Why Become a Nurse? 10 Reasons to Get Into Nursing

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Why become a nurse? There are many ways you could answer the question, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” Your reasons to be a nurse might include the robust job growth rate, lucrative salaries or the ability to choose from a diverse range of nursing specialties and workplaces.

nurse talking with patient

Plenty of people decide to switch careers, even to completely different fields than the ones they started in. If you’re dissatisfied with your current line of work and looking for something more meaningful, you might consider switching to nursing.

Why become a nurse? There are so many compelling reasons to be a nurse — from the enviable job growth rate and salary potential to the high level of job satisfaction and encouragement of lifelong learning. Plus, a nursing degree can be more attainable than you might think, particularly with Northeastern University’s 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program. So, why do you want to be a nurse?

Every aspiring nurse has their reasons for heading back to school to learn how to care for others experiencing health challenges.

Perhaps you cared for a seriously ill relative and your interactions with nurses sustained you during a difficult time. Maybe you have experienced your own health challenges or are simply looking for a career that’s both rewarding and invigorating.

Whatever your reasons to be a nurse are, you’re likely to find this field offers plenty of perks.

1. Opportunity to Make a Positive Difference

Of course, one of the top reasons to choose the nursing profession is the opportunity to help people in need. Whether you choose to focus your nursing specialty on caring for patients with chronic illnesses or providing life-saving interventions in the emergency room, you’ll never be short of opportunities to make a positive impact.

It’s why nursing can be a top choice for people who are altruistic and empathetic. You could make a difference in your own community or around the world.

Disaster Relief nurse opening up back doors to medical vehicle

Are you drawn to the front lines? Get an inside look at disaster relief nursing here.

2. Why Nursing? Consider the Demand

Another reason why you might go back to school to become a nurse is for job security. It’s no secret that there is an ongoing shortage of nurses, and this shortage is unlikely to end anytime soon.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth rate for registered nurses (RNs) is projected to be 6% from 2022 through 2032. This job growth rate is faster than the average for all professions and indicates that healthcare employers expect to hire about 177,400 new nurses during this period.

3. Excellent Salary Potential

smiling nurse portrait

Why become a nurse aside from altruistic reasons and the excellent job growth rate? Consider the salary potential. According to the BLS, RNs made a median annual salary of $81,220 as of May 2022.

Of course, salary depends on individual factors, such as nursing specialty, years of experience, geographic location and healthcare employer. However, there is plenty of room for advancement.

If you decide to further your education with a graduate degree and board certification, you could become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). The BLS states that, as of May 2022, the median annual salary for APRNs like nurse practitioners (NP), nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists was $125,900. For healthcare administrators during that same time, the median annual salary was $104,830.

4. Diverse Workplace Settings

Other common reasons to be a nurse include the opportunity to choose from a highly diverse range of workplace settings. You could choose to work in a hospital department, healthcare clinic or physician’s office. However, there are plenty of other options out there. Some of the places where nurses can work include:

  • Cruise ships
  • K-12 schools and higher education institutions
  • Medical evacuation flights
  • Patients’ homes (hospice or home health nursing)
  • Retirement communities and nursing homes
  • Law offices as a consultant
  • The comfort of your own home as a telehealth nurse
  • Research laboratories
  • Military bases

5. Incredible Range of Nursing Specialties

Just as nurses can work across a diverse range of workplace settings, they can also work in an incredibly broad range of nursing specialties. A nursing specialty is an area of expertise in which you concentrate your nursing practice. It can be defined by the patient population (i.e., women's health, pediatrics or geriatrics) or by a specific medical condition (i.e., oncology or dialysis nursing).

nursing student writing on clipboard

Being able to choose your preferred nursing specialty gives you a higher level of career satisfaction. As a nursing student, you’ll complete multiple clinical rotations that allow you to explore some of the common nursing specialties. This can help you determine where your interests lie.

Some of the nursing specialties you can choose from include:

  • Obstetrics and women’s health
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Public health
  • Cardiac care
  • Emergency medicine
  • Orthopedic nursing
  • Burn care
  • Pain management
  • Plastic surgery

There are so many types of nurses. Learn about some nursing specialties and levels here.

6. No Two Days Are Alike

Are you dissatisfied with your current career at least in part because every day seems the same? Perhaps it seems like you've filed the same paperwork, typed out the same report or navigated the same client meeting thousands of times. If you're craving a career that invigorates your mind and challenges you to stay on your toes, then nursing could be the right move for you.

It’s one of the top reasons to be a nurse, as no two days will be alike. Even if you decide to work in the same nursing department for years, every day will bring new patients and family caregivers, fresh challenges and continuous opportunities to learn and grow.

7. Opportunities for Career Advancement

The opportunities for career advancement are another reason why nursing is a top choice for career switchers. RNs can enjoy a great career with high earning potential with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a nursing license; however, advancing your nursing career can lead to more lucrative opportunities.

One pathway involves obtaining voluntary certifications in your chosen nursing specialty. Another option is to head back to school to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Then, you could obtain board certification and become an APRN.

nurse holding clipboard

You could also earn a graduate degree in nursing and pursue a career away from the bedside as a nurse manager or administrator. Even if you decide not to provide direct patient care any longer, you can still have a significant, positive impact on patients in administration. These professionals are charged with improving healthcare quality, patient safety and patient outcomes.

8. High Level of Job Satisfaction

There are so many ways to answer the question, “Why become a nurse?" Yet another reason why to choose this field is that nurses enjoy high levels of job satisfaction, making it an ideal option for career switchers who are no longer satisfied with their first career. In fact, according to the 2023 American Mobile Nurses (AMN) Healthcare Survey, 71% of nurses say they are satisfied with their career choice.

9. A Highly Respected Profession

Patients typically spend more time with the nurses than they do with the doctors in charge of overseeing their care. As a result, it's no surprise that nurses rank highly on the list of most trusted and most ethical professions, according to Gallup’s annual Honesty and Ethics poll.

10. Ideal for Lifelong Learners

If you consider yourself a lifelong learner, nursing could be a good fit for you. You’ll learn quite a lot in nursing school and during your clinical rotations, but the learning process doesn’t stop after graduation. In fact, nurses are expected to stay on top of the latest medical research and technology so they can help their patients more effectively and safely.

nursing student working on whiteboard

Why Do You Want to Be a Nurse?

So, why do you want to be a nurse? If you’re thinking about making the switch and applying to nursing school, it may be because some or all of the following characteristics apply to you:

  • Motivation to help others
  • Strong time management and organizational skills
  • Emotional resilience
  • Adaptability and excellent problem-solving
  • Solid communication skills
  • Team player
  • Compassion

What is nursing school like? Read all about it here to learn what to expect.

student nurses working in sim lab

For Ben, an ABSN student at Northeastern, his experience with nurses during a hospital stay is what drove him to pursue a nursing career. Consider his experience in Northeastern’s ABSN as you decide whether nursing is right for you:

Why Become a Nurse at Northeastern?

Thinking about becoming a nurse but not sure about the time commitment required to make the switch? With Northeastern University’s ABSN program, you could graduate with your BSN in as few as 16 months if you have a non-nursing degree or a minimum number of non-nursing college credits. You’ll emerge from the program fully prepared to sit for the NCLEX and pursue licensure as an RN.

Plus, with three start dates per year and online classes available, it’s more convenient than ever to earn your nursing degree. You’ll also be able to develop important nursing skills during on-campus labs and in-hospital clinical rotations.

Ready to get started? Contact an admissions counselor today to find out if our ABSN program is the right fit for you.


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