Choosing a long-term career is a massive decision and not one that anyone should make lightly. There are so many different things that you need to consider when you are making this decision that things can quickly become overwhelming. This is why so many people end up shooting for the easiest possible career path depending on their circumstances. For some people, this can mean going into the family business; for others, it can mean pursuing the same career as their parents or friends.
However, it is worth taking the time to think about what it is that you really want to do with your life in the long-term and aiming for the career that you think will suit you best, rather than the one you think will be easiest to break into.
Of all the options open to you, nursing might not be one that you had previously considered, but it is definitely worth thinking about. As a career choice, nursing has a huge amount to offer and nursing degrees attract applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds and for a variety of different reasons.
Below are just some of the best reasons to consider pursuing a nursing degree. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does cover the main attractions of the profession.
Make a Difference
This is perhaps the number one reason that people pursue a career in nursing. Nurses are among the most essential of medical staff, without them, the healthcare institutions that we rely on wouldn’t be able to function. As a nurse, you will be responsible for taking care of individual patients, and in doing so will be helping the hospital to thrive.
There aren’t many jobs that offer the same potential to help other people and to be a positive force in their lives. Even those who are only passing through the hospital and won’t be staying for an extended period of time will find the whole experience much easier if they have a friendly and personable nurse handling their case. Patients who are going to be in the hospital for some time, especially those who are dealing with particularly serious conditions, will often be relying on the nursing staff to help them make it through their stay.
If you are looking for a career that gives you the opportunity to work closely with other people in a meaningful way, nursing offers a unique opportunity. Of course, there is a lot more to nursing than just hanging out with patients. You will also spend a significant amount of time helping other medical staff, and the hospital as a whole, to fulfill all of their obligations and treat their own patients.
Earn a Versatile Degree
Nursing is one of those careers that is truly recession-proof. It doesn’t matter what else is going on in the world, or what the local economic conditions are like, there is always going to be a high demand for nurses. Once you have qualified as a nurse, there will be a whole host of different careers that you can choose from and places you can work. You don’t even need to work in the US if you don’t want to. Nursing degrees earned in the US can easily be used to land a nursing-related job overseas.
Nursing has consistently been one of the most popular degrees in all of higher education, according to data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics. One of the reasons that nursing continues to be such a popular degree and career choice is the multitude of doors it will open and the range of opportunities it will unlock.
Study Online If You Prefer
Attending a university and studying for a degree isn’t an option that is available to everyone, even those who are determined to study their chosen subject. There are a number of practical and financial barriers that need to be overcome in order to attend a university. Traditionally, this has meant that certain groups of people, single parents for example, have found it difficult to access higher education. This, in turn, has led to imbalances within universities and within a number of industries.
However, the advent of online degrees, credible ones that are being offered by reputable institutions, has meant that it is now possible for those who can’t attend university the conventional way to study and earn a qualification. Studying a nursing degree online will save you money when compared to a campus course, but won’t compromise on the quality of your education.
Students who choose to study online will still complete a placement with a hospital or similar institution, this will all be organized by the university. Many universities also offer students studying online degrees more flexible payment options than are available to regular students. Studying online also opens up the possibility of studying part-time. Part-time studying is ideal for those that don’t have enough time to dedicate to a standard university course and enables students to complete their education over a longer stretch of time.
You can study every level of your nursing degree via online courses if you choose; there are a growing number of nurses who are choosing to take this route. You will begin your training with the registered nursing degree (RN). Prior to earning the RN degree, there are still some nursing jobs that you will be able to apply for, but most will have to wait until you have attained the appropriate qualification. As you progress, you can choose to study each different degree with a different university; you can even alternate between online and offline options if you like.
