In today’s challenging world, nursing is a profession that is in high demand. The best nurses have a strong urge to help others and have excellent people skills and a great bedside manner. Controlling your emotions and remaining calm is a requirement of the job.
While many people just see nursing as a single job, the truth is that there are so many nursing specialties that it is a field that offers incredible variety, so you can find a niche area of medicine that appeals to you.
With such high job demand, many people are becoming a second career nurse. Therefore, additional education and training to be a nurse may not take as much time as you might think, if you have a prior four-year degree, particularly one in a scientific field.
A love for helping others is a sign that you will make a great nurse
If you are the type of person who makes the extra effort to help others whenever you can, then nursing may be an excellent career to consider. While the job is demanding, there is no question that you will be helping many people every day.
Do you like a challenge?
Nursing is a challenging job. Dealing with illness and the emotions that go along with it and working longer shifts is not for everyone. However, at the end of the day, there is a feeling of accomplishment that you met the day’s challenges and helped others. Keeping up with changes in the medical field may also feel challenging but rewarding. There is always something new to learn each day, no matter your experience level.
You are looking for a career that is experiencing growth and offers an excellent salary
Even as an entry-level nurse, you can command a competitive salary. Nurses are in high demand, so employers may be very competitive in attracting nurses regardless of their level of professional experience. The median annual salary for a nurse in 2021 was $77,600, with some specialty nurses making over $195,000 yearly.
Travel and relocation are appealing to you
Some nurses find employment and work as temporary nurses wherever there is a demand. These types of positions can take you all over the country. If you would rather work in a permanent location, you will likely have many options after graduation. Many hospitals make an extra effort to attract nurses from a broad area so that they can fill their staffing needs. You may find that some have very attractive sign-on bonuses and even some financial compensation for relocation.
You like to have a lot of options for where you work
If you like the idea of being able to choose to work in different environments throughout your career, then nursing can offer you this. Nursing homes, elder care centers, hospitals, doctor’s offices, urgent care facilities, schools, and more all need nurses. Throughout your career, you can choose to work in different environments if you want a change.
You can choose a niche area of practice
While many nurses start out as general nurses, plenty find that they are passionate about a specific niche area of medicine over time. For example, you may find that you want to be a nurse in a maternity ward at a hospital or specialize in sports medicine. Salaries can vary depending on what niche you are pursuing. Some areas of expertise may offer more competition. Maternity nursing, in particular, is a highly sought-after position.
Nursing is a strong career choice for those who love to learn every day
A love for learning will make nursing school a lot easier. The medical world is always changing as we gain more knowledge and better ways to treat a variety of illnesses. After graduation, nurses will find that to meet the day’s challenges, they will need to constantly be open to learning. There is nothing like experience to make a person more knowledgeable and better at their job. When training to be a nurse, you will be placed in real clinical settings where you will be mentored by a licensed nurse and shown how to apply your knowledge at a real medical facility.
A strong work ethic and ability to work odd hours
Nursing is not a job where you can just take a day off because you are feeling a little low. Unless you are truly sick, you need to be on the job when you say that you will be. This is not a career for someone who needs a lot of flexibility in their hours. You may sometimes need to cover a shift for another nurse who has something serious, such as an illness. Nursing is an occupation where you might have to work longer shifts than you are used to or take night shifts.
How do I get started?
Nursing requires a degree and that you pass the NCLEX exam to get your license to practice. The amount of time that it takes to train as a nurse depends on your prior education and the type of program you enroll in. If you have a degree, then you may be able to retrain as a nurse in some accelerated programs in as little as 12 to 18 months. If you do not have a degree, then expect four years of college-level work and clinical rotations before you qualify for the NCLEX.
Nursing programs can be competitive. A strong GPA or prior degree will help a lot if you retrain as a nurse. If you are willing to relocate to attend classes or take most of your classes online, then finding a program to meet your needs may be easier.