Are you looking for a career in nursing but are confused about choosing it? You must be wondering if this career is a good option for you or not. Wondering whether you would be able to survive in this fast-paced, on-the-edge kind of environment or not?
Your confusion is right. Nursing is not everyone’s cup of tea.
If you have a calling, which means you urge for or desire a career that involves and helps blossom your humanitarian side, a career in Nursing is just for you.
Now that’s for self-assessment and coming back to research thanks for trusting us. In this article, we will help you understand why Nursing could be a good career for you, the challenges or cons of this career, a list of job options, and much more.
Quick Facts: Registered Nurses
|Average Annual Salary
|Hourly Rate (approx.)
|Typical Entry-Level Education
|6% Growth for this decade
|Projected no. of job openings each year
(Source – BLS.gov)
Why is Nursing a Good Career? The Pros
The healthcare sector is skyrocketing; we all know that, and this alone would make anyone opt for a career in Nursing. What else, you must be wondering?
There could be thousands of reasons, but we have sorted out some of the most fitting reasons to prove why Nursing is still a good career. If you desire to choose it as your career, do it with no hesitation.
The Pros of Nursing Career
Did you know RNs (Registered nurses) held about 3.1 million jobs in 2021? Also, as per BLS, the projected employment growth rate is 6% till 2028 with an average of 203,200 job openings for each year.
All of these data assures that the high demand for RNs is here to stay and only grow rapidly over a period of time. With an aging population, modern diseases, and fresher climate change challenges, it is safe to join the ever-booming healthcare sector.
Lack of Nurses
Many institutions have inadequate staffing. This is a pro and a con. Let’s talk about the good thing first and discuss the bad side later –
The good thing is, if you are looking for a job there are plenty of opportunities. There are more than 195,400 projected job openings to arise in this decade for RNs. This also assures job security considering your experience.
So, you could be assured that you will definitely get a job in government, hospitals, or at least in a private clinic post your registration as a Nurse. Isn’t that great?
There are a lot of Job Options
After your licensure, you become a registered nurse, and then there lies many options to choose from. You can select any specialty as per your desire and interest like – addiction nurses who take care of patients trying to overcome addictions or critical care nurses who work in intensive-care units.
Detailed list below.
Flexible Work Environment
As an RN, you become eligible to work in various healthcare settings like – hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, physicians’ offices, schools, businesses, and the military.
It is worth noting that you should not just aim for the largest employers of RNs – the Hospitals (state, local, and private) – for they employ over 60% of the RNs.
This could work as a motivation – what about earning over 80,000 USD a year? Yes, Nurse Practitioners or the ones with expertise and higher education are making close to 115,000 USD a year.
But on average, a registered nurse has an earning potential of $77,600 per year, or $37.31 per hour, as per data from BLS.
These are seriously cool figures.
Nurses Make a Real Difference
The mother of motivations – a positive impact on the lives of many.
You have an opportunity to work one-on-one with patients, administer medicine or treatment, serve as a mediator between the doctor and the patient, or offer support to the patient and their families.
It is the interaction that humans seek in tough times. Who do they interact with? You, the nurses. This interaction could work as the biggest positive or negative for a patient or family’s visit to the hospital.
The Challenges of Nursing Career: The Cons
We discussed the advantages, and now let’s discuss some common challenges you might face in your nursing career. We have also tried to offer some tips to counter the challenges; share them with your friends if you find them useful.
Here are the challenges with tips to counter them –
As a Nurse, you might often require to work extended shifts, more than 12 hours, or even longer. This can disturb your work-life balance, might affect you physically or mentally, and also may lead to burnout.
How to avoid burnout?
To avoid burnout and maintain energy, you need to get enough rest when you are without a task in hand, even if that means you are on your shift. Also, try to request help from your family to complete your personal tasks, which could allow you more time to rest and recharge.
Emotional Involvement – Stress
Unlike other professions, yours is more personal and meaningful. This also makes it stressful when the demands or expectations, don’t meet well.
You often become emotionally invested in the patients’ lives and outcomes, and over a period your job might start to appear emotionally demanding. It could be traumatic if your patient loses his life.
How to deal with stress?
You should create a strong support system within your workspace. You could also share your feelings and emotions with your friends. If that is not working, you should reach out to your seniors or seek a professional counselor’s help to de-stress yourself or cope with your feelings in constructive, healthy ways.
You may need to sometimes perform physically demanding duties, like – helping or transporting patients, carrying heavy equipment, or standing for longer periods. Obviously, that is for sometimes, mainly during emergencies where there would be less time to wait.
