There are many facts that are true in life but that not everyone is aware of. One of these is that there are not enough nurses in the world to help those who need medical assistance, care, and comfort. People are living longer, and the world’s population is increasing quickly, and that means that those working in healthcare are crucial; it is more likely than not that everyone is going to need a nurse to help them one day, and therefore, the more people who choose to take on the challenge of a nursing career, the better.
Yet despite this, and despite recruiters trying hard to persuade more and more people to enter the nursing profession, there is still a shortage of nurses. The main reason for this could be that there is a presumption that nursing is a difficult job that has no benefits or rewards. This is an unfortunate idea, and one that is only partially true. Nursing is indeed a difficult job with many challenges, but there are a great many rewards and benefits that good nurses can enjoy. In fact, many would say nursing is one of the most rewarding careers it is possible to have.
With all this in mind, it’s important to get a much clearer idea of what nursing is about, and what the best aspects of it are. The more people who understand the truth about nursing, the more people will realize that this is the perfect career path for them. This would be wonderful as it would help with the shortage of nurses we currently have—not just in this country, but all over the world. So read on to find out more about the positive aspects of being a nurse, and what the very best parts about this profession truly are.
High Job Security
In the 21st century, the job market is very different to what it was just a few years ago, and certainly when you consider what it was like when your grandparents or even parents were searching for jobs, you’ll see that the world of work has changed dramatically. In the past, it was usual for someone to leave school, maybe go to college (if their chosen career path required it), and then start working. Although this remains largely the same these days, the next part is quite different. Back then, that job would have been a job for life, or at the very least, it would have been a career for life, even if the job itself changed.
Today, this is not the case for most people. Today, it is almost expected that people will change their minds about the careers they go into, and they will often switch to a different one. This might have been impossible in the past, but today it is often necessary due to a lack of job security. Of course, sometimes these career changes are down to the person realizing that they don’t enjoy what they are doing and want an alternative path for their own peace of mind; but in other cases it’s about the fact that the job they were doing is no longer needed—they were in a profession with low job security. As technology advances, this is happening more and more; automation is taking over from some jobs and eliminating them altogether.
Nursing is not like that. In nursing, you have a great deal of job security, and once you have your nursing qualification, you can remain in that job for as long as you want to. Robots and technology are not going to take any nursing jobs—human interaction is essential in nursing, and therefore it is a solid and safe career to get into. Add to this the fact that, as previously mentioned, there is a severe nursing shortage, and you’ll see just why this is a good choice if you want a career you can rely on.
Every nurse must study hard and learn a huge amount of medical information. No matter which area of nursing you choose, you’re going to need to know a great deal about teamwork, leadership, medications, patient care, empathy, communication, and a lot more. There seems to be an endless list of skills that nurses need, which is one of the reasons why this particular career is such a challenging one, but also why it’s such a wonderfully rewarding one.
Every path that a nurse can take is slightly different, so you’ll need to think carefully about what kind of nurse you truly want to be. Yet no matter what department you work in or route you choose, you’ll find there is one characteristic that all nurses have in common; they must be able to develop patient relationships. In fact, the stronger this relationship, the better in terms of how well a patient will recover, and nurses can often form strong, albeit short-term, bonds with their patients. It is, after all, the nurse who must take care of their patients’ physical, mental, and emotional health. A doctor will diagnose and treat, but it is the nurse who does more and goes deeper, and therefore good patient relationships are par for the course. This is rewarding and positive and makes nursing an ideal career choice.
One fact that can often comes as a surprise to many when they start to think about a career in nursing is just how much scope for career advancement there is. Once you have your initial degree, you can work as a nurse (and RN) and gain plenty of experience, building up your knowledge at the same time. When you feel you are ready, you can go back to a good school such as Elmhurst University and gain the qualifications needed to boost your career to the next level.
There are many different levels to nursing, from the RN as mentioned up to various forms of nurse leaders. Where you want to get to on your career journey is your choice, but no matter what level you wish to reach, there will be opportunities open to you to get there—career advancement isn’t mandatory, but if you do want to do it, you’ll find there is a lot of support there for you.
