The simple and salient fact is that the world needs nurses. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 27.9 million nurses in 2020, with a shortage of up to 13 million. society is screaming out for nurses.
We are drawn to callings for so many reasons, yet the power of this calling is hard to match. From Florence Nightingale to Mother Teresa, nurses have been there, making up around 60% of health professionals; to say nursing is the heart of healthcare would be an understatement.
Without spending time in a hospital, many do not realize the true scope of a nurse’s work (one of the many reasons to choose nursing) and the flexibility that it brings. With a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an online accelerated BSN program, there are over 50 incredibly distinct jobs a qualified nurse can practice.
In a post COVID-19 world, the record-breaking demand for nurses has seen educators up their game significantly, creating many new degree pathways. In response to the urgent need for healthcare professionals, many schools have adopted more flexible admission policies and online learning modes, relaxing or eliminating certain barriers to entry. This change allows individuals to pursue nursing education more conveniently from the comfort of their homes or the classroom, full or part-time.
You are in a strong position to negotiate
Supply and demand economics states the higher the demand for a job, the better position employees face. US nursing qualifications are widely recognized, with nurses being able to work in the United Kingdom, several European countries, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, to name a few.
Nursing is as diverse a field as it has ever been. Certified nurses can work in aged care, intensive care, primary healthcare, forensics, pediatrics, education, research roles and far more. Nurses move across these distinct practices for a variety of reasons: better pay in different sectors, better prospects, or a simple change of pace. The flexibility is certainly there.
Better training and support than ever
A big positive coming out of COVID-19 is the increased focus on healthcare workers and their well-being. With reports by the American Nurses Foundation highlighting the steps nursing organizations should be taking.
These programs teach nurses to create environments that foster open communication, understand individual stressors, and implement strategies that promote resilience and importantly – longevity in the field.
Positive work environments
Let’s face it, for a long time, nursing has followed the same gender stereotypes as other roles typically dominated by women, perpetuating societal expectations and undervaluation of the profession (despite its critical role in healthcare). However, recent studies on undergraduate health care students have shown a transformative shift is underway. Recognition is growing for the expertise, care and leadership that both men and women bring to nursing.
Nurses have a remarkable ability to endure, even after the immense pressure placed on them throughout the pandemic; resilience has increased, with far fewer leaving the field than one might expect. The nurses most likely to stay and report high job satisfaction are generally older with long careers under their belts. Commitment to their work and experience seem to be key factors influencing these seasoned professional’s decision to remain in nursing.
You can make a difference
There has never been a better time to make a real impact in the community you care about, If 9/11 was a call to arms, surely COVID-19 is a call to nursing. In the face of unprecedented odds, nurses stood firm as frontline heroes – bearing the brunt of patient care, vaccine rollout, elderly care, and much, much more.
The time to act is now
All up, the global demand for nurses, combined with the newfound accessibility and support in nursing education, makes this an opportune time to embark on a nursing career.
The historical significance of nursing, its essential role in healthcare, and the increased acknowledgment of its practitioners mean your hard work will not go unnoticed. You will have a flexible, rewarding, and highly fulfilling career.
As the world grapples with ongoing healthcare challenges, choosing nursing now is not only a career path but a commitment to making an incredibly positive impact.