Nursing is a popular career choice. It makes sense, as it provides advancement opportunities, is in high demand, and is a highly rewarding career. You shouldn’t jump into any career without asking yourself some questions first, though. If you are thinking about becoming a nurse, here is what you should consider in advance.
The Education Required
Before deciding to become a nurse, you must think about the education that is required of you. If you want to become a registered nurse, you will at least need to complete a bachelor’s degree, with many nurses deciding to advance their education even further with a master’s. Fortunately, the range of education that’s offered to aspiring nurses varies greatly, so have a look at Virginia nursing programs if you are interested in pursuing a nursing degree in the Virginia area.
If you want to enter a specific nursing career, like nurse administration or nurse-midwifery, you will need to consider the qualifications and work experience required to get there. Unfortunately, it often takes several years alongside lots of hard work!
The Amount of Time You Have Spare
If you already have a job, you must consider the amount of time you have to spare for your nursing education. After all, nursing degrees require plenty of focus, which is difficult to give if you’re spending fifty hours a week working for a non-healthcare-related company. Luckily, there are part-time nursing courses for those who can’t put full-time hours into nursing straight away.
What Skills You Possess
You might dream of becoming a nurse, but do you possess the skills required to succeed? While some skills you will learn during your degree or on the job itself, it’s better to have others naturally. These include:
As a nurse, you will have to deal with a lot of difficult patients who may challenge your patience, but you must be able to persevere to deliver the best quality of care.
While some empathy can be taught, it isn’t as easy to learn if you don’t already have some, to begin with. However, empathy is a must in nursing due to the caring nature of the role, so if you do have it, you’re more likely to thrive as a nurse.
Nurses interact with doctors, patients, and fellow nurses, which means a high level of communication is a must. While you can improve communication skills, it is better to already be proficient in this area.
Which Area of Nursing You’re Interested in
Next, you need to think about which area of nursing you want to go into. There are plenty to choose from, so don’t feel like you must rush into a decision. You don’t even need to know once you are qualified, as there will be plenty of opportunities for you to pursue a specialized master’s degree while working as a registered nurse. You might go into nursing imagining you’ll one day end up taking up a leadership role but later realize midwifery is where your heart and skills lie.
Whether You Can Commit to the Long Hours
Some people move from cushy office jobs to nursing roles and only later realize that they preferred the simple nine-to-five routine. So, before you commit to anything, make sure you understand the kind of hours you are getting yourself into.
Are you willing to stay on your feet for twelve hours straight? Would you be willing to pick up extra hours, totaling a sixteen-hour work shift on occasion? It’s not easy, but little about nursing is. You need to decide whether those sorts of hours would work for your routine and stamina abilities. Remember, though, nursing also brings the benefit of more flexible shifts.
How Good You Are with People
As a nurse, you must deal with multiple people every day. No matter how much medical knowledge you have, you will not thrive in your role if you cannot handle and treat others well. If you’ve ever worked in customer service, think about how you dealt with people then, and you will have a better idea of whether or not nursing is the right career for you.
The Chances of You Finding a Job
Fortunately for nursing students, many nursing roles are in high demand, so you are likely to find a career after graduation. However, you still need to consider whether there will be roles available in your area. Are there many hospitals, clinics, or schools nearby? Is your nearby town/city already flooded with nurses? Do some research about the demand for nurses in your area before choosing your path.
The Amount of Money You Want to Make
The amount of money you can earn as a nurse varies widely. For example, registered nurses earn an average of $75K per year, whereas nurse anesthetists can earn a lucrative salary of $180K each year. Therefore, if you are motivated by money, you should consider the types of nursing careers that will provide you with a high salary.
Where You Want to Work
Nurses have options when it comes to choosing a work setting. You could work in a hospital, school, clinic, care facilities, and more. While you don’t need to decide before applying to nursing school, it is a good idea to have a vague plan about where you want to work after graduation. After all, that will help steer your education.
Why You Want to Become a Nurse
One of the most important things to consider before becoming a nurse is why you want to be one in the first place. Is it because you dislike your current job? Was your mom a nurse? Have you always wanted to help people? By knowing the reasons why you will know whether or not the journey is worth it.
Deciding to embark on a nursing career is an excellent decision for many people. However, by asking yourself the right questions beforehand, you ensure it is the right path for you.