Choosing a career is an important decision and not one that you want to enter into lightly. With so many potential careers out there, some people find the choice overwhelming.
But if you are in the market for a new career that offers excellent job security, a never-ending supply of vacancies, and rewarding work that makes a difference, you should consider a career in nursing.
What Does it Take to Work in Nursing?
In order to succeed in the nursing profession, there are a number of skills that you need as you progress up the ladder. The good news is that you will develop all of these skills over the course of your nursing career:
● Good communication skills
● Good problem-solving abilities
● The ability to perform under pressure
● Personal organization
Reasons to Work as a Nurse
1. Job security: If there is one profession that is always going to be in demand, it is nurses. No matter what else is going on, the demand for qualified and competent healthcare staff is always high. In fact, as we face the challenges of an ageing population, the strain on our healthcare system is increasing. This means that every year there are new jobs available in nursing, so few nurses will struggle to find work once they have earned their degree.
2. Career progression opportunities: Nursing offers excellent career progression opportunities. Nurses can progress their careers at their own pace and on their own schedule. When you are ready to progress your career and apply for a more senior nursing role, you can enrol yourself in the relevant course and earn the necessary degree. It’s then up to you whether you wait for a position to open up with your current employer, or whether you take your new degree and shop around for a more senior role in another healthcare facility. Few careers put you in control of your own career progression in this way.
3. Work in a range of industries: Nurses are needed in a wide range of contexts and there are nursing roles available within a much wider range of industries than many people realize. You can find some examples of potential nursing careers in the section below, but these are just a small slice – to list all the nursing roles out there would take us all day. Suffice it to say, experienced nurses are able to more or less pick and choose the industry that they want to work in.
4. Rewarding work: There are few jobs that are as rewarding as nursing. Regardless of the setting that they work in, nurses undertake meaningful work that makes a real difference to the lives of their patients. The rewarding nature of a nurse’s work is one of the reasons that nursing consistently rates high for job satisfaction, in spite of the many stresses and challenges that the role entails.
5. Develop a range of skills: Nurses are required to call upon a wide range of skills in order to perform their roles properly. Not only do nurses need to have a good grasp of the training they have received, but they also need to be able to think on their feet and adapt to situations as they evolve. As a nurse, you will have plenty of opportunities to work on a number of personal skills.
How to Become a Nurse
No matter how old you are or what your academic background is, you can always choose to begin studying for a career in nursing. You can study the lowest-level nursing degrees without any prior experience or knowledge, but if you want to progress beyond the very first level, then you will need to undertake practical work within a healthcare facility.
Wherever you work to complete the practical component of your degree, your progress will be monitored by a university. In many cases, your university will arrange a placement for you so you don’t have to worry about it. However, you can also study through an online university, which will mean completing your degree while continuing to work your usual job if you are working at the highest levels.
For example, by the time you have advanced to the point of being ready to study for the DNP (Doctorate of Nursing Practice) degree, you will almost certainly be well-established in a professional nursing role. If you then decide to study an online DNP, you will usually complete it while continuing to work for your employer at the time.
Potential Nursing Careers
The more experience you have as a nurse, the more opportunities will open up to you. Below is just a small slice of the many potential careers out there for a qualified and experienced nurse.
● Physician Assistant: A physician assistant works alongside a physician to ensure that they are able to effectively treat as many patients as possible. Although they are called an assistant, this doesn’t really capture the nature of their relationship. A PA will be responsible for basic testing and treating of patients and works alongside the doctor, not beneath them.
● School Nurse: Schools and other public institutions often need to have nurses on-site or on-call. This presents a range of opportunities for qualified nurses to lend their expertise to good causes. Working as a school nurse enables you to play an important role in helping your local school to run effectively.
● Research Nurse: You need to have a reasonable amount of experience to work as a research nurse, but once you have spent a few years in the profession, working as a research nurse is an excellent career path to choose. Research nurses play a vital role in shaping the development of the industry itself.
Whatever speciality or setting you end up working in, nursing is a rewarding career with fantastic progression opportunities. There are lots of reasons why pursuing a nursing degree is well worth the requisite investment in time and money.