Nursing has always offered excellent job security and job satisfaction. Working as a nurse is difficult, of course, but the potential rewards are huge. Not financial rewards, unfortunately, but moral and philosophical rewards.
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
– Walt Whitman
Below are 6 reasons why anyone trying to decide what they want to do with their lives should consider a career in nursing.
Help Other People and Make a Difference
This is almost without a doubt the number one reason why people enter into the nursing industry. There are not many professions in life that are as noble or as universally appreciated as nursing. Nurses stand alongside teachers, firemen, and doctors as people who change lives significantly.
Some people just have an innate desire to do all they can to help others. For these people, many of the aspects of working as a nurse that would give most of us pause to reconsider are the very reason that they want to be on the front lines helping patients.
For example, many people who go into the nursing profession have some first-hand experience of a close friend or family member requiring medical care. Having seen someone close to them go through what can be a terrifying experience, some people want to then be on hand to help other people’s loved ones through the same experience.
There is no denying that working as a nurse is a physically and emotionally demanding job. If you take on this job just because you need a job and need to make rent somehow, you are not going to last very long. There is no doubt that working as a nurse is incredibly rewarding, but you do have to work for that reward. Part of that work is being able to shoulder the psychological burden that comes with helping people, not always successfully, through a difficult and traumatic period.
The nurses who tend to be the most resilient and able to withstand the pressures of the job are those that are honest with themselves about those pressures going in. This is why the nurses who are eager to make a difference because they have some kind of personal experience with what it’s like to be severely ill in hospital tend to fare better. They already have some idea of what the most difficult parts of the job look like.
Draw on a Wide Range of Skills
This desire to help is a common trait among nurses, but it is only one of many skills that are considered desirable within the profession. Obviously, nurses learn a whole lot of technical knowledge that is specific to the field that they working. One of the best ways to acquire that range of technical knowledge required is to think about absn programs, offering online nursing degrees so you can learn from home and while you earn. But the job of being a nurse calls on a wide range of skills, many of which we would not immediately associate with working in a healthcare setting.
In addition to knowing that about how and why to perform the most essential functions, nurses also need to have a natural disposition towards working with other people. There are some nursing roles that do not require any or much direct contact with patients, but nurses cannot work in isolation. Wherever you find nurses, you will find other medical staff around them. In the medical world, nurses can be thought of as kind of like the auxiliary forces. Nurses are the supporters without whom other medical professionals would not be able to do their jobs.
Some people think of the relationship between nurses and doctors as being akin to the relationship between a chef and a line cook. In other words, there is a widespread perception that nursing is the lower level of medical care, and doctoring is the highest level. On the contrary; the relationship between nurses and doctors is much more akin to that between politicians and the civil service. The doctors (politicians) are responsible for setting the agenda. But it is the nurses (civil service) that actually make that happen, and without them, the doctors would not be able to implement what they wanted.
Nurses often have more direct contact with patients and therefore often have an opportunity to build a bond with patients that doctors miss out on. Patients who have a positive outlook have better outcomes overall; having a good nurse on hand can be conducive to the healing process. Nurses who have good interpersonal skills will fare better and may even be able to offer their patients a better chance at recovery.
Not only does nursing call on a variety of different skills, but nurses who are able to demonstrate aptitude beyond their training will go further and be more valuable to employers.
Having skills outside of nursing will also set you apart from other applicants when you are applying for nursing positions. For this reason, many nurses are now leaning towards degrees like this one from SAU online. The MSN-MBA course is perfect for any aspiring nurse who wants to add their business acumen to their degree and also illustrates how much other skills are valued in the nursing profession.
Some of the other skills you will require as a nurse are as follows:
Attention to detail
Take Advantage of Scholarships and Financial Aid
One of the most common reasons that many students are unable to access higher education is because of a lack of financial resources. People who would be a credit to the nursing profession are unable to even begin their training because they don’t have enough money to pay for their tuition. In other cases, people who have childcare or other family commitments often struggle to make time for a university course.
However, both groups of people can potentially study nursing degrees, thanks to both the availability of scholarships and financial aid and the rise of online degrees. Nurses are essential personnel that we need in society. Without nurses, health care institutions wouldn’t function and we wouldn’t last very long, quite literally.
There are not many roles that are as essential as nursing, and this is reflected in the wide range of scholarships and grants that exist in order to encourage more people to train to become nurses. If you think you would like to pursue a nursing degree but have been hesitant because of the potential costs, it is worth seeing if you qualify for any kind of financial aid.
