MU nursing graduates prepare for stressful workload

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COLUMBIA - University of Missouri nursing majors will graduate from Sinclair School of Nursing this weekend and some of the nurses said they are ready for the stress and health risk their nursing positions will bring.

According to the Bureau of the Labor of Statistics, registered nurses have the fourth highest rate of injuries or illness on the job. 

Lori Popejoy is a veteran nurse and an assistant professor at the nursing school. Popejoy said a nursing position is challenging and draining.

"Nurses have to work off shifts, they have to work evenings, they have to work nights, which in itself is inherently quite unhealthy," Popejoy said. "So you don’t get good sleep, your sleep is disrupted and work is very difficult in a hospital or in a home care environment."

Popejoy said nurses eating habits and physical health is at risk as well. She says it is important for future nurses to take time off to get themselves together. 

"We need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our patients," Popejoy said. "We’re skilled and have to be healthy because our job is hard to fill."

Tyler Wilson, a nursing major who is graduating from the school of nursing, said she is ready for her future career. 

"I know that it will be stressful, but this is something I have always wanted to do," Wilson said. "Besides the school of nursing has prepared us for this career through the early mornings, long nights and weekly exams, so I'm ready."

Popejoy said the American Nurse Association is working to improve the nursing field. She said they started a new grand challenge called Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation to improve nurses health and reduce their stress levels.