I've finished my training period at work. I've passed the NCLEX examination. I'm a nurse for real, and have been for a couple of months now. The problem is, I am completely and totally exhausted. Beyond words. I get up at 5, leave the house at 6, and don't get home until 8 at night, sometimes later. Is this what being a nurse means? Really? Somehow I guess I never really put two and two together when it came to planning my career. I figured that I would go to work, save lives, and be home to cook dinner. Or, at least, to EAT dinner. But I'm so exhausted by the time I get home all that I want to do is sleep.