Within the past week, over 1,700 decks of cards have been sent to Senator Maureen Walsh.

Republican Senator Maureen Walsh of Washington said, “They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day,” referring to nurses.

Since then, of course, she has profusely apologized with promises to shadow a nurse’s 12-hour shift, which we all know will not happen. The remark was made during a debate of House Bill 1155 which would allow nurses uninterrupted meal and rest breaks and require overtime (Fox2now).

Senator Walsh insisted that the nurses get plenty of break time already and they don’t even need the time they are allotted because there are many patients in need.

According to Fox, the Senator even notes that her mother was a registered nurse, making this comment a bash at her hardworking mother.

As a former nursing student, friend of many nursing students, and niece of a former nurse, I can assure that nurses don’t sit around and play cards all day.

Nurses generally work three 12-hour shifts a week and can work more than that if they wish. They spend their long and busy days frantically charting, delivering babies, tending to ER trauma patients and many more tasking jobs we are not aware of.

Nursing is arguably one of the hardest jobs in the world. Not only are you awake and on your feet for 12 hours, you are missing time away from your family.

Most people work a nine to five job where they drop off their child at school before they leave for work and arrive back home an hour or two after they get home.

For nurses, it is a completely different ball game. Not only are the days long, but nurses witness events that say an accountant, or any other average person wouldn’t.

My roommate is currently a nursing student, but also a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at a local nursing home. She usually works once a week and every other weekend on top of having clinic and nursing classes.

She tells me that she hardly ever gets time to sit and relax and only gets food if they have leftovers, which is seldom. She has been doing this job for quite a while now, but recently a traumatic event happened at work. She was tending to the patients of her hallway, one in particular.

She noted that the elderly woman was asleep, so she walked away to check on some other patients. Shortly after, she came back to check on the woman again and noticed that the woman had stopped breathing.

My roommate is a short 5’1” tiny woman. She had to perform CPR on the elderly woman while they waited for the ambulance and luckily, a family member visiting another resident next door was CPR certified.

Unfortunately, the elderly woman did not survive. My roommate isn’t even a nurse yet and she has already had to deal with a death on her shift. I remember her coming home that night and we didn’t even talk, I took her to get ice cream.

To even become a registered nurse is an unbelievable task all on its own. You have to take many science classes including anatomy, pharmacology, microbiology and plenty of other challenging sciences.

After taking a full year of the required classes, you then have to pass a test to get into the actual nursing program.

At ISU, the program only takes 50 applicants per semester; some schools take less than that. After getting into the program, the classes intensify as well as having to start clinics.

If you manage to bear the weight of clinics, classes, and having a job at the same time, you then have to take a licensure exam called NCLEX. Taking this test validates your licensure as an RN and you can then go out into the world to fulfill your dream of helping people.

This route wasn’t for me. Initially, I thought it was. I wanted to be a delivery nurse and work on the OBGYN floor. I figured out after my first year that it wasn’t my path.

I only wanted to work with babies, but in the nursing program, you are taught many other trades and types of nursing even if they do not apply to what you want to do.

Nursing definitely isn’t for everyone and it takes a strong mind and heart to get through all the work it requires.