A career in nursing is an exciting and fulfilling one, especially if you love helping people. But, as with any other profession, nursing has its unique set of pros and cons that you should be aware of. If you are considering a career in nursing, here are the top pros and cons of being a nurse.
If you love learning, you will love being a nurse. Because nurses get to work with a lot of people from different backgrounds, they will be exposed to different mindsets, cultures, and perspectives of life. All of these work together to help you become a more accepting and nurturing individual while giving you the opportunity to learn things that you wouldn’t otherwise know had it not been for your job.
Additionally, the world of medicine is always changing, and new information is being released every day. In addition to using this information to become a better nurse, you could also use it to learn something new, even when it does not specifically relate to your job.
Nursing is one of the few career options that are always in demand regardless of what is going on with the rest of the world. This is especially true now that breakthroughs in medicine are leading to lower infant mortality rates and longer life expectancies, both of which are leading to higher population numbers.
This larger population needs a larger number of nurses to care for it. Additionally, the increasing number of geriatrics is driving the demand for nurses up as geriatrics need constant care, and the best people to provide this care are nurses.
While most nurses are not in it because of the money, there is no denying that nurses are paid well. Nurses can also pick up extra shifts and overtime work, both of which lead to an increase in their incomes. According to various studies, nursing salaries are higher in metropolitan areas, although the competition for nursing is a lot fiercer in these areas.
Being a nurse will afford you a lot of flexibility. In most healthcare facilities, nurses get to choose their availability, schedules, and timetables. Nurses can also decide to work full-time, part-time, or on an on-call basis. Because many nurses work three shifts of 12 hours each week, they can have shorter workweeks than most people. This means they get a lot more time to spend with their families, some time to unwind, or the ability to make more money by picking up extra shifts on the days they are supposed to be off depending on what they prefer.
Nursing offers over a hundred areas of specialization for nurses to choose from. These range from specialties with few responsibilities to administration roles that lead nurses to the highest levels of healthcare management. Specialization allows nurses to focus on a specific area of nursing with nurses who choose different specializations getting the chance to work in a variety of settings and environments depending on what they prefer.
The good news is that if you are already a registered or practicing nurse, you can choose a specialization while you continue working. This can be done through various online programs. Universities are already offering accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees with a focus on different nursing specializations for those with an associate’s degree in nursing or bachelor’s degrees in other fields.
The one challenge you are likely to encounter is that there are so many online accelerated nursing programs that the process of choosing one might be overwhelming. Fortunately, you can find information about the top accelerated BSN (ABSN) programs on platforms like onlineabsnprograms.com. By acting as a bridge between students and universities, this site is doing its part in ensuring the next generation of nurses enroll in the best programs and those that focus on the specialties they prefer easily. For more information about how ABSN programs work and the different nurse specializations, visit https://onlineabsnprograms.com.
While most nurses are employed in healthcare facilities, today’s nurses have the option of working in settings outside healthcare facilities. Nurses can work in school settings, military bases, cruise ships, airlines, and in so many other settings.
Nurses can also work outside their countries of origin. There is high demand for nurses all over the work and nursing skills are generally the same in most countries. Just note that you might have to take a certification exam to work in certain areas. Also, your responsibilities might be different depending on local cultures and customs but the options available to nurses who would like to work in different settings are endless.
Nurses work in very stressful environments. Because of this, they learn to perform at a very high level in very stressful environments. Nurses also have to learn organizational, communication, and time-management while on the job if they want to keep things moving as smoothly as they should.
Nursing also teaches you empathy and how to put yourself in other people’s shoes. You get to understand what families and patients go through which makes you a more empathetic person.
While being a nurse is mostly about providing care and helping the people under your care, it also entails a lot more. Nurses also provide advice on how to care for loved ones once they are out of the hospital, or how to help manage conditions associated with being overweight, for example.
Community nurses are an integral part of our societies, helping with things like family planning, drug and substance abuse, and helping support preventive medicine initiatives.
Even with all the advantages of the nursing profession, nursing still comes with some disadvantages. One of these is the effects of the physical demands on your body. Back injuries and foot problems are common in nursing because nurses have to lift and move patients and stand for long periods.
Although these problems are most prevalent in nurses who work in hospitals, all nurses can benefit from wearing a good pair of comfortable shoes and incorporating regular stretching and exercise into their schedules.
Nursing takes a lot out of nurses, especially new ones. Nurses witness a lot of pain, frustration, and suffering and this can take a lot of emotional toll on nurses. Sadly, nurses also see a lot of patient deaths, with each lost patient affecting them in different ways. While it does get easier to handle things, it is always a good idea to seek counseling and have proper support to avoid emotional burnout.
Although nurses can set their own schedules, their shifts are typically 12 hours long and this can be hard on anyone, especially if you are on your feet and constantly moving. Also, shifts can change if a lot of patients report before a shift ends which could lead to a 15- or 16-hour shift.
It is also important to note that nurses at a lower seniority level have to work weekends, nights, and holidays more frequently than those at a higher level.
The stresses and pressures nurses experience come from their work environment as well as from their patients. Nurses have to think critically and clearly in difficult situations, and this can lead to a lot of pressure and stress. Also, nurses have to deal with difficult patients or difficult family members while remaining objective and composed.
Nurses can also find themselves handling mundane tasks and answering the same questions from the same patient over and over which can lead to a lot of frustration.
While nurses take a lot of precautions to protect themselves, there is always a chance of being exposed to different pathogens. Nurses have to deal with patients, interacting with them, taking samples, filling histories, and doing the first general observations which could lead to exposure.
It is a good thing, then, that most healthcare facilities have clear protocols, cleaning, and testing procedures in case of exposure.
Technology has made the work of nurses both easier and harder. While it is now easier for nurses to record and access patient information, they have to deal with patients, families, and parents who question their every move due to online searches.
With the ability to search for anything online, a lot more people are looking up their health issues before going to the hospital. They then question nurses which leads to nurses spending all their time arguing with the patient instead of providing the care required.
Nursing is an exciting career with many ways of getting into it. However, it does come with some advantages and disadvantages. That said, the upsides of being a nurse far outweigh the downsides and this is why most nurses will encourage you to become one if you are not sure whether this would be a great career option for you.