Nursing is a challenging yet rewarding career. The demand for nurses will continue to rise in 2023, ensuring bright career opportunities ahead for aspiring nurses. Hence, you can expect significant growth while helping to save valuable lives. It is nurses who monitor daily patient activity and keep track of their health. Before you jump into this profession, it is essential to consider some notable benefits and challenges that can inform you about what to expect.
Benefits Of Becoming A Nurse
The road to becoming a nurse is difficult, but the job can be highly rewarding. Here are some certifiable reasons that can encourage you to pursue this field.
1. Considerable Salary
Nurses typically earn a hefty salary for their valuable services. However, certain factors have a massive impact on their earning potential. Primarily, it depends on where they work. Nurses working in metropolitan areas often get higher market-competitive salaries than those providing services in rural towns. Full-time nurses earn more than their part-time counterparts.
Certain positions like nurse anesthetist and nursing administrator tend to have better pays. In 2020, the average annual income of nurses working in the US was around $75,330. However, being a registered nurse isn’t enough if you want excellent pay. Having sufficient experience and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is equally essential. It can lead to high-paying career options, as the median job offer rate for BSN graduates is 76%. If you are wondering how to get your BSN in 8 weeks, certain online programs can provide you with qualifications within this time frame.
2. Flexible Schedule
One of the most significant perks of being a registered nurse is having a flexible schedule. You can choose whether you want to work part-time or full-time. You can work longer shifts if you have fewer obligations and want to earn more. Alternatively, you can work shifts on specific days if you are juggling studies with work.
You even have the option to work pro re nata (PRN). It requires you to work only when hospitals are lacking employees or if specific emergencies elevate the demand for nurses. Hence, you don’t need to work consistent shifts and can be paid a premium rate as compensation.
3. Meaningful Job
Very few jobs allow employees to find a sense of purpose. Nursing can provide you with the skills and opportunities to help people in need. There is no better way to contribute to society than by saving a life. Patients often feel intimidated and timid after receiving a critical diagnosis. You can ease their minds by offering comfort, looking after their needs, and educating them regarding their diagnosis.
Moreover, there are various misconceptions regarding different diseases. You can create greater awareness within the community by highlighting such misconceptions and providing answers to common health-related questions. Nursing is also a profession that ranks high in the ethics department. In 2017, 82% of Americans stated that nurses had high ethical standards, making it a worthy career to pursue.
4. Greater Demand
Healthcare is a dynamic field that is constantly growing and evolving. In 2017, a considerable nursing workforce went into retirement all at once that created a massive demand for nurses. That demand is only increasing daily, allowing for significant growth opportunities. Hence, it allows for greater benefits, salary, and job roles. You are unlikely to be unemployed as there is never a lack of sick people in the world. Hence, nurses will always remain highly valued and appreciated for their work.
Challenges Of Becoming A Nurse
Even nurses enjoy a plethora of benefits, they must also deal with the various challenges that accompany the profession. Here are some notable points that make it a demanding field.
1. Witnessing Traumatic Events
Nurses encounter patients with all kinds of diseases and injuries. They often witness people in their most vulnerable state. That can be highly traumatizing for some people who are sensitive to others’ emotions. Often patients are diagnosed with fatal diseases and may undergo painful symptoms. It is difficult for nurses to remain indifferent after observing the notable grief among the patients and their families. They are also faced with gruesome injuries that may be hard to look at, let alone treat.
Some nurses have long-term patients in their care. When those people pass away or suffer the consequences of deteriorating health, it is hard for nurses to ignore their emotions. Events like the Covid-19 pandemic also caused post-traumatic stress disorder for numerous nurses. They had to witness the deaths of thousands of people right before their eyes.
2. Working Long Hours
Nursing typically provides a flexible schedule, as you can even work three days a week. However, the shifts tend to be very long and tedious. You are often expected to work 12 or sometimes even 24-hour shifts. Hence, you must go several hours without adequate sleep on your work days. That can take a toll on any regular human being.
There are also situations where you may be called in to work on holidays or weekends in case of emergencies. Due to the high demand for nurses, you may be expected to work even longer hours at times. It can get quite stressful for nurses to treat patients and stay alert with minimal rest. At times, it can also lead to mental burnout.
3. Exposure To Diseases
Nurses aren’t invincible and can get infected with contagious diseases some patients may bring to the hospital. Nurses often have protective measures like masks and gloves that keep germs at bay. However, they may accidentally get pricked by an infected needle or coughed at by patients with air-borne diseases.
The Covid-19 pandemic was highly demanding for nurses as several got infected by coronavirus while treating patients. Hence, the profession comes with certain physical risks that could even be fatal if you aren’t careful.
Nursing is a dynamic field that has generated significant demand in recent years. It is essential to consider both the advantages and challenges before you decide whether the career is a good fit for you. Certain factors like greater earning potential, flexible working times, and fulfilling your purpose can make the job highly appealing. However, it is vital to note that you may encounter various diseases, long and draining shifts, and witness traumatic injuries. At the end of the day, it is a noble profession respected by every society.