What It’s Like To Be A Registered Nurse In NYC

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Soon as I sit on the subway to go back home, I’m just like, “Wow, I’m tired.” My name is Veronica Pasha. I am 25 years old and I am a women and children’s float nurse and a sexual assault forensic examiner at New York Presbyterian Hospital. I clock in at 7:30. On a day like today, when I’m on labor and delivery, I get here a little early sometimes like seven, 7:15, I get a set of scrubs, get changed, then I pick a patient. Then 7:30 we do our change of shift sign out. So the residents, the attendings, anesthesia team, the nurses, we go over every patient that’s on the board that morning go through what part of the labor they’re in and what part of the postpartum phase that they’re in. If they’re recovering, if they’re a labor patient that’s going to the OR. So this is like the baby warmer where we’ll take babies after they deliver. Then you just start your day, you check your orders, see what’s going on with your patient. If they’re due for medications in the morning, you do that. We’ll go to the bedside and we’ll basically just talk about the patient in front of them, go over their age, their history, their allergies. Some shifts you come in and the day is going to be OK and you get a nice break, you can sit down and converse with colleagues or like, you may make friends at work. Other days are just so busy you don’t have time to sit down for two seconds. You just you pack carrots and grapes, you throw grape in your mouth and you run back to your patient. My shift starts at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m. sometimes if the unit is short, we’ll offer to stay later. So the maximum amount we could work is 16 hours, which would mean the shift ends at 11:00 p.m. Its 13 shifts a month. It’s about three to four shifts per week. There’s weekend requirements. You have to do three weekend shifts. So any Saturday, Sunday combination that that you want. For staff nurses on the floor, seniority is definitely the biggest thing. You get your first pick of vacations and when you want your holidays. When you’re new, you just kind of get whatever is left. It is an hourly pay. And then if you stay and you work overtime, then you make time and a half. For every year that you work in the position that you’re in, you do get a raise. And then if you get a promotion, so for example, just this fall, I was promoted from staff nurse to senior staff nurse, you get a bump in your hourly rate also. I went straight from high school to undergrad, I went to Hunter College. I have my bachelor’s of science in nursing. I’m getting my masters right now. It is very expensive. I want to say my masters degree costs me about 60,000. So loans are real. And that’s something that I feel like no one really prepares you for. But nursing is such a great job. There are loan reimbursement programs. Jobs will help you go back to school. So New York Presbyterian has helped me fund a lot of my master’s degree. There are so many things that nurses can do that not many people know about. You can go back for law school. You can go into technology, you can go into informatics, public health, public policy. You can go into advanced care nursing to be a nurse practitioner. The opportunities are really endless for this profession. The most rewarding part is definitely patience and creating that rapport with them, and especially in this specialty specific area of labor and delivery, like you’re fostering a family. Even in unfortunate circumstances when it’s a not so positive experience, you know if we have families that are losing children, it’s terrifying, but it’s also so rewarding at the same time. The hardest part about my job is being away from my family. The hospital doesn’t close on holidays and you have to be here. I facetime them and they answer. But it’s different when you’re physically not there to be with them. The biggest misconception about being a nurse is that you are just giving medications, that you just clean patients or you’re only there for vital signs, which can be really frustrating just because you’re such a critical aspect to a patient’s care. And then one of the other biggest misconceptions, like specifically for labor and delivery, is that, oh, it’s such a happy time and you’re around babies all day, and that must be super great. And for the most part, its a great job and that is how my day is. But on other days, I’m running with a mom to the OR because her baby’s heart rate is decelerating. I have a box at home, it’s like my my nursing box. Like if I’m having a bad day, I have letters from patients, copies of sonograms. It’s really the best.


  1. OMG! I went to Hunter College with her. We lived in the same dorms. I didn't know her very well but I saw her around. Good for her! Good video!

  2. I’m a registered nurse in Florida. It truly is an amazing career but extremely demanding both mentally and physically. I just finished a two year contract and now applying to the ICU!

  3. I’ve got a few more years to go and then I get to be a RN! I can’t wait to come back to this video in 4-5 years and see how far I’ve come.

  4. Why do you need a masters? in nursing . Is her pay going to jump up into 100ks with masters to make up for the student loan payments.

  5. As a patient who spent around 1 year and a half in the hospital and most lots of that time in ICU and with just constant procedures without some of the greatest nurses in UCLA Ronald Reagan hospital I don’t think I woulda made it. They were my caregivers,friends, company when I needed, therapist, and the list goes on. But to all nurses thank you for your service to our country!!!

  6. It's definitely not easy to be a nurse and that's something that the nursing school doesn't teach us about. But definitely rewarding and with such a stable job, not only you can make good money but you can work anywhere in the world. Plus the varieties of job that nursing can offer is massive. 
    – ICU nurse in NYC

  7. Wow she’s only 25. I’m almost 25 and I’m still living at home and doing my masters degree ? I feel like a baby over here.

  8. I've been an RN for almost 5 years and at times I wonder if I made the right choice. There have been more downs than ups. At times I feel I'm at the whim of the shareholders and administrators of the hospital who are more concerned with profit than patient care. And some patients dont want to be helped. But reading the comments showing appreciation for the work I do I am remembered why I got into the medical field. Thank you YouTube community ?

  9. In our country, our nurse are paid so horribly. I wish goverment put a logic standard for their wage and reward them as they deserved. Nurse is a noble job for society

  10. & you work in my hometown,NYC ????? For those who don’t know,New York Presbyterian is one of the best hospitals in the country !! ???

  11. Did she have to go get her Master's degree? Considering how expensive it is, I wouldn't do it. You're higher earnings would go to paying tuition payments.

  12. Nurses are so under appreciated, under recognized for all they do. They have to be smart to begin with because nursing school is hard, you have to know some pretty difficult subjects, then you have trial by fire on the job and unlike most of the rest of us, it could be life or death. It takes a certain kind of person to become a good nurse.

  13. Can you do a video about medical laboratory scientist/medtechs???. I find that its always the nurses and the doctors that seems to be appreciated….but what about this medical proffesions like physical therapist,radiologists..pharmacist..etc working behind the scenes?????
    Im taking bachelors in medical laboratory sciences as my premed and i hope you'll make a video about that so people can be educate what we do in the health field.

  14. When I was in pre-nursing I had no idea how hard nurses worked. I never made it into the academy, and have found a career that suits me more, but my nurse friends tell me about what their days are like… and props to every nurse out there for working so hard, providing care for those in need.

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