6 must know things before becoming a nurse

Nursing has also become diverse and a very sought-after job like any other field. Aside from being a lucrative field, it is a very demanding job; you have to have the nerve of steel to work in the healthcare industry as you will see and cater to people suffering due to different medical conditions. In addition, you will have to become a person who is empathic and focuses on the well-being of people admitted to the healthcare facility. When you enter this field, you will start a lifelong learning journey – you will have to upgrade your skills with time to remain relevant in the field. There is no doubt that nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry as they can significantly impact the quality of services a medical facility provides.

If you are thinking of becoming a nurse, then there are things you should know before opting for this field as your career.

  1. Specializations  

There are numerous specialties to choose from in acute and primary patient care. Students and registered nurses who decide to become nurse practitioner can pick their specializations from:

  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) can address the needs of a mental health patient. PMHNPs can assess, diagnose, and offer treatment plans to patients with mental health needs. If you like to work with people with mental health issues, this is just the specialization.

  • Family Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioners can work in private practice, community clinics, and hospitals. They can treat patients with primary or acute care needs. A family nurse practitioner often works on assisting their patients with diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart conditions, etc., and educates them on living a healthy lifestyle.

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

While looking into various types of nurses and their specializations, you must know that AGACNPs have the most critical role as nurse practitioners. They come up with treatment plans and work in specialty clinics and long-term care centers. Their practice often includes administrative, teaching, and research roles.

  • Emergency Nurse Practitioner

If you like to work in a fast-paced environment and can quickly add value to ERs, this specialization is for you. Emergency Nurse practitioners perform trauma care and urgent care needs. They work on calls and long shifts and can cater to life-threatening situations.

  • Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric nurse practitioners specialize in treatments and care needed for newborns until they reach young adults. They can provide treatment for acute pediatric illnesses and chronic conditions.

  • Women Health Nurse

Women’s health nurse practitioners cover a wide range of health care needs. From breast cancer screenings to providing women with contraceptive knowledge, they specialize in every aspect of women’s health.

Choosing a specialty will decide the rest of your nursing career. You can research each of the options available and pick the one that suits you.

2.     Learning on job

Like any other field, learning on the job is what nurses do all the time. You will learn from your fellow nurses and doctors as long as you are open-minded. Connect with everyone, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. As a nurse, you have to learn more than just about patient care; you have to understand the system and protocols of operating within a facility. Eagerness to learn about new technologies and treatments can help you grow.

3.     Define and remember your why

Before starting your nursing career, you need to find the reason you chose nursing as a career. The reason could be a goal or an inspiration that will motivate you throughout your career. It could be making people’s lives better or just saving lives. Nurses can often go into an exhaustion state which leads to demotivation; this is when you need to go back to your ‘why’ that will rouse you to keep moving forward to reach your goal.

4.     Time management

Besides learning on the job and defining your ‘why,’ the most critical thing in every healthcare setup is time management. As time is of the essence, you have to be careful how you allocate your time as a nurse. You will have to work on tight schedules, answer emergency calls and manage to make things work out without delays. If you find yourself punctual and can follow schedules, you are fit to become a nurse.

5.     Your own mental and physical health

At the beginning of their careers, nurses are full of energy and passionately work long hours without rest; however, this practice is not sustainable and will lead to exhaustion. Ensure to have a proper work-life balance from the start of your career. Taking care of patients can also lead to mental health deterioration as it involves working in a pressurized environment with whirling emotions. It is best to take a break and go on vacation, spend time with family and re-energize away from the work environment. You also have to understand that you cannot heal every patient of yours, develop the attitude of not taking sad events to heart and move on. If you get emotionally attached to patients, it may cause a mental disturbance at work.

6.     Being a multi-dynamic personality

Being a nurse means more than just patient care; many a time, you will see yourself being your patient’s mentor, spiritual healer, and much more. You need to be prepared and show compassion towards your patient to understand what they need. At times patients only need you for small things like when they are uncomfortable with their pillow or have some silly unanswered questions. Expect both high and low from your patients and offer the best you can.


Becoming a nurse is a tough job; you have to take care of patients and look after your own physical and mental health. In addition, the pressure of doing things on time without any mishaps and keep on learning till you retire is a tiring job. If you are sure you can handle all these things, you are good to become a nurse.

Happy Reading!!