If you hadn’t particularly known a lot about nursing, this might come as a surprise. It’s likely that a lot of people would assume there was only one level of nursing, even if they were aware that there were plenty of different departments for nurses to work in. So once you realize that there is a huge amount of potential career advancement, and you can climb far up the career ladder, this might persuade a number of ambitious people to join the ranks of nurses and work their way up to a leadership role. The point is, the fact that there are so many options when you are a nurse means that once you are qualified, you can do a job that makes you happy and gets you where you want to be.
The Most Rewarding Career
If you want a good work-life balance, it doesn’t mean you have to choose a career with short working hours and plenty of time off. It doesn’t mean you have to choose a career with a large salary. Even though it’s possible that both of these features could give you the work-life balance you are looking for, nursing can achieve the same results. It’s true that nurses work long shifts and work hard during those shifts; and it’s true that, although nurses are paid better than most people think, they aren’t paid as much as in many other careers. However, despite all of this, the positives outweigh the negatives, and it is one of the most rewarding careers you can have, which helps when it comes to the work-life balance.
Nurses are there to take care of sick people. This can range from the most minor of injuries to end-of-life care and everything in between. Nurses are needed at every part of the recovery process, and for every kind of person, from children to the elderly. Nurses can—and do—help everyone, and this is what makes the career such a rewarding one. At the end of the day, no matter how tired you might be and no matter what problems occurred, you will certainly be able to focus on the positives and know that you helped at least one person, and probably many more than that.
Transferable Life Skills
Nurses need a huge amount of different skills to be good at their work. If they want to help people in the way that nurses need to, it’s not just about medical knowledge and being able to take instructions (and give them). Nurses also need to have a large number of soft skills and these are the skills that will help them the most in their jobs and in life in general. They are transferable skills that can be used in every situation you find yourself in and, should you ever wish to leave the nursing profession, they will help you find a job elsewhere, too. These skills include:
- The ability to learn—and keep learning
- A level head
- Communication skills
- Working hard
- Listening skills
- Quick thinking
You Command Respect
If we have learned anything about the world over the past few years, it’s that those working in the healthcare profession deserve a huge amount of respect. Yet even before these difficult times, nurses were considered special people. The general public might not have understood quite what they did in terms of their daily workload, but they will have known that the job of nursing is hard and that nurses do a lot more than most people would—and this should be respected.
It’s true that there are other careers that will demand respect, so if this is the only reason you are looking for a job, there are other options apart from nursing. Teaching is one option, the fire service is another, and so on. Yet if you like the idea of the other reasons why nursing is so rewarding and positive, then the fact that you will be respected for your choice is an additional bonus that can’t be denied. It may not be the only reason you choose nursing, but it will definitely make such a challenging career a lot more worthwhile.
Flexible Working Arrangements
It’s already been mentioned that nurses work long hours in a shift pattern, and this may not appeal to everyone—it’s certainly a difficult concept to get used to, and if you like the routine of a Monday-to-Friday, nine-to-five kind of job, nursing might be a challenge for you. However, there are a number of benefits to this kind of working pattern, so it could be worth considering nonetheless.
Nursing can actually be a rather flexible career when looked at in the right way. The more experience you get—and the more you progress with your career—the more choice you’ll have as to when you work. So, although long shifts, night work, and working weekends and holidays might be usual when you start out, by the time you have some experience, you might no longer have to do this (although it will depend on where you work and what you do). Plus, don’t forget that nursing is very much dependent on teamwork, which means that, should you need to take a day off for some special event or even because you are feeling drained and worn out, there will be someone to cover for you, as long as you do the same for them in return.
There are also advantages to working shifts. Night shifts might seem like a bad part of the job, but they can free you up to enjoy hobbies that you might have missed out on, or to go to the store when no one else is there, for example. Plus, there are some nursing jobs that don’t require shifts and that are much more regular in their hours. These could be in a private clinic, for example. So, no matter what you want to do in terms of your working pattern, there should be a nursing job that suits you.