David Daniels, RN, knew he wanted to be an emergency department nurse. He went to school and landed his dream job at an academic hospital.

His 32 years and counting as a nurse primarily in hospital EDs has been chaotic at times — brutal, frustrating and demoralizing, with extreme highs and lows. Like many nurses, Daniels has thought about leaving the profession.
David Daniels, RN
David Daniels, RN
But the 61-year-old nurse writer of the new book “Oh, Nurse! One Man’s Journey Through the Nursing Life, a Personal Account of the Highs and Lows,” said despite it all, nursing is a sacred profession.
“It’s a very demanding job if you take on the responsibility,” Daniels said. “You’re present at a birth. You’re present at a death. You’re dealing with people who really aren’t having the best day in their lives at all. You deal with injury, death and addictions. And it’s really the ER nurse who holds all of that together. It’s challenging, and it can be thankless. You could be working with staff members or physicians who can be very condescending and [you think] why would I do this to myself?”
Even though he regularly deals with tragedies at work, Daniels confirms being a nurse still is the greatest job in the world.