For anyone considering a course to study or a career path to follow, it is imperative that you take important steps to ensure that it is the right one for you and that it will be a good fit throughout your journey.
Considering how popular the nursing career has become in the last few years, it’s not surprising that a lot of prospective students are considering this path. If you are considering a nursing career, you need to know what options are available, the long-term prospects and the right path to follow.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that by 2030 the nursing profession will experience a 9% growth rate, which is faster than the average job growth rate today. Considering that there’s a current shortage of nurses, mostly because the baby boomers are reaching retirement age, now may be the right time for you to explore the opportunity for this high demand, rewarding career path.
A nursing career is one that you should consider. It has a number of substantial benefits and a variety of roles available. There are several entry-level options and specialties in different medical areas available, regardless of the level of education that you have acquired.
Here’s a proper guide that can help you in your decision-making process and give you some tips on dealing with the challenges that you may encounter through this career path.
Benefits Of Choosing A Nursing Career
The nursing profession is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers that you can choose. It offers a unique opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and to build relationships with patients and their families. Here are six benefits of choosing a nursing career:
Nursing Education Is Easily Accessible
Health professions are ranked as one of the top degrees obtained by graduates, as most cities have accredited programs at their universities and colleges that are health-related.
Another great aspect of this is that nursing degrees are also available to the public through online programs that are equally accredited. No matter where you are located, accessing nursing education has become much easier. For nursing education, you’re typically required to take hybrid classes, where you have classes online and attend nursing lessons in an arranged healthcare setting.
For online programs, especially when looking to become an FNP, it’s important to look out for accreditation, either by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Research already indicates that the nursing career exists in one of the most stable industries today with even higher prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that nurses are in high demand, and prospects are strong for the growing generation, especially considering that there’s a forecast growth of 52% for general nurse practitioners.
Transferable Career Skills
With a nursing career, you have the opportunity to learn and develop skills that will be useful in any field you find yourself in, and it can also help in a transitioning process. Considering a career path in nursing requires that you’re equipped to work in any work environment or geographical location and have the ability to work in a state of emergency or under pressure.
You have the opportunity to hone skills such as communication, organizational, and critical thinking skills that can fit into positions in nursing administration, public health, nonprofit organizations, or correctional facility management.
Choice Of Specialty
The sphere of healthcare includes a variety of settings, which means that nurses can pursue several specialties, depending on their interests and specialty. From gerontological nurses and labor and delivery nurses, to traveling nurses and flight nurses, there’s a wide range of specialties available for prospective nurses to explore.
With over 100 specialties to choose from, nurses have a lower chance of getting bored. There’s a high possibility of moving from one practice to another if you choose to.
High Chance Of Work Benefits
Considering that it’s a very lucrative and sought-after career path, clinics and hospitals will usually offer outstanding benefits to attract and keep nurses. For instance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a nurse’s average annual salary is $75,330, which is higher than the general average annual salary of $56,310.
Major benefits will include retirement benefits, paid sick time, paid family leave and vacations, life and health insurance, wellness programs, tuition reimbursement and bonuses for working extra hours.
A Fulfilling Career
A nursing career gives you the opportunity to have a job that truly makes a difference. Nursing goes beyond performing medical tasks and earning a living. It’s more about helping others, making a difference in their lives and becoming trusted professionals in the patients’ lives.
Nursing also gives you an opportunity to volunteer within the community and to give back to society in a tangible way.
Things To Consider Before Choosing A Nursing Career
Now that you know the benefits of pursuing a nursing career, there are major factors that you need to consider before you pursue this career. These include:
The first step to qualifying to become a nurse is earning a related degree from an accredited institution. No matter the type of nursing job you’re working towards, you need at least an associate degree from an accredited college nursing program. For registered nurses, for instance, a bachelor’s degree is often necessary before they can begin nursing jobs.
Just like any other profession, the higher the level of degree, the higher your chances of earning a better income. However, whether you choose an associate degree or something higher, you are required to pass the NCLEX exam to practice as a licensed nurse practitioner, a registered nurse or a licensed nurse practitioner.
Every type of career requires a level of accountability for responsibilities. However, for anyone who plans on pivoting into a nursing career, you should be aware that the level of responsibility for your actions is exceptional. Nurses of any type are responsible for their patients and need to put in the effort to ensure that the lives in their care are properly treated.
As a nurse, you need to pay extra attention to details, be compassionate, more attentive and cautious in your actions. If you’re a person who finds this easy to do naturally, then a nursing career may be for you.
