Nursing is much more than a career choice. It is a calling. Nurses often choose this path in life because they feel called to dedicate their professional lives in service to those in need. Healthcare is a challenging, demanding field. However, for those who find fulfillment in helping others, nursing can be a personally rewarding career. If you are thinking about whether you should pursue a nursing degree, consider your answers to the following questions.
Do You Have a Desire to Serve Others?
Because nursing is such a challenging field, it is important to have an enduring commitment to serve others. That dedication and drive will get you through the difficult days and remind you to stop for a moment to enjoy the many rewards of nursing, like seeing a patient make positive progress in recovery. Above all, effective nurses have compassion and empathy for others.
Do You Strive to Be a Lifelong Learner?
Nursing is a career choice that demands continual professional improvement. This is because healthcare is a particularly dynamic field that is constantly changing. Researchers are continually conducting new studies, medical device companies are always launching new technologies and new health challenges continue to emerge.
Because of this, nurses must be lifelong learners. It is important to stay on top of the latest research by reviewing clinical journals and connecting with peers to share information. It is also important for nurses to have the humility needed to recognize when their technical skills need some work. Fortunately, healthcare employers recognize the dynamic nature of the field, and frequently invest in the professional development of their nurses.
Can You Work Well With Different Personalities?
Another important characteristic of effective nurses is the ability to get along well with different types of people. Nurses encounter many people from one day to the next, including physicians, other nurses, hospital administrative staff, patients and family members. Effective nurses must work well with virtually anyone, even if their personalities clash a bit.
Are You a Strong Communicator?
Nurses are the primary point of contact for patients and their family members. One of the main job responsibilities of a nurse is to deliver patient education. Nurses must clearly explain the following information to the patient:
- Diagnosis and what it means
- Possible complications of a medical condition
- Treatment options
- Potential side effects of all treatment options
Clear communication is vital because patients have the legal right to provide informed consent for all medical treatments. To give their consent for a treatment, the patients must be informed about what that treatment entails. In addition, nurses must help patients learn how to care for themselves at home after being discharged from the hospital. They must also work with family members, empowering them to care for patients at home. Furthermore, nurses must be able to clearly communicate with physicians and other nurses. Medical errors are a major problem in the healthcare field, and clear communication is essential for avoiding them.
Are You Interested in Working Non-Traditional Shifts?
Certain professionals, including nurses, are sometimes required to work non-traditional shifts. Emergency rooms, for example, must be staffed 24/7. Nurses must also be available around the clock to tend to hospitalized patients.
The shifts you are likely to work depend in large part on your specific work environment. For instance, if you work at a family care office, you are likely to work eight-hour shifts five days per week. On the other hand, if you work at a hospital, long-term care facility or nursing home that operates 24/7, you are more likely to work 12-hour shifts three days per week.
Are You Interested in Flexible Career Opportunities?
One major benefit of the nursing profession is the flexibility regarding career opportunities. There are many specialized roles, including:
- School nurse
- Primary patient care
- Hospice care nurse
- Nurse educator
- Certified nurse midwife
There are also leadership possibilities. You may pursue a position as a charge nurse in a hospital department, for example. Charge nurses supervise their fellow nurses and manage administrative duties, as well as provide care to patients.
Do You Desire Job Security?
The United States has a shortage of nurses, and the demand for qualified healthcare professionals is likely to continue growing in the future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for registered nurses will likely surge by 12 percent through 2028. This rate of growth is much faster than average. It represents the anticipated addition of more than 370,000 new nursing jobs in the U.S.1
When you’re ready to pursue your nursing degree, you’ll find a welcoming learning community at Grand Canyon University. Those who are new to healthcare can apply to enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Pre-Licensure) degree program. Currently practicing nurses may pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree. We also offer the innovative Accelerated BSN program, which can prepare you to sit for the licensing exam in as few as 16 months. To learn more about these nursing degree programs offered by the College of Nursing and Health Care Programs, visit our website or click on the Request info button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.