping save lives makes coming into work every day worth it, nurses say.

Nursing can be grueling work due to long shifts and the potential of seeing patients die. But getting to help people feel better and developing close bonds with those under their care makes the job rewarding nonetheless.

Read more: Here’s how being a nurse has changed in the last 50 years

Business Insider spoke to dozens of nurses to get a sense of what the profession is really like. We included responses from those whose identities we could verify.

From the steady job market to mentoring young nurses, here are the best parts about being a nurse.

Are you a nurse with a story to share? Email

Helping to save lives.

Getty Images

Many nurses told Business Insider that the best part of their job was when they could help save someone’s life.

Mayte, a nurse in Iowa, said making patients feel better was the best part of her job. “When they are in a low part of their lives I am there to help in any way that I can,” she added.

Laura, a nurse in Michigan, Nat, a nurse from Massachusetts, and Leslie, a nurse from Florida, also all said helping patients was the best part of their jobs.

Developing close relationships with patients and their families.

Getty Images

“It is a privilege to walk alongside patients and their families through their medical journeys,” a nurse from Pennsylvania who wished to remain anonymous said. “We get to be there on the good days and the bad, but the most important thing is that we are there.”

Melissa, a nurse from Oklahoma, and Matt, a nurse from New York, agreed that the best parts of their job was forming a bond with patients and their families.

The thriving job market for nurses.

Sean, a nurse in New Mexico, said the best part about being a nurse was the amount of jobs available.

Nearly 3 million registered nurses work in the US right now, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The country will also add half a million new RN jobs by 2026 due to the aging baby boomer population and “increased emphasis on preventative care,” BSL predicts.

On the other hand, many nurses say the shortage of nurses forces them to work overtime and have little time for breaks.

Meeting different types of people.

James Bridle – Southampton FC / Contributor / Getty Images

“The best part about being a nurse is meeting strangers of different cultures, nationalities, ways of life and caring for them, and making them as comfortable (emotionally and physically) as possible during their most vulnerable time of need,” Amy, a nurse in Texas, said.

The salary is good.

BSIP/Getty Images

Some nurses, including Teresa, a nurse in Oregon, pointed to the high salary as the best part of their job.

Business Insider’s Andy Kiersz reports that registered nurses make about $75,510 a year, about $20,000 higher than the average US household income.

Read more: From nurses to surgeons, here’s how much everyone makes in a hospital

Mentoring other nurses.

Jess, a nurse in Texas, says the best part of her job is “helping and watching the new nurses grow and learn what being a nurse is all about.”

Nursing was one of the country’s most popular college majors, according to USA Today, which analyzed 2017 data from the BLS.

There are a variety of ways to become a nurse. Registered nurses and licensed nurse practitioners prepare for their roles by getting an associate or bachelor’s degree. Advanced practice nurses or nurse professors may get more education via a graduate degree, according to the American Nurse Association.