Even with the looming news of a countrywide nurse shortage and the projection of a good paying and stable job for new nurses, the question would be, “is nursing just for everyone?” The “rush for gold”, the dreams of landing the most promising career and joining the cushioned class of workers could be leading you something that you have never figured-out quite well what it all entails. In this guideline, we will give you the full picture of what becoming a nurse entails and whether it is the right career for you. Basically, it’s just answering some of these questions that will help you know whether you are up-to a nursing career.
Nursing-What is Nursing?
Well, this could be the first question you should be asking yourself if you are thinking of becoming a nurse. Nursing entails working under the supervision of a physician most of the time giving basic care to patients. Depending on the level of education you will have, you will do tasks that range from bathing patients, administering drugs, simple diagnosis and healthcare managerial jobs. What a nurse does precisely depend on polices governing the work scope of nurses in the state they are working in and their level of training. In this regard, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) would have to do more bedside care than a registered nurse who has earned an associate or bachelors degree. Similarly, some states allow LPNs to administer drugs while in other states it is prohibited.
What Does the Typical Life of a Nurse Look Like?
To be quite frank, nurses do not enjoy as much freedom like other careers. Usually, nurses work on 12-hours shifts that can be either day or nights. However, there are no rigid rules of when a nurse can be on duty as they can be called upon anytime. It is always good to be prepared for emergency situations that could mean you going back to work even after completing your normal shift or having to extend shifts for long beyond your stipulated hours.
Activities in a typical day include but not limited to having hospital rounds with the physician, supervising junior staff like the nursing assistants and practical nurses, administering all types of therapy, counseling among others. Other nurses may be in managerial positions and this would involve some kind of administrative work while other still do not see doors of hospital and instead work with communities.
Rush for Money versus Calling/Passion?
As much the nursing career sounds a lucrative one, one must distinguish an illusion versus clarity. It is easier for people who are passionate about caring for the sick than those seeking returns. Think of nursing as a messy career that will involve you having to do some unpleasant tasks like bathing patients. If such a question would be difficult to answer, it could be wise if you decided to start at the very basic level like a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) before committing too much time only to relent later. If you start as a CNA and cannot handle it, then quite frankly it would not be any easier up there even as a Registered Nurse (RN)
Seek Advice-Shadow a Nurse
Maybe this is the best way to know whether nursing is the path you should follow. Having someone to look at and walk in their shoes gives you a correct insight about their career. You will certainly hear their compliments and complains alike about their career. Seek unbiased advice from nurses who have been there for a long time. Shadowing a nurse therefore helps you evaluate whether you would like to be in the position they are in. If you get pissed-off too often along the way, you may consider changing your career as nursing requires a passionate, patient and caring person.
You may have all the future outlooks, salary ranges, various options of becoming a nurse, but at the end of it all, you will spend more than half of your life in your career than on anything else. You must self assess yourself and your decisions must overrule those of any other person. If you understood all of the above situations, ask yourself whether you will want to commit yourself for a lifetime.
It doesn’t matter what your parents, spouse, friends or those around you are thinking about you. At the end of the day, the career will not involve them one bit. The bottom line is-Do not take a career to impress anyone. It is your career and will form most your other life. Never get into a career that you would dread waking-up the next day to do the same thing, it won’t just work.
Grades, Prior Experience And Qualifications
Nursing is one of the few programs where students are given strict admission requirements. In almost all universities and colleges, registered nurse programs are not open to any person who feels like applying. Selective and competitive admissions are usually observed in many nursing programs. It would be better if you kept your GPA scores high to be on the safe side during selection processes.
Some prior related work experience may be used to give students more points in an admission ranking system. If you have no experience, you may lose a chance to get into the nursing profession. On the other hand, no students can be allowed to take licensure as a nurse if they have un-cleared felonies, are involved in drugs or have some limiting medical conditions like TB, hepatitis etc.
Making the Decision
Careful evaluation of each of the above situations may help you conclude whether the nursing career is for you. If you obviously do not fit, do not force your way, do not get a career just for the sake of it.