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The Benefits of a Career in Nursing


Nursing as a profession is crucial to the health and well being of individuals and the community at large. The need for nurses exists due to the need of holistic patient care required in the medical industry. Nurses ensure that their patients receive the best level of healthcare possible in a variety of institutions, organizations and sectors. 

Nurses are found in the healthcare cycle from birth to death and everything in between. They are equipped with skills and practical applications which service a multitude of sectors in today’s society. The nursing sector is the largest workforce within the healthcare industry, which means there is no shortage of jobs for qualified nurses across the globe. Let us explore the role of nursing in society, as well as the many advantages and benefits for choosing a career in nursing in more detail. 

Nursing as a Profession Over the Ages

As far back as the 16thcentury, nursing has been a popular profession well documented in history. Although the profession originally began with the need for wet-nurses who would breastfeed other people’s babies, it quickly evolved into an established profession for both sexes in the 19thcentury. Male nurses account for around 9% of nurses in the United States alone. 

Since the inception of nursing, the advancement in this field has changed dramatically from breastfeeding and caring for an infant to diagnosing and treating patients with acute or chronic illnesses to administering anesthetic for surgery. Advanced nursing practitioners also account for decision-makers on certified boards across the industry as their wealth of experience and practical knowledge is indispensable. 

The Need for Nurses

Skilled and experienced nurses are in short supply, and studies show that by 2020 there will be a severe shortage of nurses by as much as 800,000. With increased population numbers, the demand for qualified and experienced nurses rises too. Nursing is no longer confined to hospitals or clinics but to various other industries. Nurses in education and research are in high demand as specialized industries need specialized nurses. There are more than 200 nursing specialties available in the nursing sector. 

As nurses are dedicated to the ethos of health and care in patients, they do not discriminate patients based on age, gender, social stature or race. The ethos of nursing allows them to work with prison inmates to school children to the aged. Nurses encompass the respect of patient dignity and their right to healthcare, no matter the circumstances, which makes them invaluable to the medical and healthcare sector. 

Job Opportunities and Career Advancement

Depending on the type of nursing career you want to work in, becoming a registered nurse can take between 2 to 4 years to complete. Once you are a registered nurse, you may want to advance your career or specialize in a specific sector which would mean completing your Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN.

The additional benefit of completing a post-graduate degree in nursing is that there is the option of doing it while working full time. You can do this with the online Carson-Newman RN-BSN program for instance, where you can benefit from the same standards of campus education in an online environment. This allows you to work on furthering your education while working full time in the profession of nursing.

The most popular nursing specializations according to demand and annual salary in the nursing sector are:

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – advanced practice nurse who can administer anesthesia for medical procedures or surgery
  • Nurse Researcher – nurses who research certain topics within the industry or teach in clinical or academic settings
  • Psychiatric Nurse – registered nurses who work in the mental health field
  • Certified Nurse Midwife – provide women’s healthcare as well as the delivery of babies
  • Pediatric Endocrinologist Nurse – nurse practitioners who provide care for children ranging from infant to young adults who have endocrine disorders 
  • Orthopedic Nurse – specialized nurses who focus on musculoskeletal disorders or diseases
  • Nurse Practitioner – qualified primary caregivers who can diagnose and treat patients as a physician would 
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – advanced practice registered nurses that work in a variety of clinical settings and specialize in certain fields
  • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner – nurses who have obtained a Bachelor’s in Science for the treatment and care of the elderly, often involving palliative care
  • Neonatal nurses – advanced practice registered nurses who provide primary, acute and chronic healthcare to newborns up to the age of two.

As you can see, specializations in nursing are vast and cater for any interest in the healthcare industry, making nursing a great career choice for people interested in science, biology or research. 

Family Life and a Nursing Career

Although one of the few disadvantages of nursing as a career is the need to work unconventional hours or shifts, it is still possible to have a family life outside of your career. Many women choose nursing as a career because the transition from work to family life is easy and manageable. With the exception of relief or aid work, the nursing sector does not require travel and time away from home as it does for other professions such as pilots, attorneys, consultants etc.

In fact, nursing prepares mothers and fathers to better handle their own family healthcare issues and needs as their education and experience equips them with skills which they can apply in their own homes. Nurse practitioners or family nurse practitioners who work in private care are also able to schedule their own working times which allows them the freedom to be at home more often, and this is another great benefit of being a nurse. Although part-time nursing care is rare, the opportunities do exist, providing nurses with the best of both worlds in work and home life. 

It Takes a Special Person

Nursing is a noble and respected profession. Nurses are viewed as sympathetic, nurturing and kind personalities as their passion involves the care and wellbeing of humanity. Although nurses can be nurturing and caring, they are also strong, motivated and tough individuals. It really takes a special kind of person to be a nurse. Much like physicians and surgeons, the loss of a patient is taxing, but for nurses it is even more so as nurses build relationships with their patients on a more personal level. Physicians, specialists and surgeons usually do not have the luxury of time to build a good rapport with their patients whereas nurses do. Nurses are notorious for their caring bedside manner; one only needs to read up on Florence Nightingale to understand the personality traits required to fulfil the demands of a nursing profession. 

Nurses are passionate about helping people and caring for them as individuals or family units. Nurses fulfil a crucial need within their communities, especially in low-income communities where nurse practitioners are the primary healthcare providers. Family nursing practitioners are especially revered in communities that cannot afford health insurance as they provide high-quality healthcare at the fraction of the cost. Nurses ensure that healthcare awareness, education and care are available in these communities and make a tangible difference within the medical sector. 

Alternative or Second Career Choice

Nursing makes for an excellent second career choice due to the length of time it takes to qualify as a registered nurse, with competitive salaries in the sector and a wide range of specializations available within the field. People with a passion for people, communities, healthcare, science or medicine may decide to change their career paths and focus on nursing as a new or second career choice. The ability to advance in nursing while working fulltime is another great factor in choosing this profession. 

A career in nursing can be a highly rewarding one, not only in financial terms but in personal terms. Nurses possess the ability to change people’s lives in ways that not many professions can. Nursing often focuses on not only their patient’s wellbeing but the family and community too, which is why this holistic approach in medicine is highly rewarding and gratifying. 

Not only is nursing as a career a personally satisfying one, it is a challenging and interesting one. The advancements in medicine and technology provide fascinating fields for nurses to venture into, which means they are hardly ever bored or unmotivated in their careers. Nurses that are bored or frustrated in their careers can either advance themselves, and specialize in a different area of nursing, or they have lost the passion and should consider alternative career options. 

With nurses held in such high esteem by the medical industry and community, nursing makes a great career choice for people only starting out in their working world, and even for those who want to change their career paths. The benefits of practicing in a profession you are passionate about, quick qualification periods, career advancement or specializations as well as the flexibility in hours are surpassed by none in the world of healthcare. Job security and satisfaction will always be a given in the nursing sector, as the need for qualified nurses continues to rise locally and globally.