- There is currently a shortage
- You get to help people and save lives
- You will deal with death daily
- You will need a strong stomach
- You must be compassionate
- Soft skills are essential
- There are many areas to expand into
- It is incredibly demanding
- It is important to not take work home with you
- Nurses stick together
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Anyone that is seeking a career that will help them to make a difference in the world and get great job satisfaction should consider a career in nursing. Those that are compassionate and have an interest in mental health can do very well as a nurse, and there are many benefits to this type of work.
Of course, nursing is also a challenging role and not one for everyone, which is why you need to make sure that it is right for you before you get started. Here is everything that you need to know about a career in nursing.
There is currently a shortage
Currently, there is a shortage of nurses, which means that now is an excellent time to start training as it should be relatively easy to find work, and your career will be secure.
This means that you should be able to find work no matter where you are located, and the work can be flexible in terms of part-time or full-time work.
You get to help people and save lives
The most significant benefit of being a nurse is that you get to help people every single day and even save lives. This can be tremendously rewarding, and most nurses will state that this makes up for all the negatives that come along with this position.
You will deal with death daily
Of course, the biggest negative of being a nurse is that you will have to deal with death daily, along with grieving families. This is, obviously, an enormous challenge, and there are sure to be difficult experiences, but with the time, you will begin to learn how to cope with this and not let it interfere with your work or personal life.
You will need a strong stomach
You will also need to have a strong stomach if you are to be a nurse, as you will be dealing with all sorts daily. No amount of studying can prepare you for this, but most tend to quickly develop a strong stomach over time and simply get on with the job.
You must be compassionate
A good nurse is one that is compassionate and willing to go the extra mile for their patients and their families. Nurses play an extremely important role in the healthcare system, and providing emotional support is one of the critical aspects of this role.
Still, you must also make sure that you do not become so compassionate that it interferes with your work and has you thinking about your experiences once your shift has ended, and this can be a fine line to walk.
Soft skills are essential
In addition to your medical knowledge and training, you will also need to possess excellent soft skills and to work on these if there are any weak areas. The primary skills that are required include:
- Communication. A good nurse will be able to communicate efficiently with patients, doctors, fellow nurses, and families.
- Presentation. You need to be able to quickly, efficiently, and confidently present essential information on patients to other healthcare professionals to provide the best level of care.
- Time management. You will have multiple tasks to juggle all at once throughout the day, so you need to know how to manage your time and prioritise your workload.
- Teamwork. Good healthcare is all about working together as a team to provide the best level of care for every patient. This means that you must be able to work well with others, whether you are playing a key role in care or assisting.
There are many areas to expand into
One of the significant benefits of a career in nursing is that there are so many areas to progress into so you can develop your career and earn more money if you are willing to continue studying. You can complete a BSN to DNP online, which will allow you to progress your career to earn a doctorate of nursing practice, which will make you a highly skilled nurse and one which can excel in several different areas. Additionally, studying online can make it possible to continue working while you earn your degree.
It is incredibly demanding
Few jobs are as demanding as a nurse as you will be on your feet all day, work long hours, and have multiple responsibilities all in a high-pressure environment. This is daunting, but many nurses find that this way of working can be rewarding, challenging, and interesting, but it can take its toll.
It is for this reason why you need to prioritise your own physical and mental health and to make sure that you use your time off effectively.
It is important to not take work home with you
Leading on from this, one of the significant challenges that nurses face is not taking their work home with them and being able to switch off after a shift. It can take some time to develop this skill, but creating barriers, making sure that you have plans for your time off, and having someone that you can go to for support when you need it is key.
Nurses stick together
One place where you will find helpful support is from your fellow nurses. There is an ‘all in it together’ feeling among nurses which is one of the best perks of the job as it helps you to feel like you belong, it allows you to support each other, and it allows you to forge strong working relationships and friendships with those that you work with. Nursing can also be competitive, and many want to get ahead, but generally, there is a feeling of togetherness that you do not get with many other careers.
The information in this post will hopefully give you a clearer idea of what a career as a nurse is like and help you to decide whether it is for you. While it certainly has a few unique challenges, you will find that most nurses have great job satisfaction and enjoy playing such a key part of the healthcare system.
Image credit: Freepik
Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.