For example, you could study up to the BSN level with one university, and then look for a completely different one that offers online BSN to NP programs. Because the different levels of nursing are broken up in this way, you can also leave as much time between studying each as you like. If you want to work your way up the levels over a certain period of time, this is one of the few degree options that will give you control over the process.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Nurses are always needed and they provide a vital public service. As a result, there are numerous grants and scholarships available that can help you to pay for a nursing degree. Many people who aspire to be nurses and who would make excellent additions to the profession are deterred from ever even attempting to apply because they won’t be able to afford it.
Going to university isn’t cheap, and if you are studying online, then you might find it difficult to also work a full-time job, although it is possible. You should snap up any financial assistance that you qualify for, and it is always worth investigating what is available in terms of scholarships. If you come from certain backgrounds, there may be scholarships that you are able to apply for. Even if you are able to afford to pay for most or all of your education, you might as well see if you can qualify for some additional funding.
Enter the Workforce and Progress at Your Own Pace
One of the reasons that nursing is such a solid investment as a career choice is that we always need nurses. In fact, there is a seemingly perpetual shortage of nurses, despite there being plenty of positions that need filling. This is an advantage to anyone who is trying to break into nursing as a career as there will be less competition for each position than there would be if there were an abundance of other applicants who were also competing for the same position.
As soon as you earn your first nursing qualification, you will be able to access a whole range of jobs that would previously have been unavailable to you. Because of the aforementioned shortage of nurses throughout the country, a newly qualified nurse should find it comparatively easy to enter into the workforce after graduating.
There are a number of academic routes that you can take into the nursing industry. For example, most nurses will spend four years studying for a BSN. Alternatively, you could earn an associate degree or diploma in nursing instead. Either of these options would take 2-3 years to complete, and there are other options that can be completed even quicker.
Once you are in the industry, you will have ample opportunities to advance your career and your training. Nursing has historically been one of the best careers for women because it offers so much potential for career advancement. Unlike most industries, you can control how and when you advance your career.
Nursing is consistently rated as one of the best careers for job satisfaction. The vast majority of those working in the field are satisfied with their jobs and their decision to become a nurse to begin with. There are a number of reasons why nurses find their work so satisfying, despite how difficult it can be at times.
For some people, the main appeal of nursing comes from working directly with patients. If you are someone who likes to be able to see the effects of their work, nursing is one of the best careers you can choose. The work you do will make a big difference to the lives of your patients and their families and you will be able to see the impact you make first-hand.
However, this is just one aspect of nursing that nurses find satisfying. There is also the fact that they get to utilize a specific set of skills that they spend years honing. Like other medical roles, nursing involves a lot of science and nurses who want to advance to the upper echelons of the profession will need to familiarize themselves with a lot of scientific concepts.
Engage in a Variety of Work
Nurses are needed to assist with a variety of tasks around the hospital. As a result, they are trained to do a whole range of different things and will have ample opportunities to deploy all the skills that they learn to real-world situations. In addition to the obvious duties, such as treating patients and assisting with procedures, nurses will also have the opportunity to be involved in research projects in a number of different ways.
Besides, even if treating patients was all you were doing, you would see different patients presenting with different problems every day. No two days are the same for a nurse and each patient you treat will require you to call on a different set of skills to treat.
As you advance through the ranks of nursing, you will encounter opportunities to focus on specialist subjects and develop a specialty of your own. If there is a particular area of healthcare that you are interested in working in, you can find out what qualifications you will need to earn and in what order. Once you have this information, you can then make a beeline straight for your chosen specialty. This enables you to aim for your preferred role from the moment you first enter into the industry.
As a career path, nursing has a lot to offer students, regardless of your background or your long-term ambitions. The work of a nurse is among the most meaningful things that anyone can choose to do as a career; you will quite literally be able to help save people’s lives. For many nurses, even the most mundane parts of the job are hugely rewarding because they are all contributing to the efficient running of the hospital.
If you have always wondered about nursing, but have been put off by the time and financial commitments that are required, you should check out the possibility of studying online. Online degrees are cheaper than traditional campus courses and can be completed at your own pace. There are lots of reasons to want to work as a nurse, especially if you are passionate about helping other people.