Nursing, like every occupation, has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s not the kind of job you want to enter into lightly. After all, graduating from nursing school is no easy feat nor is passing the nurse licensure exam. So before you apply to our 16-month ABSN program near Boston or in Charlotte, you should weigh the pros and cons of a nursing career to make sure it’s really what you want to do.
7 Pros of a Nursing Career
Without a doubt, there are several great benefits of being a nurse. It’s important to note, however, that no matter how good the salary or job security, the key to true nursing career happiness is going into the profession with a sincere passion for helping others.
1. You’ll be in a rewarding career.
Whether it comes to helping patients, comforting families or working with healthcare administrators, nurses make a difference in the lives of others every day. Very few people can come home from work having saved a life. Not to mention, every day on the job is different, so there’s a good chance you’ll never feel like you’re stuck in a rut.
2. You’ll be in high demand.
Given our country’s mounting nursing shortage, registered nurses have been and will continue to be in high demand for many years to come, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting the profession to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026.
According to a recent Yahoo Finance article titled “The U.S. nursing boom is just getting started,” there are currently 3,040,884 registered nurses in the United States, with 255,047 RN jobs expected to be added over the next five years, representing three percent of all job creation in the country.
3. You’ll have good earning potential.
CareerBuilder considers “high-wage” jobs as those that pay employees at least $23.24 per hour, listing the median take-home pay for registered nurses as $33.55 per hour. Furthermore, as of May 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Massachusetts, which is home to one of our ABSN program sites, as being one of the top five paying states for registered nurses, with an annual mean wage of $89,330. Additionally, the Boston-Cambridge-Newton portion of the state ranks among the top 10 metro areas with the highest employment levels for this occupation.
4. You’ll feel secure in the profession.
Nursing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is growing at a faster rate than the average for all occupations. Such growth comes as the result of our nation’s need to increase healthcare services for an aging population as well as provide more preventive care. But even in times of economic uncertainty, registered nurses can typically find employment somewhere. After all, hospital systems across the country would not be able to function without them.
5. You’ll have access to a flexible work schedule.
Depending on the employer, registered nurses can choose to work on a full-time, part-time or an on-call basis. They also don’t have to stick to a traditional 9 am to 5 pm schedule if they don’t want to. After all, there are several healthcare facilities out there that provide patients round-the-clock care. Not a fan of the five-day workweek? Many hospitals allow nurses to work three 12-hour shifts in a row, giving them four days off during the week.
6. You’ll be appreciated by others.
If you’re a good nurse, patients will see you as a source of comfort, appreciating everything you do to help them feel better. It’s also worth mentioning that nurses work with patients and families from all walks of life so expect to hear a lot of interesting stories from people who will make your day.
4 Cons of a Nursing Career
While nursing is undoubtedly one of the best career paths you could take, it’s not always a walk in the park. You have to be willing to take the good with the bad.
1. You’ll be exposed to germs and viruses.
No matter how many precautions nurses take, they still run the risk of catching a virus or illness from a patient. And since they come in contact with blood and other bodily fluids on a daily basis, nurses must follow a strict protocol to guard themselves against dangers such as needlestick injuries.
2. You’ll put a physical strain on your body.
Nurses often have to lift and transfer patients and equipment, making them vulnerable to back injuries. They also spend a lot of time on their feet, either walking or standing. Even the best pair of shoes can’t prevent sore feet and lower back pain when you’re standing for hours on end. Something to keep in mind is that once you become a seasoned nurse, there are ways you can transition into a less physically demanding role such as becoming a clinical instructor or a recruiter.
3. You’ll often work beyond your scheduled shift.
Some hospital nurses like working long-hour days if it means coming to work fewer times a week. There are, however, drawbacks to 12-hour shifts, such as completing your shift and then having the relief nurse call off, which requires you to continue working until a replacement nurse is found. But sometimes that replacement never comes because your unit is short-staffed, meaning you could find yourself working 24 hours straight. It’s also worth mentioning that nurses in general work every day of the year, with newbie hospital nurses often having to work weekends and holidays.
4. You’ll be at risk for emotional burnout.
While nurses get the reward that comes with helping save someone’s life, they also have to cope with the loss of a patient. For some nurses, they’ve seen more patient deaths than they can count. Therefore, it’s important for nurses to seek counseling and support to prevent emotional burnout. It also doesn’t help that nurses sometimes work with difficult patients who don’t appreciate their care, treating them like personal servants rather than healthcare professionals.
As you can see, a nursing career should not be entered into lightly. But most nurses agree the pros of the profession far outweigh the cons. So if you’re sure this is what you want to do, contact our admissions team to see if you’re a good fit for our 16-month ABSN program near Boston or in Charlotte.