Nurses are an important part of the medical industry. Without them, hospitals and clinics wouldn’t run nearly as efficiently and major aspects of healthcare would be lacking. Due to the current nursing shortage, we’re beginning to see the impacts.
If you’re considering choosing nursing as your career path, now is the time to do so. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the profession to grow by 9% as the older generation of nurses begin to retire.
Nursing is both vital to the healthcare system and a very rewarding job, but it can also be challenging at times. If you aren’t certain whether nursing is the right fit for you, here are just a few of the many reasons why you should choose nursing.
#1. You’ll Make a Difference
It’s true that every medical professional will make a difference no matter which career path they choose, but nurses are one of the few that will have direct and immediate contact with families. As a nurse, you’ll be there when they receive good news, but you’ll also be there when they receive bad news.
Your patients will remember how you helped them, whether the end result was good news or bad news, and you’ll know that you made a difference for them.
#2. Degree Programs Are Everywhere
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, we were beginning to experience a nursing shortage. Now, as the pandemic continues, we’re even more aware of the shortage.
Since nurses play such a vital role in the daily functioning of hospitals and other healthcare centers, nursing degree programs are available just about everywhere you go. If you have a college or university in your town, the chances of it offering a nursing program of some sort are high.
Whether you want to do an online degree program or go somewhere on-campus, nursing degrees are offered all across the country and are incredibly accessible.
If you do decide to take advantage of one of the many online nursing programs, it’s important to make sure that the program is accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. If it isn’t, you’ll have problems arise when it comes time to take the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs.
There are numerous types of nursing degrees. With each degree, you’ll earn a slightly higher salary and have more opportunities. For example, someone with a masters in nursing will have a higher salary and the chance to become a nurse practitioner, clinical specialist, or even a certified nurse midwife. Someone with an associate’s degree will be much more limited.
#3. Quick Entry into the Workforce
With a lot of medical careers, you have to finish all of or the majority of your schooling before you can enter the workforce. When it comes to nursing, however, you’re able to start working as soon as you have your associate’s degree.
If you want to continue your schooling and eventually earn your bachelors or even your masters in nursing, there are possibilities to continue your degree part-time and continue working. If you would rather focus all your attention on your degree, though, you can return to school after working to do so.
Taking a year or two between degrees to gain work experience can help motivate you to keep studying and remind you why you chose nursing. The break won’t make it more challenging to continue your education, either.
#4. Multiple Scholarships and Financial Aid Opportunities
There are scholarships available for almost every type of degree and financial aid is offered by all universities at some level, but nursing degrees have much more. If you’ve taken some time off from school to work and are looking to continue your education, your hospital may offer tuition remission programs to pay for it.
Paying for a nursing degree may seem overwhelming at first, but there is an endless supply of scholarships and grants available for future nurses. Johnson & Johnson Nursing alone offers over 340 scholarships. Many other organizations offer nursing scholarships as well.
You shouldn’t run out of scholarships or grants to apply for but if you do, refresh your search results to see what new opportunities have been added since you last checked.
#5. Choose Your Speciality
If you choose nursing, you can also choose your speciality. There are numerous nursing speciality choices from military to psychiatric to radiology. With a speciality, you can further pursue your interests. Whether you decide to specialize and remain in a hospital or you feel drawn to pursue a career in health policy, nursing is a great way to do what you love in the field that you want.
#6. Included Benefits
Nurses receive a lot of benefits as hospitals and healthcare agencies try to attract and keep their staff. Depending on your speciality and field of work, these benefits will vary. Registered nurses, for example, can benefit from paid time off (including sick time, vacation, and family time), bonuses, health and life insurance, retirement programs, tuition payment, and childcare.
#7. Smoother Transition from School to Work
After graduating, everyone is expected to transition from school to the workplace. For those who are unprepared, this transition is often rough and includes a difficult adjustment period. For nurses, however, it’s often much smoother and easier.
Hospitals all over the country offer residency programs that help new nurses make the transition from school to the workplace. There are also internships and volunteer opportunities available that can help with this transition and give you a leg up on the competition when you eventually join the workforce.
Benefit From a Rewarding Career
Nursing as a whole is a very rewarding career opportunity. It has challenges just like every other medical career, but you’ll have the opportunity to bond with your patients and know that you’re making a real difference in their lives.
With the ability to specialize your skills and choose a career path that you are truly inspired by, you can have a rewarding and enjoyable career as a nurse.