The nursing industry is one of the most selfless yet challenging career paths. Not only are nurses working around the clock to take care of critically ill patients, but there is a fair deal of mental exhaustion which comes along with the job. 

It’s not hard to see how physically exhausting the job is; however, few people realize how mentally draining it can be at times. 

With that said, it’s essential to acknowledge the leaders in the nursing industry who make things easier for everyone. 

Nursing leaders play a pivotal role in a medical institution. Their primary function is to streamline things in the hospital and make for a more accessible, warm, and nurturing environment. 

Though these heroes plod along day after day, there are an immense number of challenges that they face daily. 

With smiling faces, resilience in their hearts, and a raw desire to care, sometimes it’s hard to imagine they have it tough; but in reality, they do. 

Here are some of the challenges faced by nursing leaders today. 

Most of them study alongside a full-time job

Working alongside a job is something millions of Americans do every year. But, things become more challenging when you’re surrounded by death, sickness, and grief. 

Coupled with 12-hour shifts and constantly being on your feet, you have one of the most demanding jobs in the world. 

Now imagine coming home from all that and still driving yourself to nursing school for another few hours. Not just for a few weeks or months, but years. 

That coupled with the fact that a nursing degree is far from easy. This is pure medical sciences, and juggling the two is just one of the profound qualities of a great nurse manager

Sure, things are easier through remote education, but the course content and testing remain the same. 

The only difference is that you might save time driving to nursing school and studying in the comfort of your home. Other than that, managing a full-time nursing career and studying is a colossal task. 

Very little time with the family

You need to understand that most nursing practitioners get very little time with their families. Incorporating work, sleep, and studying in life often leaves little to no time with family members. 

This doesn’t sound like a big deal for single people who don’t have any responsibilities. 

On the other hand, it’s also possible that single nurses don’t have a chance to socialize with friends and spend most of their time either at work or asleep. 

Some nurses hardly notice their children growing up over the years because most of their time is spent caring for others. It’s a sad reality, but most of them know what they’re getting into and have understanding spouses.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that they get very little family time. These professionals need emotional support at one point or another, and many of them don’t get it because they rarely see their family members. 

This is especially true for nurses working night shifts.  

Emotional drain

Imagine giving it your all day after day and only seeing death and sickness around you. Furthermore, imagine trying your best to save a patient only to have them flatline a few hours later. 

The emotional turmoil that these nurses go through is profound, and many of us will never understand their struggle. 

Combined with general job stress and off sleep schedules, they have a highly complex situation on their hands. 

Anxiety and depression are prevalent in nursing. Many don’t show the signs because they’re so busy, but the fact remains that they are human and feel human emotions like us.

Many nurses don’t get time to seek therapy or work on their mental health. However, a mere 15-20 minutes of mindful meditation could go a long way in easing stress and making them feel better. 

Physical exhaustion

Along with mental strain comes the physical aspect of the job. Nurses are always on their feet and often move between floors and departments daily. 

Climbing stairs, walking down halls, and pushing wheelchairs are just some of the passive physical struggles. 

Active physical aspects include helping people off of their beds, walking with them, and standing in place for hours during surgeries. 

Long shifts, odd hours, and occasionally having to work overtime takes their physical toll on the average individual. 

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us how physically and mentally exhausted these healthcare workers could become. Moreover, the lack of financial compensation makes things harder to digest. 

Compliance with ever-changing rules/ standards

In an industry where changes and new developments are frequent, it’s hard for established nurses to adjust to the new rules and regulations. 

It’s great that the health sector is conducting research and finding new ways of streamlining day-to-day operations, but it may be hard to adjust for seasoned professionals who have worked in the industry for decades. 

Other than new findings, adjusting to compliance standards from the health department can be pretty challenging as well. 

New rules and regulations spring up from time to time and sometimes get in the way of nurses, making it harder for them to do their jobs the way they’re used to. 

Moreover, the constant fear of malpractice makes them feel like they’re walking on eggshells – a complicated issue when life and death hang in the balance.


We hope you’ve developed a newfound appreciation for nurses and understood some of their daily struggles. 

We’ve gone over factors related to studying, lack of family time, and the difficulties of meeting modern nursing standards. Things are far from easy for these professionals. 

Therefore, next time you meet a nurse, go easy on them and thank them for their service. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that they act as the backbone of the medical sector. Which in turn serves as the backbone of society as we know it. 


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