Nursing is both an art and a science. Apart from being exciting and challenging, it also gives you an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives every day. As a nurse, you will deal with a wide range of complex situations, which will require you to think and act fast. You will be constantly learning new things and experiences, both from your patients and your colleagues. Here are the 6 main reasons why you should pursue this career.
Flexibility in Practice
Flexibility is one of the main benefits of pursuing a nursing career. As a registered nurse, you have the flexibility to set up your own practice, if you don’t want to remain employed. In fact, this is one of the reasons why most ambitious and self-sufficient individuals pursue this career. Currently, at least 21 states in the U.S, including Washington D.C, allow registered nurses to set up their own practices without physician oversight. And more states are joining this list. In all 50 states, registered nurses can effectively and safely prescribe medication. Also, they can prescribe controlled substances like Adderall, Xanax, as well as oxycodone. Nursing practitioners also have the autonomy to order and interpret both diagnostic and laboratory tests. They can then use these tests to make an appropriate diagnosis and manage the medical conditions of their patients. Therefore, as a nurse, you are not limited to basic nursing duties. You have the liberty to deliver more duties, depending on your level of expertise.
Apart from setting up your own practice, you are also at liberty to choose the schedule that works best for you, without sacrificing job security or pay. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities require nurses both day and night. Therefore, if you are a night owl, then you can choose to work the night shift while those who want to spend the weekends with their families can choose to work from Monday to Friday. And if you have responsibilities like raising a young family, then you can choose the 9 to 5 shift. Also, nurses work in shifts of 4 to 12 hours, depending on various factors. With this flexibility, you will have an opportunity to pursue higher education, attend to your hobbies or spend time with your loved ones. In short, you have the freedom to choose whether you want to work full-time, part-time or even work as a temporary hire.
Becoming a registered nurse, especially a nurse practitioner, is not a walk in the park. The practice itself is equally challenging. The challenge starts the minute you apply to join a nursing school and it will extend throughout your career. If you are interested in practicing as a nurse, then you must be ready to solve a wide range of complex problems throughout your career. And this will eventually help you to become a better person. In order to practice as a nurse, you need either a doctorate degree or a master’s degree in nursing. It’s also important to note that most nursing schools across the world, only accept a small number of applicants every year. And before your application is accepted, you have to pass several science courses such as physiology, anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, pathophysiology and abnormal psychology, just to name a few. You also have to pass a licensure examination, which is quite rigorous.
When studying nursing, students have to undergo extensive coursework, several patient case simulations, as well as exhaustive clinical practice hours. Also, most schools will require each student to undergo a minimum of 45 credit hours of coursework, as well as hundreds of hours attending to patients under the supervision of a registered nurse. Nurses will then be required to develop leadership and expertise in their areas of specialty such as adult health, acute health, family health, neonatal health, gerontology, psychiatry, and women’s health, among others. After graduating from nursing school, students will have to pass a board certification exam before they can be allowed to practice. Each exam consists of approximately 200 specialty-based questions, which have to be completed in 4 hours.
After passing the certification exam, nurse practitioners now have to step in the actual work environment, where they have to deal with various complex situations. They must use their skills and expertise to conduct physical exams, and then develop a treatment plan for every patient. Therefore, nursing is not a career for the faint-hearted. It will test both your intelligence quotient and your emotional quotient, every day of your career. On the flip side, your decision-making skills will improve significantly, and you will be able to handle complex situations better than most people. It doesn’t come as a surprise that nursing is one of the most respected careers in the world.
Decent Return on Investment
Nurses work hard every day to save lives and take care of patients in the hospital while earning decent wages and plenty of great benefits. Also, nursing schools tend to be more affordable, compared to medical schools. According to a study conducted by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the total amount of money you will pay as tuition fees to become a primary care nurse practitioner is significantly lower than what you would spend in on tuition in a single year of medical school. And as much as nursing school is more affordable than medical school, primary care nurse practitioners and primary care physicians provide almost the same level of care. What makes nursing an attractive career to purse is its competitive pay package and the various benefits that come with this profession. For instance, in 2018, a registered nurse took home an annual salary of $71, 730 compared to a median salary of $47,060. As you can see, nurses earn a higher wage while working fewer hours, compared to most of the other jobs.
Apart from the basic salary, nurse practitioners are also eligible to numerous benefits like paid time off, continuing education reimbursement, paid professional liability insurance, health insurance, paid sick leave, a retirement plan, paid extra time off for activities like conferences, as well as reimbursement for certification and licensure costs. Some nurses also receive additional benefits like long-term care insurance, disability insurance, as well as reimbursement for professional organizations.
High Degree of Job Satisfaction
Nursing involves lots of hard work and sacrifice. However, according to a survey conducted by AMN Healthcare Education Services, job satisfaction in this industry is one of the highest. Out of 3,400 nurses who were surveyed, over 80% said they are satisfied with their careers. Most nurses find this career fulfilling, both personally and professionally. Nursing provides an opportunity to interact and engage with different types of patients. Nurses are also the link between the patient and the doctor, which means they spend most of their time attending to patients. However, making a difference in people’s lives is not the only reason why people become nurses. You also need to take care of your patient’s emotional needs. Without passion for this job, you would struggle to deliver your duties effectively, and this explains why there is such a high degree of satisfaction in this career. Therefore, if you are interested in a career where you will be making a direct impact on the lives of communities and individuals, then nursing is a good choice.
Over the last couple of years, thousands of workers have been laid off across various industries. Most of these redundancies have been driven by technological advancements, where a single system manages to replace hundreds of workers. However, such issues are rare in the nursing industry, making it a great career to pursue. In the U.S, there are approximately 3 million registered nurses, serving a population of around 300 million or more. As you can see, there is a huge shortage of nurses, which means that nurses are in high demand, across the world, and not in the U.S alone. And going by the forces of demand and supply, nurses can expect a competitive pay package, among other benefits.
Plenty of Opportunities
As a registered nurse, your opportunities are almost endless. Nursing features a wide range of specialties, thus giving you the freedom to venture into your preferred career path. For instance, you can become a neonatal nurse, nurse-midwife, critical care nurse, clinical nurse, dialysis nurse, health policy nurse, nurse practitioner, informatics nurse, nurse educator, nurse anesthetist, nursing researcher, pain management nurse, and a trauma nurse. You can also become a pediatric nurse, a public health nurse or a geriatric nurse, just to name a few. Also, you can choose to work in government healthcare facilities, work with non-governmental organizations or even work as a community nurse.
You can also work as a travel nurse, where you will have an opportunity to interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds, visit new places and basically have an opportunity to see the world, beyond your local community. When you become a registered nurse, you can work in almost any part of the globe. You can work in any state, city, and country. Also, you can transition to other areas and work as an educator or administrator. As a nurse, the sky is the only limit. Unlike other careers, you have the freedom to choose a path that suits your preferences and schedule.
Pursuing a nursing career comes with numerous benefits. Apart from the satisfaction that comes with saving lives, you will also enjoy flexibility, competitive compensation, as well as numerous opportunities. As long as more people are born, nursing will always remain a great career to pursue – especially for individuals with a calling to serve humanity.