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The Pros and Cons of a Nursing Career

August 21st, 2008  |  The Blog

There is such a demand for nurses these days given the tremendous shortage that it’s becoming a very popular move for people to switch careers and go down the nursing path. Conservative estimates figure that there will be a shortage of almost 10,000 nurses within the next ten years which makes the switch a very attractive one for many people looking to change careers. However, there are always drawbacks to any thing that seems too good to be true. We’ve come up with a list of the pros and cons of a nursing career to help someone decide if this rewarding career is exactly for you…

The Pros:

Making a difference in people’s lives — This is the number one reward of being a nurse. You are being counted on to help improve people’s wellbeing and it is right there in the job description. When a sick person is in a position where they cannot take care of themselves they turn to caregivers that know all the tricks to improving their way of life.

Flexible scheduling — Many nurses are able to make a schedule that will work best for their families. Maybe the 9-5 routine doesn’t fit your needs, so you work a couple overnight and pull double shifts to free up your schedule later in the week. You can also choose what type of institution you work in. Do you want to work with the elderly? Apply to a nursing home. Do you love working with kids? Work in a pediatric section of a hospital.

The benefits are phenomenal — Working as a nurse provides you with a very comfortable salary. It’s worth it after three grueling years of post-baccalaureate study. Most institutions offer excellent healthcare benefits and retirement packages that make this career very appealing.

The Cons:

The stress can be overwhelming — The more you get attached to your patients the more difficult it is to deal with their suffering. Many nurses will talk about the burnout they feel after even a year or two in the field because of the recurring stress that comes with each and every patient that comes into your care.

Dealing with difficult people — You’re working with people that don’t feel well and it’s human nature for people in this position to be cranky and irritable. They may be the greatest people but they’re coming to you when the feel lousy and they can make your job much harder just because of their attitude.

There is no time to zone out — You know people that work in cubicles all day and surf the net and waste hours a day doing nothing at their jobs. This doesn’t happen when you’re a nurse. You have to be ready for anything at all times.

This article is contributed by Heather Johnson, who regularly writes on online nursing schools. She invites your questions and writing job opportunities at her personal email address: heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

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