To counter it – eat healthy, and stay fit!
Exercise accordingly to maintain strength, stamina, and flexibility, which makes it easier for you to manage your physical demands.
Exposure To Illness and Chemicals
It is a complimentary feature of this profession. There might occur cases with sick infected patients, and since you are nursing them, you will surely get exposed to bacteria, viruses, or any pathogens.
Also, you sometimes might need to work with hazardous chemicals, posing a health risk.
This increases the chances of you contracting an illness.
If these are not enough, dealing with the bodily fluids of patients can be yucky and dangerous.
How to stay safe?
You should be following all the safety protocols while working with infected patients or with hazardous materials. Wear masks, PPE, and everything you should to avoid such illness.
Lack of Nurses
We talked about it as an advantage as well, let’s talk about the bad side now. Due to inadequate staffing in your workspace, you may experience longer work hours or more mandatory overtime or extra shifts.
How to manage it?
Well, you need to research well during the time you are applying for a job. You should have a clear idea regarding their overtime and scheduling policies. Also, try to get in touch with nurses who work at these places and enquire about the overtime policies.
If this doesn’t fit you, try finding positions that offer more traditional hours, or don’t require clinical care like an administrative role.
Poor Treatment from Patients
Yes, this could be a major downside to this career. Some people would never get the hard work you put in. They might not treat you properly or even try to abuse you physically or verbally. This could result due to some miscommunication, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol or psychiatric conditions.
What to do in these times?
Report or inform your supervisor or the admins about the abusive behavior. You may also report to law enforcement if the issue is severe or personal. Don’t neglect and prioritize your safety.
List of Job Options for RNs
There exist many job options for an RN, and we have tried to compile a list of those options which you could choose to become.
They are –
They take care of newborn babies having health issues.
They take care of patients with heart conditions or with heart surgery.
They take care of patients with kidney-related issues.
Critical Care Nurses
They work in intensive-care units. They take care of patients with serious, complex, and acute illnesses and injuries.
Public Health Nurses
They educate people on the symptoms of diseases and manage chronic health conditions through health screenings, immunization clinics, blood drives, or other community outreach programs.
They take care of patients trying to overcome addiction to drugs, alcohol, and other substances.
They take care of patients with temporary or permanent disabilities or with chronic illnesses.
They take care and provide screening, counseling, and treatment to patients with genetic disorders.
Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs)
They are APRN – Advanced Practice Registered Nurses. They typically work in nursing specialties – psychiatric, mental health, or pediatrics – by providing direct care.
CNSs often serve in leadership roles, conduct research or advocate for certain policies. They might also work to educate other nursing staff on various issues.
Educators / Consultants / Admins
All nurses don’t work with some patients. Some give their everything to make a future generation of nurses. They are nurse educators, healthcare consultants, or hospital administrators.
Unarguably, Nursing is a seriously demanding career, but only a few careers can have an impact like Nursing has on our society. It would be of great help to society if they find great nurses like you, so instead of focusing on the challenges try viewing the bigger picture, and choose Nursing as a career.
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Common FAQs Regarding Nursing Career
Is Nursing a Good Career for the Future?
The healthcare sector is skyrocketing and is set to boom further. With an aging population, more focus on healthcare post-pandemic, and inadequate staffing, this career is set to be in high demand in the future as well.
Let’s talk data here –
According to BLS
– The projected job growth rate is 6% till 2028 with an average of 203,200 job openings for each year.
– The average earning potential of an RN is $77,600 per year. With expertise, the pay will rise. The highest earners are Nurse practitioners earning approx. 115,000 USD a year.
According to AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality under Human & Health Services)
– The average nurse-to-patient ratio in the US is 1:4. This means there is 1 nurse for every 4 patients.
So, keeping all these things in mind it is safe to say that – yes – Nursing is a good career for the future, as well.
What is the hardest part of being a Nurse?
Burnout. Yes, this is the hard truth. Nursing is one of the most exhausting jobs you can have but it is also one of the most fulfilling professions.
As per Becker’s 2018 Health Review on Nurses leaving their jobs, a shocking 31.5% of nurses mentioned burnout as a reason.
But hey, don’t forget our tip on burnout and stress.
What kind of nurses get paid the most?
Let’s look at the top 5 highest Paid Nurses:
- Certified Registered Nurse Anaesthetist – $202,000
- Nursing Administrator – $120,000
- Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse – $120,000
- General Nurse Practitioner – $118,000
- Critical Care Nurse – $118,000
What state pays Nurses the most?
California. The Nurses earn an average annual salary of $124,000 in California.
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