Some of the scholarships you can look into are:
Cascade Healthcare Solutions Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship
A Nurse I Am Scholarship
NURSE Corps Scholarship Program
If you do not have time to commit to full-time study, then you can study all levels of a nursing qualification online. Whether you are studying for your very first entry-level nursing degree, or you are preparing to move up to the doctorate level, completing your studies online offers a number of benefits. Before you take your first job in a hospital, studying for your degree online will save you money and enable you to complete your course on a part-time basis. If you are already working as a nurse and are studying for your next level of qualification, studying online is ideal for those who barely have any free time outside of the job as it is. Plus, there is an abundance of opportunities available to you if you already have your Bachelor of Science in Nursing. You can consider pursuing a BSN to DNP FNP program online. This course will give you all the tools needed to take your well-honed nursing skills and direct them into a leadership role. The opportunities to grow, advance, and even change your nursing direction are endless, thanks to the internet. Being able to do them online gives you flexibility at a time when you might not have many hours to spare.
Looking into online study may even open doors for you that you hadn’t even considered. Even courses that aren’t specifically for nursing will help you become even more employable and give you well-rounded skills. You might want to work with children, then a counseling course for adolescents will provide you with the tools needed to talk to and interpret their feelings. There really isn’t anything you can’t do when it comes to online learning for nurses.
Advance at Your Own Pace
Historically, nursing has offered one of the best working environments for women. Nursing remains a female-dominated profession and one in which women are still able to advance to the highest echelons. There are still far too many industries out there where women are hugely underrepresented, especially at the highest, most senior levels.
Not only does nursing offer fantastic progression opportunities, but it puts nurses in control of when and how they advance their careers. You can choose to study the next level of nursing qualification at any time you like. The very first qualifications do not require you to undertake practical work in a hospital, but subsequent levels will require you to be working as a nurse while you study. Online degrees are a great way of enabling nurses to advance through their careers where they would otherwise struggle to.
Because it is up to nurses when they study for subsequent levels of their qualifications, nurses are free to earn a qualification even if there is not currently a corresponding role available for them to work in. Having a qualification in their pocket means that a nurse can either wait for a suitable position to open up at their existing employer, or they can use their new qualifications to leverage a higher paying job elsewhere.
The levels of nursing progress as follows:
Certified nursing assistant (CNA)
Licensed practical nurse (LPN)
Registered nurse (RN)
Advanced practice registered nurse (APRN)
After this, you will need to study for your master’s in the science of nursing (MSN). From there, you can study for the specialty that you want to work in.
High Levels of Job Satisfaction
The life of a nurse can certainly be difficult. While there are some nursing roles that do not involve any direct contact with patients and are largely free of the usual stresses and strains that most nurses face, the majority of nursing roles within emergency care have the potential to be very challenging emotionally. However, while being a nurse is no doubt difficult, sometimes this is also one of the few professions that report consistently very high levels of job satisfaction. It’s easy to understand why the work that nurses do is so rewarding, but many people underappreciate just how rewarding it is and just what a benefit that is to its workers.
No doubt it is easier for many nurses to cope with the dramatic situations they encounter because they know that they are doing good work. For every difficult case that the nurse works on, there will be several easy cases, and in some instances, the experience of treating seriously ill patients can even be a positive one.
High levels of job satisfaction have numerous benefits. Anyone with experience working a job that they genuinely love will know how difficult it is to then go back to menial and uninteresting work. Satisfaction at work also translates to higher satisfaction with life overall, and a better outlook. A sense of purpose is important for most people’s emotional well-being and many people derive this sense of purpose from the work that they do. People who work in professions like nursing are able to derive an even greater sense of purpose from their work than most of us, knowing that what they do is absolutely essential.
Choose Where to Work
When most people think of nurses, they instantly think of hospitals, and while this may be the most familiar setting for nurses to appear in, it is far from the only place that they work. The diverse range of settings that nurses are required in means that once nurses have qualified, they can choose where they want to work in the long-term.
There are some nursing roles that will require prior experience in a hospital or similar setting. But this experience is valuable and worthwhile, and will significantly enhance your value to future employers, so it’s worth investing in.
Whatever your hobbies, interests, or strengths beyond your nursing abilities, there is bound to be a role within the industry that will allow you to indulge them. For example, if you are a scientifically minded person who wants to be involved in advancing the nursing profession, then there are lots of research nurse positions available. Research nurses are involved in various types of medical research, which may be focused on patients or on health care workers. The results of this research are used to direct the evolution of the industry and to inform targets going forward.
If you do not want to work in the frantic environment of an emergency room, there are lots of nursing roles that are much less hectic while still enabling you to help other people in a meaningful way. For example, working as a nurse in a care home for the elderly will see you working with the same patients on a long-term basis, and making a significant difference to them at a crucial point in their lives. That’s not to say that the job is easy, but many nurses will find the environment more conducive to their personality.
Nursing is an excellent profession to get into for both men and women. Nurses will always be in demand and the training to become a nurse has never been more accessible. Whatever kind of environment you think you will flourish in, nursing provides you with an opportunity to show what you’re made of.