If you are considering making a career change and becoming a nurse, we suggest you don’t do it without really thinking it through.
Most people have a very twisted perception of what nursing is and what the job entails. And, when you factor in the fact that there is a great nursing shortage and that it takes a little bit over a year to become an LNP – switching careers seems like an obvious choice.
However, we’ll say it again – hold your horses. Being a nurse is a lot more than what we see on TV. Nurses aren’t just glorified doctor’s assistants – they’re actually the backbone of the modern healthcare system.
So, before you jump the opportunity to become a nurse, we suggest you read about these seven things and try and keep them in mind.
And, just a quick note before we get started. We’re not discouraging you from becoming a nurse. We’re just trying to let you in on a few secrets of the trade.
Now that we got that out of the way – let’s get started.
1. You Have To Be Mentally Tough
It’s all fun and games when you romanticize about a job where you’re helping and saving lives. It feels good, and it gives you a glorious purpose. But what happens when a patient doesn’t make it? What happens when a ten-year-old ridden with cancer comes in?
Death and suffering is a great part of being a healthcare worker, especially if you’re a nurse. You’re the one that’s spending the time with the patient. You’re the one making the connection.
Also, you have to be prepared for what might come your way. If you’re just trying to do your job and steer clear of emotionally connecting with a patient – you’ll get called some names. People won’t understand the difficulty of your job. They won’t understand that you can’t get attached to every patient because there’s only so much hardship you can take.
Are you tough enough to handle all that?
2. You’ll Work Harder Than Ever
Some people are serious about their job, and they work diligently at their craft. Some even work long hours and stay in the office longer than everyone else several times a week. But, do you know who works long hours, 12 to 16 hours shifts on a pretty much regular basis? Nurses.
A nursing job is as much of a balancing act as a career could be. You have to be prepared to sacrifice a lot because you’ll work long and hard hours. We all remember just how overworked nurses were about a year and a half ago.
So, if you’re about to make a career change, ask yourself – are you willing to work that hard?
3. You’ll Probably Land The Job Pretty Easy
Now, let’s take a look at the brighter side of things – landing an actual job.
While the nursing shortage is not actually on the brighter side of things, when we look at the big picture, from the perspective of someone looking for a job – it actually is. It will probably be pretty easy to land a job as a nurse if you’re even remotely decent at what you do. You could come out straight out of high school and become a nurse in a matter of minutes.
In fact, if you just take a look at careers.sehc.com, a website for Saint Elizabeth Health Care, you’ll notice that nurses are in great demand, with some of them getting signing bonuses just to begin working.
So, it’s safe to say that you shouldn’t have a problem finding a job.
4. You Will Be Able To Raise Through The Ranks
Another nice thing about being a nurse is that nursing is one of the rare careers that reward longevity and experience. In most cases, you’re much better off looking for another job if you want to get to a higher position and earn a raise, but with nursing – you’ll get there organically.
You’ll gain knowledge and experience over the years, and if you manage to squeeze in a diploma or two over the years, you could rise as high as you want within the ranks. What started off as a career change out of the blue, after a 12-month training, could very well become your life’s calling and a possibly very lucrative career.
5. It Might Affect Your Life Outside Of Work
As we said a few moments ago – nursing is a balancing act. Hard work and long hours take a toll on you. It is not uncommon for nurses’ private lives to suffer greatly because of their hectic schedules. If you want to do this job, you have to be prepared for the times when you’ll completely sacrifice your social life, your family, and your friends – because you just won’t have the time for them.
It’s a harsh reality, but it is a reality. Being a nurse might affect your life outside of work.
6. Expect A Lot Of Paperwork
Another thing that you may not realize is that a great part of a nursing job is actually handling paperwork. In fact, some nurses spend more than half a day on paperwork, making their job more about administration than medicine.
Naturally, not every nurse does this – at least not to this extent. Some are more focused on patient care, while the others spend their entire shift behind a desk, blazing through forms and other kinds of paperwork.
So, if you don’t like your old accounting gig – maybe don’t rush into nursing just yet.
7. It Is a Lucrative Job
We’re going to end it on a good note. A great thing about being a nurse is that you can make six figures annually as a registered nurse. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, a median annual wage for a registered nurse is just above $75,000. However, the top 10% of the highest-paid registered nurses bank an average of over $115,000, which is a lot more than most people make at their jobs.
So, hard work does pay off in this case. In fact, this is probably one of the most rewarding jobs as a whole when you factor in the fact that you’re actually saving lives while making money. So, you get to feel twice as good.
As you can see, nursing is a very complex job. It pays well, and it’s easy to get a job, but the job itself requires you to be an excellent human being in more ways than one. If that sounds like you, well then – knock yourself out. We’ve told you all you need to know. Now it’s up to you to make it work. And there’s no doubt in our minds you’ll make it work.