Reasons to Switch to a Nursing Career
Nursing has always been a rewarding career, and the demand for qualified nurses has never been higher. There are many opportunities for those entering the field; you can choose a specialty area, start your own business, or care for people and help them feel better. If you are considering returning to school as an adult learner, here is a look at some of the reasons that nursing could be the right path for you.
Nurses are in high demand
Nurses are in high demand right now. It’s a booming field that offers many career growth opportunities. Nurses have been one of the fastest-growing occupations over the past decade and continue to grow at an average rate of nearly 6 percent per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS predicts there will be more than 203,000 new jobs for registered nurses each year for the next 10 years, and there’s no sign this trend will slow down any time soon. In fact, it is only expected to accelerate as our population ages and requires more healthcare services.
With that much demand, it is easy to see why nurses are some of the highest-paid professionals. In addition, many employers are offering sign-on bonuses and other incentives to attract new nurses.
You’ll enjoy job security and opportunities for advancement
Nursing offers excellent job security thanks to the growing demand for skilled professionals in all areas of healthcare. In addition to being one of the fastest-growing professions in America today, nursing also offers many opportunities for career advancement through continuing education and certification programs offered by professional organizations.
The earning potential is good
The earning potential for nurses is high. A nurse can earn a lot of money, even with a bachelor’s degree. Nurses can get promoted to higher positions and make more money as well. Nurses may also receive bonuses for working harder or staying late if their employer is doing well financially.
You can make a difference in people’s lives every day
You can make a difference in people’s lives every day as a nurse. Nursing is a rewarding career because you can help people in many ways. For example, you can:
- Help sick or injured patients recover
- Assist doctors and surgeons in performing procedures
- Teach new techniques and knowledge about disease management and prevention
- Support patients’ families with emotional and practical needs
- Lead projects to improve patient care quality
Knowing that your efforts have made a difference for someone is a great feeling.
There are different environments in which to work
Nursing is a broad field. It can be broken down into many sub-disciplines focusing on different populations and their specific needs. For example, a geriatric nurse will work with elderly individuals, while an oncology nurse specializes in cancer patients. Nurses may also specialize in therapies such as pediatrics or labor and delivery.
Regardless of your interests or career goals as a nurse, there are plenty of environments to work in, including hospitals, clinics, private practice (also known as ambulatory care), public health agencies, and even alternative medicine settings such as spas or holistic retreats.
Nursing jobs also vary by location; you could find yourself working at a hospital in the U.S., Europe, or Asia.
You can work in a specialty area
As a nurse, you can choose to specialize in various areas. If you decide that you enjoy working with children, you can become a pediatric nurse practitioner; those with an interest in surgery can become operating room nurses. If geriatrics sounds more appealing to you, there are also specialties within that field such as gerontology and palliative care nursing.
If you want to work as an emergency room nurse or are interested in doing labor and delivery work, both fields offer specialization opportunities.
If you want to start your own business, nursing is a good career foundation
Nursing is a great career option if you want to start your own business because it gives you experience working with people from all walks of life and dealing with challenging situations. It’s also possible to become self-employed as a home health aide or direct care worker, and plenty of positions are available in the medical billing industry.
Nursing offers many opportunities
As a nursing student, you can pursue many different career options. Nursing is one of the most diverse professions in terms of its settings and responsibilities. Nurses work in hospitals, clinics, private practices, schools, and other health organizations. They also work with patients at home or in long-term care facilities.
Nursing offers a good balance between work and personal life because it provides flexible hours that individual nurses can adjust as needed based on their needs. Nurses may choose to further their education through online courses or continuing education courses offered by hospitals; this allows them to gain more experience while working as a nurse.
The salary range for registered nurses varies depending on the location and type of employer (private practice vs. hospital setting), but graduates starting at the bottom end will often enjoy generous pay increases after several years of experience in the field.
You like to work with your hands
Nursing is a hands-on profession. You’ll be taking blood pressure readings, assessing patients’ vital signs, and helping them move around as they recover from surgery or other procedures. You’ll also perform medical treatments, such as administering medication or changing bandages.
You’re good at solving problems
Nurses must solve problems daily, whether it’s managing a patient’s pain while ensuring they get enough sleep or figuring out how to safely lift an overweight patient onto a bedpan without injuring themselves or the person being assisted. You’ll need to read charts and documents carefully, listen closely to what people say, ask questions if you don’t understand the information presented to you, and keep track of details to give patients accurate information about their medical conditions.
Traits and skills that can lead to a successful nursing career
For many people, nursing is an excellent career choice. It’s rewarding, diverse, and full of opportunities for advancement. However, whether you’re an experienced professional or just starting your career path, switching to a nursing career can be tricky if you don’t know where to begin.
Do you have the traits needed to be a nurse? Here is a look at some of the characteristics you will need for success in this field.
Patience is an essential quality of a good nurse. It is not easy to handle sick people all day long. There will be times when you will have to deal with hostile patients who do not want to listen to your instructions or follow your advice. In these moments, you need to be patient and de-escalate the situation by explaining things patiently and clearly so the patient understands what they should do next.
Communication skills are very important in this field because nurses have to communicate with their patients as well as other members of the medical team, such as doctors, surgeons, and anesthesiologists. They also communicate with family members of patients regarding their condition and treatment plan. You also must be patient with your co-workers because sometimes they might make mistakes or forget something important.
Nurses must empathize with their patients because they often deal with people who are experiencing extreme pain or suffering from an illness that has affected them significantly. A nurse must care about their patients emotionally so they can offer them the best possible care during difficult times.