One major factor that you need to consider is how much time you’ll be willing to give to your work schedule. The typical nurse’s schedule is hectic. Working for long hours isn’t strange to nurses and sometimes, you need to work beyond your regular schedule to cover for those who aren’t available.
However, there’s still a level of flexibility that’s involved. You’re still able to decide how much time you spend at work. Interestingly, nurses who are available to cover shifts for those who aren’t available are also high in demand.
The important thing is that before pursuing this career, you need to ensure that you are ready to put in the on-site hours that may be necessary.
As much as nurses are needed in the different areas of medicine, it’s important that you consider the area in which you’ll be specialized, as this will determine the level of education you require and the ways to go to get a job. Specializations such as oncology, pediatrics and emergency medicine may require additional education to qualify.
Nurses who decide to specialize have a higher chance of earning a better income and moving higher in their fields faster. If you’re certain that the nursing profession is the right field for you and you intend to make it long-term, specializing in a field and earning an additional degree is an important choice to make.
Flexibility And Future Prospects
As mentioned earlier, the possibilities in the nursing profession are endless. Most professionals start out as general nurses and evolve into different roles within the nursing field. It’s very common to see people start out on a career path, but after a while, begin to look for opportunities to advance into something else. The flexibility of the nurse’s prospects is something to consider when you’re choosing the precise path to follow.
Also, you should consider the future prospects and how your decisions will align with your long-term goals. It’s important to plan ahead and work towards your end goals even from the beginning.
How To Deal With The Challenges Of A Nursing Career
Truly, a nursing career can be lucrative and rewarding. However, it doesn’t come without its own challenges. It’s very important that you understand these challenges, and that you know how to manage them when you’re faced with them.
Some of the major challenges of a nursing career include:
A nurse can work a shift that’s as long as 10 hours. A lot of times, this may exclude the administrative duties and the procedure for starting or ending shifts. This means that more often than not, it leaves nurses exhausted and physically drained.
If this continues over time, burnout is almost inevitable. However, to get the best out of this challenge, it’s important to learn how to schedule your time and make time to rest properly. This may include delegating minor tasks to friends or family members.
The schedules of nurses don’t always stay the same. In fact, they change as the weeks go by. For instance, you can be on a morning shift for a week and move to an evening shift the next week. The challenge about this is that it can interfere with your life schedule, particularly your sleeping patterns.
To manage this problem, ensure that you have a supportive environment where you can schedule your personal appointments when you can have extended time off.
Nursing is not a career path where you sit at a table for hours in front of a screen. Instead, you’re required to perform demanding physical activities on the job. From standing for long periods, to carrying objects and lifting patients, there are a lot of physical demands that are required.
To work around this, ensure that you exercise and eat healthy to maintain your strength, and ensure that you take safety precautions before carrying heavy or sharp objects.
While the evolution of technology is a great thing for any professional field, in situations where the professionals are not accustomed to the new systems, it can prove to be a challenge. Having to learn and relearn the use of new technology can be demanding.
However, technology makes the job easier in the long run. To ensure that evolving technology isn’t an issue, ensure that you attend training sessions that can aid your understanding of the technology systems that have been put in place.
FAQs About A Nursing Career
How Do I Know If Nursing Is The Right Path For Me?
If you are naturally compassionate, have an eye for detail, are great at managing issues and are generally curious, then a nursing career path may be the right one for you. You can channel your curiosity into wellness and health, turning it into a desire to help others.
What Qualities Do I Need To Be A Nurse?
You can pick up the necessary skills on your path to becoming a nurse, but being patient, analytical, compassionate and understanding are very important. Other important skills that will come in handy include communication, organization and strong critical thinking skills.
The most important thing to remember is that you need a curious mind to help you learn what needs to be learned.
Why Should I Choose A Nursing Career?
There are a number of reasons why nursing can be a viable career path. The majority of nurses choose this path because it helps them impact other people’s lives positively. No matter which field you find yourself in, the underlying reason is to help better the lives of others health-wise.
Becoming an FNP could be the next step you need to take your nursing career to the next level. Marymount University offers you specialized knowledge, in-depth studies, evidence-informed clinical experiences and the best in leadership preparation, so you can reach the highest credential in nursing practice.
A nursing career is indeed lucrative with several benefits as we have seen so far. With a nursing degree, there are a number of jobs that are available to you, and your choice will depend on the level of your qualification, specialization and end goals.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.