Nursing is one of the world’s most trusted professions – and as a career choice, it offers a high level of job security and income potential. The average RN today earns $68,000 a year or more.
You can choose from myriad clinical specialties and healthcare settings – and if you truly enjoy caring for others, nursing is an excellent choice. But, be sure to learn as much about the demands of the profession as possible, before you dive in head first.
Not for the Faint of Heart
Nursing requires constant dedication, stamina, and strength of conviction. It is one of the most rewarding career paths, but alternatively, one of the most challenging.
- Patient care is 24/7. Nurses often put in long hours, and in many cases, this includes nights, weekends and holidays. If you work in a field where responding to patients’ urgent needs is required, you will be expected to be accessible around the clock.
- It can be physically exhausting and emotionally draining. A nurse’s duties are not glamorous. Understaffing and lack of appreciation are common drawbacks – though they are quickly forgotten when you have a “win” that includes a positive outcome and a grateful patient or family.
- Mistakes are inevitable. You need a thick skin. Of course, you’ll strive to avoid errors at all costs. But when something does go awry, you must be open and honest, learn from the situation, and move on. You can nip mistakes in the bud by asking for help when you’re not comfortable with a task or responsibility.
- There is stress in every specialty. A good nurse must handle fatigue, pressure, and criticism on a daily basis. Learn to manage negative feedback constructively. You need to be a master of critical thinking who can naturally prioritize and multi-task.
Your Actions are Your Responsibility
The concepts and knowledge required to be a nurse go way beyond the ability to memorize and repeat information – though your success begins with completing a difficult course of study and passing required licensing exams.
- Nurses must constantly apply their knowledge in the face of constantly changing conditions and situations. Even if you have another nurse managing or guiding you in your job, your actions are still your own responsibility. And yes, in worst case situations, a decision you make could be a matter of life and death.
These trials may seem disheartening, but remember that if your heart and your gut are driving you towards nursing as a profession, your passion will win out – and the rewards will far outweigh any negative experiences.
Are you still undecided whether nursing is in your professional future? Contact a career counseling expert at Medicalpros Recruiting + Staffing. We offer unparalleled industry experience, insight and market intelligence – and we can help steer you towards a career that will be just right for you.