Are you thinking of becoming a nurse? You’ve been watching nurses portrayed on screen, observing their every move in hospitals, and now you are obsessed with the idea of them and want to make a difference in the world.
While that is great, you must know that nursing is not an easy profession – it demands both mental and physical stamina just to make it through the day. You’re always bound by paperwork and are short on energy, hands, and sleep. However, what makes everything worth it is the feeling of having a good impact on someone’s health.
It is easy to assume that everyone already knows what it is like to become a nurse. But do people understand who nurses are and what they’re capable of?
Do they appreciate the profession or the individuals in it – not to mention the astonishing number of specialties they practice? With these questions, you can quickly realize that becoming a nurse is a huge responsibility and commitment.
Now, we’re not trying to discourage you; in fact, we want to help you make the right decision. So, let’s consider some things first.
1. There’s a pool of credentials and acronyms
The healthcare industry is obsessed with acronyms. They love shortening things, probably because they don’t have time to spell out everything. Aside from abbreviations, the nursing profession is awash in certifications and credentials. To be clear, LPNs, CNAs, CRNAs, RNs, BSNs, DNPs, and MSNs are all nurses – and yes, it can be pretty confusing.
The healthcare industry isn’t doing this on purpose, we assure you. However, as you advance in your nursing career, you will learn about each credential, like how an MSN in Nursing Education program will qualify you for higher-level positions, such as Nurse Administrator or Chief Nursing Officer. It is an advanced degree that will boost your chances of development and open up new opportunities.
2. The shifts are constantly changing
The length of nursing shifts fluctuates according to the workplace. A nurse in a residential care facility or a doctor’s private practice might work five 8-hour shifts per week for a 40-hour workweek. A hospital nurse, on the contrary, may work three 12-hour shifts per week for a total of 36 hours per week.
Why is there a distinction?
Here’s the thing: Hospitals are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 12-hour shifts offer better continuity because patients are only seen by a different nurse twice a day. Hospitals typically consider 36 hours per week to be a full-time week. Part-time nurses usually work 12 to 30 hours per week.
According to the nurses’ survey, the majority of respondents, 62%, work between 30 and 40 hours per week. The following highest percentage, 29%, stated that they work more than 40 hours per week. Only 9% said they work fewer than 30 hours per week. So if this routine doesn’t bother you, you might make a good nurse after all.
3. It’s going to be stressful
Nurses do far more than what appears on paper. It is physically exhausting because you will be standing and walking for long periods of time, changing patients, lifting patients, and occasionally running errands for them.
These are some things you will encounter as a nurse; it is best to prepare your body mechanism for them. It may appear overwhelming, but all nurses agree that their work is entirely worthwhile.
4. You must have the ability to make good decisions
Nurses must make numerous critical decisions daily. You can’t always look to others for answers or take your time concluding. You must think quickly on your feet and be comfortable knowing your decisions once they are made. Naturally, the more experience you gain over time, the easier this practice will become for you.
However, you must be able to persevere through the steep climb and admit when you are incorrect or make mistakes. For example, you may be handling multiple patients at once. You must decide who is a priority for your time at the moment.
5. Ability to work with people
As a nurse, you’ll be doing a mountain of paper, but you’ll also be working with people regularly. Patients, doctors, and coworkers will be attempting to contact you at all hours of the day and night. You must have a strong desire to succeed and the ability to collaborate effectively with others.
Consider your personality and whether you consider yourself a people person with a lot of patience. Remember that tempers may flare, or things may become heated, and you must be able to remain logical and calm.
Because not everyone you work with or meet will be friendly to you or grateful for your services: you must avoid being overly sensitive or always looking for validation from others.
So, what do you think? Is nursing your future calling? It is undoubtedly not for the faint of heart, but it is one of the most rewarding professions in the world. However, it is not without flaws. Working as a nurse can be emotionally and physically draining, and the increased demand for nurses has resulted in staffing issues that exacerbate burnout. Also, the way you handle situations will make or break your job. You can either throw in the towel or suck it up and give it your best shot. This career will test your limits, but if your desire to help others is strong, nothing will ever hold you back.