Choosing your dream career isn’t always a simple process. While there are those people who know what they want to do and have never strayed from that goal, there are others that take a bit more time to discover themselves and decide what they feel interested in and passionate about.
If you’ve been considering a career in nursing, but aren’t quite sure whether it is the right career path, there’s no doubt you’re filled with questions and possibly some doubts.
It’s always a good idea to gather as much information as possible before making a big life decision, and your career path certainly counts as a big life decision. So, let’s take a closer look at what a job in nursing entails, what you can expect from it, and whether it would be a smart decision for you.
You Have a Strong Desire to Help People and Make a Difference
One thing that many nurses have in common is that general feeling of wanting to help others, make their lives and health better, and truly make a difference in the world. Not every job out there offers those types of personal rewards.
The healthcare industry is unique in that so many of the career paths allow you to make a positive impact on others, and have you feeling like every shift you show up for, you are changing lives. Nurses need to love their job, as this keeps them engaged and effective.
You’re Not Afraid of Hard Work
As a nurse, you also have to expect that you will be in for a lot of hard work. That includes your schooling leading up to your career. Nursing really requires a blend of skills, knowledge, and foundations.
Typically, you need to excel in science and math, yet you also need strong communication skills, excellent people skills, and exceptional organizational skills. In other words, you need a diverse skillset that simply isn’t required in many other careers out there.
There is a Passion to Keep Learning
There are plenty of careers out there that don’t require you to constantly evolve and learn, but a career in nursing isn’t one of them. As a nurse, you have to be willing to be open to new information and learn on a constant basis.
Science and information are always changing and evolving and, in order to be an effective nurse, you need to be on top of the newest information, and have that thirst for knowledge.
All you have to do is look at the COVID-19 pandemic to see how quickly information came in and changed, and nurses had to be able to keep up with those changes and then apply that new knowledge to their jobs.
You Don’t Mind Shift Work
Not every nurse will be working shifts, but if you plan on working in a hospital setting, you’ll be dealing with shift work. For those who have never worked shift work, it may not seem like a big deal, but you’ll soon find out there is a transition period where you’ll need to get used to it.
Shift work can seem exhausting, and it can interfere with your personal life. The good news is that, over time, you will most likely learn how to adapt, and it will just become a normal part of life.
You Can Take Your Career to the Next Level with a BSN
Did you know you can also take your career in nursing to the next level by pursing your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)? You may be under the impression that an RN (registered nurse) and a BSN are the same thing, but that’s not the case at all. In order to get your BSN, you must first be an RN – it’s a way to level-up if you will.
In the BSN program, you’ll be completing all those same nursing classes, but you will also be taking a variety of other classes as well to give you a better-rounded portfolio and foundation. What this does is open up a lot more career paths once you graduate. And it’s not just the career options that open up to you; with your BSN degree, you can also expect to earn a much higher salary. You can work in a more specialized role, which always equals a higher salary.
Some of the careers you can pursue once you have your BSN include:
- Public health nurse
- Pediatric nurse
- Research nurse
- Surgical nurse
- Oncology nurse
- Critical care nurse
- Clinical nurse educator
As you can see, it really gives you the opportunity to focus on one particular area of specialty, and from there you can work your way up. You can opt for the accelerated BSN online programs through such esteemed schools as Baylor University and be well on your way to a rewarding career.
Are You Able to Handle the Stress and Pressure of the Job?
The final question to ask yourself is how willing and able you are to handle the stress and pressure of a job in nursing. While not every day or every shift may be filled with stress, there will certainly be plenty of times where you’re running around looking after multiple patients at once, dealing with critical situations, long shifts, and potentially very sad situations. It can be overwhelming to say the least, and people need to be prepared when they head into this job.
What can help is if you are able to deal with stress in a healthy way, which means embracing all the stress-fighting tips and techniques out there. You need to be able to react in the moment, handle multiple tasks at once, and not let it fluster you.
At the end of the day, you’re the only one that can determine what the right career path is to follow. You are bound to have questions, doubts, concerns, and stress as you try to figure it out, but that’s why it’s wise to gather as much information as possible. In doing so, you may just learn that a career in nursing is perfect for you.