Nurses often work in teams — on the floor, in an operating room, or in an emergency room — so they must be willing to work collaboratively and listen to others’ ideas about how best to proceed with treatment.
Time management and self-motivation
Time management is vital to being a nurse. You’ll juggle many tasks at once, from charting patients’ vitals and getting medications ready for the day to assist with procedures. Keeping track of all these things can sometimes feel overwhelming, but it’s also very satisfying when you can make it all work out.
You will need self-motivation and good time management skills to work efficiently under pressure while maintaining your personal life outside work.
Critical thinking is important in the medical field because it allows nurses to make decisions based on evidence and data rather than just by following a protocol or set of rules. This can be especially important in cases where the patient’s condition changes quickly or they have unusual symptoms that require action sooner than expected.
How to get into nursing
Here is a look at the steps involved in becoming a nurse.
Consider what nursing specialty is most appealing to you
Nursing specialties, like all healthcare fields, continue to evolve. They include:
- Pediatric Nursing
- Geriatric Nursing
- Psychiatric Nursing
- Home healthcare nursing
There are many different types of healthcare settings in which you can specialize. These include hospitals, outpatient clinics, home-based care programs, and hospices. Your choice will depend on what type of setting you prefer and how much responsibility you want to assume in your job.
Think about what type of work setting would be ideal for you
As you prepare to enter nursing, it is important to consider your personality. You will be working with people of all types and personalities and must be able to interact with them positively. Your job will require you to work as part of an interdisciplinary team, so it would be beneficial to consider how well you work with other people before entering this career.
Consider what type of work environment would be best for your personality type:
- Do you like working by yourself?
- Would you prefer interacting with patients on their terms, or do you need constant interaction with colleagues?
- Will money be important when choosing where or what type of nursing role fits into your life plans?
Find a school that can help you accomplish your goals
There are many other factors to consider when choosing a nursing program (such as whether the school has a good track record of helping students find jobs), but these four points should be enough to get you started on your search:
- Look for schools with good programs
- Look for schools with solid reputations
- Look for schools that are accredited
- Look for schools that are reasonably priced and have flexible schedules, if possible (for example, online colleges)
Look into financial aid options if you need them
If you need to go back to school but your finances are tight, there are several options you can explore:
- Look into grants and scholarships that might help cover the cost of tuition
- Consider community colleges or schools that offer part-time programs
- Don’t forget about loans
Additionally, consider talking to an admissions counselor early in the process, especially if they are working with other students who are also in this situation.
Find a mentor or someone who can give you advice as you go through the program
You’ll need guidance, and it’s easier to get it from another person than from books or online resources. Having someone who has been in your shoes is invaluable because they can provide real-life examples of what to expect and guide you through getting your license after graduation.
Mentors are not only there for classes but also life outside those walls. They know how to survive while working on a degree at night school, having two jobs at once, and taking care of children during the day. Your mentors will understand when things get tough, so don’t hesitate to reach out if something happens; they’ll support you.
Are there any prerequisites for becoming a nurse?
Each state has its own requirements for becoming a nurse. Most nurses need to complete an accredited nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN exam before they will be eligible for licensure. Nursing programs usually require applicants to have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing or another relevant field. Some schools offer accelerated programs. It is important to note that different programs prepare students differently; some focus on theoretical knowledge, while others focus on clinical training.
How to become a registered nurse
If you are considering a registered nurse (RN) career, you have already taken an important first step. Becoming a nurse is not always easy, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
Talk to an admissions representative
One of the best ways to learn about nursing careers is by talking to an admissions representative from your preferred nursing school. They can provide valuable information about educational requirements, the application process, and financial aid options. You may also want to talk to students who have already graduated from the program so they can share their experiences with you.
Consider your prerequisites
You may need some prerequisites for certain nursing programs, such as basic biology or anatomy courses. The admissions representative from the school you are considering can tell you what is required for your specific program of choice and help you find ways to earn those credits before starting classes or during breaks between semesters.
Apply for nursing school and graduate
Most states require you to have at least an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing before taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). You can find programs at community colleges, technical schools, and universities. You’ll need strong grades and good test scores to get into nursing school. When applying, check each program’s requirements; some might require coursework in anatomy and physiology, for example.
The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program is an accelerated degree program that allows students to obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in as few as 16 months.
The ABSN program is designed for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and are considering nursing as a second career. The online ABSN program offered by Elmhurst University provides students with a strong background in nursing theory and practice and an understanding of the social and economic forces that shape healthcare delivery. The curriculum also emphasizes clinical preparation through hands-on experience that develops problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, and leadership abilities.
Get licensed as a nurse
Licensing requirements vary by state but typically include passing a national exam such as the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN (for registered nurses) or the National Certified Nursing Assistant exam (CNAA).
The bottom line
Making the switch to nursing requires some planning, but there are plenty of resources available to help you on your journey. You need to be organized and keep track of all the steps involved in becoming a nurse. You will also need to carry out a lot of research to ensure that this career path is right for you. If you want to become a nurse, there are plenty of ways for you to finance your education that are worth exploring.
Nursing is a great second career. It can be exciting and rewarding, and nurses are in high demand. The earning potential is good, too, especially if you are willing to work hard and go back to school for a master’s degree or doctorate. You can work in different environments (such as hospitals or home care) and specialty areas such as pediatrics or geriatrics. Nursing also provides an excellent foundation for starting your own business.