Selecting a career path to pursue can be an overwhelming choice. More often than not, people are asked time and time again as a child what they want to be when they grow up. The question can end up becoming a real pain if you have no idea how you want to earn money. And even the kids that do have an answer are often completely unaware of what their response means. There are a lot of factors that can help you determine whether a career is right for you or not. The following will explore what you can expect if you pursue one career in particular: nursing. The goal is to present you with information that can help you better determine whether nursing is the right path for you.
Take The Pressure Off
Before diving in, it’s important to emphasize that whatever you decide today, you’re allowed to change your mind later. Sometimes a choice is right for right now, but later on, a different choice becomes the wiser option given what you’ve learned and how you want to grow. People all over the world have multiple successful career tracks in a single lifetime; in fact, this is becoming the norm. Studies are even finding that hyper-successful people change careers more often. Part of life is trying things out and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
To become a nurse, at the minimum, you’re looking at a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. While this degree is often three or four years, there are online ABSN programs that offer an accelerated timeline if that’s of interest to you. In addition to the degree, some nurses widen their options by getting additional certificates focusing on specific medical scenarios a nurse might encounter. Certificates in subjects like Advanced HIV/AIDS, Advanced Diabetes Management, Asthma Education, Childbirth Education, Perinatal Loss Care and others can help you gain more specialized placement.
Once you have your degree, you can get a nursing license and begin applying for jobs. Many jobs also want an Advanced Life Support (ACLS) card and a Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) card. There will likely also be a math, pharmacology and nursing test. Many nurses find the best path to employment for them starts with making a good impression at the hospital they trained at. This can turn into a job offer or a solid recommendation.
At the moment, there is a massive shortage of nurses in America and many other countries. This means that finding a job will be easier than in oversaturated markets. The need for nurses is also expected to continue to grow as the average age of the population increases (this is called an aging population).
What Does The Job Entail?
Working as a nurse involves offering assistance to physicians. This can include administering patient care, providing advice or education for patients on medical conditions, and explaining things to patients’ family members. These few tasks include an intense amount of possible daily tasks depending on where you’re working and what your patients are going through. It’s worth noting that the current shortage in nurses can mean that for the foreseeable future, working in an understaffed location is a strong possibility.
Demanding Shifts With Variable Schedules
Nursing shifts are often longer than standard shifts. Being scheduled for 12-hour days is not uncommon, and beyond this, nurses often leave work later than their shift ends. Nursing is also an around-the-clock position meaning you might be on shift work. This could mean working 7 am to 7 pm one day and then two days later working 7 pm to 7 am. You will have chunks of time off, but these might not be the times that your friends and family also have off.
There’s Not Much Routine
Because every patient is different and nurses have such a wide range of responsibilities, you can’t expect each day to look the same. As a nurse, you deal with whatever needs to be dealt with.
Things Can Get Messy
As stated above, nursing involves dealing with what needs to be dealt with. There are no guarantees or standards regarding who comes in for medical attention, and this means you could be faced with all sorts of things you might not see in your daily life. Human fluids and human emotions are part of the job. The challenges of the job are a big part of what makes it so rewarding; a study found that 83% of nurses are satisfied with their choice of nursing as a career.
Certified Nursing Assistant
If you’re still unsure whether nursing is right for you, you don’t have to commit to an entire bachelor’s degree. You can take on the role of certified nursing assistant (CNA), which will give you a proper introduction to the industry.
The above information should have given you a peek into the world of nursing. If you’re still uncertain, you can reach out to local nurses in your area and ask for informational interviews where you can ask specific questions about the role.