Things to Know Before Starting a Career in Nursing

Given the present state of global health, frontline healthcare professionals are under pressure. Nurses, in particular, have received a great deal of credit and appreciation for their work in caring for patients and attempting to halt the epidemic’s spread. Young students and mid-life career changers might be inspired to pursue a nursing profession after seeing these appropriately-named healthcare heroes.

It’s true that every day, all around the world, nurses make a difference in the lives of their patients. Nurses are compassionate and caring individuals who provide vital health care to people who need it. According to the studies, the demand for nurses will only go up in the next decade. If you’re considering a career change and nursing appears to be an exciting possibility, here are some things to consider before making the transition.

Areas of Specialization:

Nurses can specialize in several different areas, such as critical care, pediatrics, neonatal intensive care, oncology, and more. If you’re unsure which area of nursing you want to specialize in, don’t worry – many nurses transition into new specialties throughout their careers.

Several different nursing degrees are available, from an associate’s degree to a doctorate. Depending on your area of interest, you must decide which degree is right for you.

For example, a reputable university’s online AGACNP program can prepare you for a career as a gerontology nurse. At the same time, a DNP program may be better suited for those interested in becoming nurse anesthetists.

After completing a nursing program, you must obtain a license to practice. The process for obtaining a nursing license varies from state to state.

Career Growth:

The demand and employment for nurses have been steadily increasing over the last decade. The BLS forecasts an increase in many typical nursing jobs, such as nursing assistants and orderlies (9 percent), RNs (12%), and nurse anesthetists, midwives, and practitioners (26%), throughout the next two decades.

According to the BLS, there has been an increased demand for nurses because of several factors, including a focus on preventative care, rising rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and an expanding need for healthcare among the aging baby boomers population. However, there is also a scarcity of qualified nurses because many RNs are presently approaching retirement age. According to AACN, while nursing degree enrollment is up, it isn’t enough to compensate for the predicted demand.

Places and Time of Work:

Will you be alarmed if we tell you that there is a possibility that you will have to work on holiday? If you work in a hospital, this is something that you should get used to. The thing about being a nurse is that people will still need your help even on days when the rest of the world is celebrating. However, this also means that you will get holiday pay!

Another factor that you should consider before starting your nursing career is the place of work. Most nurses choose to work in hospitals because they offer more opportunities for career advancement and higher salaries. However, other options are available, such as working in a clinic, long-term care facility, or doctor’s office. You should think about what type of environment you would be most comfortable in and then research the different options available.

Fun Fact: The highest number of nurses are employed in California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida!

The Skills Required:

Nursing is a rewarding and challenging career. It is a profession that requires both compassion and technical skills. It might interest many, but it’s not a profession for everyone. Here’s what you need if you’re thinking of becoming a nurse:

Communication Skills:

As a nurse, you must have excellent communication skills. You’ll be interacting with patients and their families daily, so you must be able to build relationships and communicate effectively. It is not easy to communicate issues as severe as death, so having strong communication skills is necessary.

Technical Skills:

A typical day in the life of a nurse requires them to perform many technical tasks. Nurses need to do everything from taking blood pressure to administering medication. Many of these tasks require a great deal of precision and attention to detail, so nurses must work quickly and accurately. Nurses also need to be comfortable working with technology. From electronic health records to patient monitors, nurses must use various devices and software programs.

Multi-Tasking Skills:

Sometimes, you are more than just a nurse. A nurse’s day is often filled with surprises. Patients may need something in the middle of the night, or a doctor may require assistance during surgery. Nurses must be able to handle whatever comes their way. They also need to be able to manage their own time. A nurse’s shift may include a variety of tasks, from taking care of patients to documenting their condition.

Burnout is Common for Nurses:

Nurses work long hours and experience a high degree of strain. A typical shift for a nurse may be 12 hours long, which might quickly grow longer if an emergency patient case arises or another nurse calls out at the end of a planned shift. With the stress of caring for critically ill individuals, fatalities, and grieving families, it’s no surprise that nursing is a physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding profession.

However, there are ways to handle and prevent burnout. Nurses should take care of themselves by scheduling time for relaxation and exercise, and they should also reach out to their colleagues for support.

We would also like to add that creating and maintaining a stable work-life balance is essential for a happy and healthy life, both in and out of the nursing profession.

You’ll Be Faced with Challenges:

Nursing is a challenging profession, and nurses are frequently faced with difficulties both on and off the job. They are responsible for the care of patients, which can be emotionally and mentally taxing. Some patients and their families give nurses a hard time. They may be furious, sad, or irritated, and they might lash out at the nurses. Nurses also have to deal with demanding doctors and administrators.

There are ways to deal with these challenges, but they should be expected. Nurses prepared for these difficulties have a better chance of succeeding in the field.

Pro Tip: Body language and empathy are essential. Try and hone these skills before starting a career in nursing. It will make your job much easier.

Ending Note:

No one at the hospital will care as much about your patients as you will. It is important to remember that, especially when things get tough. Nurses are the backbone of the medical profession and play an integral role in patient care. Be proud of your work, and never give up!