Nursing, just like any other field, has its pros and cons. You must know this before you even start to consider nursing as a career option. Once you understand what being a nurse is really about, you’ll be able to examine your strengths, aptitudes, and temperament and see if you truly have the profile of a nurse. Going into nursing without being prepared for the challenge that lies ahead could translate to a very short and dissatisfying career. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and disadvantages of a nursing career.
Pro – Multiple Options and Ways to Get In
One of the best things about nursing is how diverse it is and all the different ways that you can get into the profession. All you need is an associate’s degree to work as a nurse. This can be a great way to start getting some experience. You can then choose to specialize in the field of your choice.
You could decide to move into research later on, or become a nurse leader. You could work with patients with specific conditions or from different demographics. You could decide to work on the floor or in a non-clinical setting. The possibilities are almost endless.
Online programs also make it easier than ever for anyone to get into nursing, including people from non-related fields. Baylor University’s online accelerated BSN programs for non nurses, for instance, allow students from other fields to get their bachelor’s in a fraction of the time it would usually take. There are also accelerated programs for nurses with an associate’s who want to fast track their way to a master’s degree.
You can also choose to pursue online medical courses which can equip you with the relevant ACLS and PALS certificates and help you hone your skills along the way.
Whether you want to work in a resort, on a cruise line, or at home with patients, you’ll be able to do it with nursing. You could even decide to open your clinic as nurses with a practitioner degree can operate without having a physician present in most states in the country. If you’re the kind to love variety, you’ll never get bored with nursing.
Con – Constant Tragedy
You might think that you’ll get used to seeing people dying, but that’s never the case. Every death hits you differently, whether it’s a child dying after a tragic accident or an 80-year-old telling you that they’re ready to go because they lived long enough. You will have to be strong in the face of tragedy, and, if you’re one to break down easily or have difficulty letting go, nursing might not be the best option.
Pro – You Get to Serve Others
Living a life of service is a blessing, and if you’re a naturally caring person who wants to help others, we can’t think of a better field than nursing. As a nurse, you’ll be able to help the people you work with and your community. You will deal with tragic events but have the chance to save people’s lives as well.
Some nurses work with patients to help them improve their life habits. You may also follow people from the time they’re children to adulthood and help them live healthier lives if you decide to work in family practice.
As a nurse, you can also work as an advocate for your patients, or you could help improve standards and quality of care as an administrator. Being able to serve and help others is one of the main things that attract people to the field, and this is also why it’s such a fulfilling one.
Con – Bodily Fluids
Nursing is definitely not for the squeamish and you’ll need to be able to see, get exposed to, and be in contact with bodily fluids constantly. There are some positions where you will see blood and other bodily fluids less than in others, but this is something you’ll have to be ready to deal with regularly in most entry-level positions.
Pro – Getting Ready for Shifts is Easy
The job of a nurse can be stressful, but one thing that won’t be stressful is getting ready for your shifts. You’ll love not having to worry about what you’re going to wear. Scrubs are also very comfortable, at least more than office wear, and you’ll learn to love them. This is only one of the small perks of working as a nurse.
Con – The Long Shifts
If you’ve never had to work long shifts before, you will have to get ready for the 12-hour workdays. 12-hour shifts can be grueling, especially when you have to move a lot and stay on your feet. So, you’ll have to be mentally and physically in shape before you start. We also suggest that you start looking at your life habits.
Being unhealthy will make long shifts unbearable, but being healthy will help you power through these days and even start loving them. You will have to improve your diet and pay special attention to your sleeping habits. You will need to adopt a sound sleep schedule and get your necessary hours of sleep every night. If you don’t, your body and mind will start breaking down and you might start having to deal with very serious issues later on.
Pro – The Pay
Nurses are some of the most well-paid professionals in the country and they deserve every single penny they earn. It’s not uncommon for nurses to earn well over six figures and the median income for registered nurses is around $75,330. This is a great job if you’re looking for something that will be professionally and financially rewarding.
Con – Difficult Patients
You need to have thick skin to be a nurse. Some patients will be not only ungrateful, but hostile towards you even if you’re trying to help them. You may also have to deal with stubborn and aggressive family members as well. So, if you’re not ready to deal with unpleasant and sometimes even violent patients, nursing will be tough for you.
These are some of the benefits and disadvantages of working as a nurse. We hope we were able to enlighten you about the job and help you figure out if it’s truly the field for you.