Nursing is a growing profession that many people are choosing as a career path. The job market for registered nurses (RNs) alone is projected to grow by 9% over the next decade, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In a job market where it can be difficult to find a well-paying job with long-term prospects, nursing can be a very attractive option, particularly for young people.
But like any profession, there are definitely both pros and cons to being a nurse. If you are considering a career in nursing, it’s important to go in with a balanced and objective viewpoint. By understanding both the upsides and challenges that nurses encounter in their job, you can decide if being a nurse is right for you on an informed basis.
3 Big Pros of Becoming a Nurse
One of the big pros of nursing that many may think of is good and steady pay, but it should not be the primary reason to become a nurse. Most nurses will probably tell you that if you are thinking about getting into nursing just for the money, turn away now.
The pros of being a nurse are significant and meaningful, but only if you have a real calling to help people. Above all, as a health care profession, nursing is about service and healing. For people who have that understanding, a nursing career can offer the following:
1. A Job With Purpose
In so many cases, nurses are the frontline health care workers that patients spend the most time with. Being a nurse offers the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives on a daily basis. By truly taking the role of a patient advocate to heart, a nurse can ensure that people get the treatment and attention they need, but also learn how to take steps to ensure their long-term health. Critical care nurses save lives on a regular basis. From hospitals to clinics, to home health settings, nurses build relationships and ensure that treatment is carried out for patients who need it. Many nurses report deep satisfaction and purpose from their job.
2. Job Security
As a growing and in-demand profession, there are tremendous job opportunities out there for nurses. Where people in many fields worry about layoffs or being replaced by automation, there is far less risk of these factors for nurses. With an aging population that has a growing set of health care needs, the demand for nurses across the health care industry is only set to grow.
3. Flexible Schedule and Diverse Opportunities
If you’re a nurse, you may not be able to magically get your dream schedule right out of the gate, but there is a schedule out there for everyone. Looking for a nine to five? Case management or an outpatient surgery center may be right for you. If you want to work only a few nights a week, a hospital or nursing facility could be a better fit. Interested in setting your own hours? Home health can offer this opportunity. Additionally, from pediatrics to sports medicine, to medical-surgical nursing, there are as many nursing specialties as there are branches of medicine. Whatever your abilities, skills, and personality, there is a nursing job out there for you.
For nurses of all experience levels seeking flexibility and a job with meaning, pediatric home health nursing can be a great fit.
3 Potential Cons any New Nurse Should Know About
Any first-year or 50-year nurse will tell you that nursing is not all sunshine and flowers. Not only do you have to have a true desire to help and serve patients, but you also have to be willing to put in the work and deal with an often fast-paced and stressful environment. Many new nurses are shocked to make it through a highly challenging nursing program and pass board exams only to find out just how difficult of a profession nursing can be.
It can be a very rewarding profession, but any prospective nurse should be realistic about the cons of this career, including:
1. Nursing Is Hard Work
Nursing is a physically demanding job in most cases. Unless you are working exclusively behind a desk, nurses will be on their feet for most if not all of their shift. The job typically involves lifting and moving both patients and equipment, and often doing so quickly. The work is not always glorious either. Nurses must be comfortable, or quickly become comfortable, with any and all bodily fluids. Anyone who is a nurse, or knows a nurse, can report that being physically and emotionally exhausted after a shift — specifically in a hospital environment — is extremely common.
2. It Can Take a Toll on Your Emotions
Burnout is a real phenomenon among nurses. The balancing act is often learning how to care enough to keep going, but not care too much that you carry it home. Depending on the field of nursing, nurses can literally face life or death situations on a regular basis. Not every nurse is made for the emergency room and some prefer the calmer, one-to-one environment of pediatrics and home health care. Any nurse should be aware of available support resources, such as counseling and self-care activities, that can help develop a healthy work-life balance.
3. There are Health and Safety Risks
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety risks faced by frontline health care workers, including nurses, received widespread attention. The fact is that exposure to viral and bacterial infection is part of the job, and it is important to commit to the personal protection and mitigation steps necessary to limit that risk. Additionally, due to the physical nature of the job, many nurses face the risk of injury. Yet another issue is a growing epidemic of violence against nurses, particularly in hospital and mental health facilities. Home health care can mitigate these risks as nurses are expected to care solely for one patient, in a home environment.
Despite these challenges that any nurse should be aware of, many nurses will gladly report that the benefits and rewards of nursing as a career clearly outweigh the cons. Often, the key is finding your specialty, as well as an organization, that is the right fit for your personality and skills.
Contact Care Options for Kids and Learn More About Nursing Jobs in Florida
Are you interested in a nursing career? Care Options for Kids is always looking for compassionate and nurturing Pediatric Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Pediatric Registered Nurses (RNs) in various locations across Florida. Care Options for Kids specializes in one-on-one hourly pediatric care in the home. We offer excellent benefits, including PTO, medical, dental, and vision benefits, flexible schedules, and more.