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.