Although there is certainly a shortage of nurses right now, that doesn’t mean no one is interested in the job. Many people want to be nurses, and the issue isn’t with the number of people applying, as such; it’s that there is more need for nurses than ever before, so the required numbers are always rising.
Nursing has always been a popular career choice, and it continues to be today. Although it’s important to note that nursing is hard work (which might even be why someone would be interested), it’s just as important to say that there are many positives to this career. There are great benefits; for example, pay is good (and rises quickly the more experience and qualifications you have), and it is one of the most rewarding jobs you can find.
However, nursing is not something that will suit everyone. In fact, although many people might want to become nurses, it does take a particular kind of person to do it well. With that in mind, here are some things to consider before becoming a nurse to help you make the right choice.
The job numbers in nursing are positive – there are positions open at almost any healthcare facility you might go to and they will be in a variety of different roles. In other words, if you choose to become a nurse, you will have plenty of choice when it comes to where you work and what you do (although this will depend on experience and qualifications as well, of course).
However, just because there are a lot of roles, this does not mean it will always be easy to get the job you specifically want. The reason for this is that there is also a lot of competition. This is good for nursing in general; as we mentioned, there are more people applying to be nurses and studying to gain their nursing degrees. However, this means that there will be more people applying for jobs. This isn’t meant to put you off nursing if you’re interested; it’s simply important to know that you may not get the position you specifically wanted, or get to work in the hospital or clinic you were interested in. You may need to compromise. However, even if you are working somewhere else or in a different department, you’ll still have a job, and a great one at that. Plus, you can keep an eye on what else is happening and if a position becomes available that suits you better, you can apply for that.
Many Different Career Paths
There are so many different career paths that nurses can take, and it’s important to have a good idea of what you want to do so you can apply yourself in the right way. This is wonderful news and can make nursing an even better career than you might have initially thought; there is sure to be a career path that suits you and your preferences. If you love working with children, you can become a specialist children’s nurse. If you like the idea of working in a fast-paced environment where you have to think for yourself, the ER could be ideal. If you prefer something a little more peaceful and quieter, a seniors’ department might be better.
To give yourself the best chance of being able to work in the area you particularly want when you’re a nurse, it’s important to keep up with your learning. Experience is hugely beneficial, and you won’t get far without it, but the real key to having plenty of choice is your education. The more you study and the more qualifications you earn, the more you’ll be able to advance and take on opportunities you would otherwise have had to miss out on. Studying online for a doctor of nursing practice FNP is a good example; with this qualification, you can take what you already know and boost it, giving you many advantages over other candidates for FNP roles.
Another great thing to consider about the number of different career paths nurses have available to them is that if you find you have made the wrong choice or you simply want to try something new, as long as you have the right experience and qualifications, you can make a change. This keeps things fresh and exciting.
Nurses have a huge amount of responsibility, and it’s crucial that anyone who is thinking of applying to study and become a nurse is aware of that. Gone are the days when nurses simply followed doctors’ orders (assuming those days ever really existed); now, the nurse must take responsibility for making decisions regarding their patients’ care much of the time. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be left to deal with difficult situations by yourself – there will always be a team around you when you need them – but it does mean that you need to be confident enough to make decisions and understand instructions and carry them out.
If you lack confidence, this doesn’t mean that you can’t become a nurse. The more you learn, the more confidence you have, and the more you take care of patients, the more experience you’ll get. However, if you are not someone who feels comfortable with having responsibility, particularly for something as important as a person’s health, then you may wish to find another way to help people. There are a lot of options, and although nursing is a fantastic career choice, without that element of being responsible, it’s one that can be fraught with difficulty and stress.
Patient expectations are something that can easily be forgotten about when you are thinking of becoming a nurse, but they are important to be aware of and important to follow as far as possible. Patients will, for example, expect their nurses to be kind and caring, compassionate and empathetic and to know how to make them feel better. They need to be able to trust you.
It’s important that you have the traits the patients need from you so you can fulfill those expectations. However, you also need to be strong enough to know when you are doing enough and when you are doing too much – you have to be careful that you don’t go overboard. Being able to strike a balance between giving patients what they need and becoming their friend is difficult for some but crucial for a nurse.