What You Need To Know Before Becoming A Nurse
Jan 17, 2022

Reading time 3 min.

If you are thinking about what career to go into, or perhaps even what career to change to because you are tired of the one you currently have and want to do something more with your life, it’s crucial to find out as much about it as you can. Not only will this give you much more of an idea of what is involved, but it will also help you determine whether this really is the right step to take – you don’t want to waste your time, or anyone else’s opting for a career that you’re not actually going to enjoy when you get started in it.

Nursing is certainly a career that you will need to know more about. There are many myths around nursing, and unless you have experience of knowing a nurse, for example, it might be that you don’t have the full picture of everything that is needed. With that in mind, here are just some of the many things you need to know before becoming a nurse. This list should give you an idea of what is required, what the job would be like, and, most importantly, whether nursing is the right career for you. Read on to find out more.

Nurses Have To Think For Themselves

It’s true; nurses have to think for themselves, and they have to do it a lot. Even when you first start out, there will be important – in some cases, literal life and death choices – decisions to be made, and you will be the one making them. This is something that excites some people, but others don’t like the idea at all as it feels like a lot of responsibility.

This is an accurate assessment. When you are a nurse, you do have a lot of responsibility to deal with not only when it comes to your patients but also their families and your colleagues. If you know you will thrive in such a high-pressure environment, and you are happy to make tough decisions and think for yourself, then nursing could be the ideal option.

Hospital Jobs Are Competitive

You might think that once you gain your nursing qualification, you can go to any hospital, apply for a job, and start your nursing career. However, it’s important to know that, although nurses are highly sought after, nursing jobs are also very competitive. There are only a certain number of jobs to go around due to budgets (not need – if it were based on need, there would certainly be enough jobs for everyone), which means that you may need to be more flexible when it comes to where you work.

For example, you might have to work in a hospital further away from your home, meaning a longer commute. Or perhaps you will choose not to work in a hospital at all; prisons, schools, private clinics, and many other places also need nurses, even though hospitals might be the first thing you think of. This should not put you off from becoming a nurse if you want to be one, but it’s important to be aware that getting the job you were expecting may not be as easy as you think, and you might have to be more flexible.

There Is Plenty Of Job Progression

The idea that nurses have a lot of job progression opportunities is a strange one that you might not have ever looked into. Most people who don’t know much about nursing may well think there is only one type of nurse and that although some work in different departments, they all essentially do the same job. This is far from the truth.

As we’ve said, there are different departments for nurses to work in, and in many cases, each department will have its own training criteria. Taking care of sick babies, for example, of giving end-of-life care to cancer patients, is a different skill set entirely to working in a busy ER or in an OR with surgeons all around.

As well as the different areas, there are different levels of nursing. You will start as an RN (registered nurse), but there are many paths of progression to follow. You will need to gain plenty of experience as well as different qualifications, which mean taking part in accelerated BSN programs and similar courses, so it’s wise to have a plan about just where you want to go and what you want to achieve. Of course, you don’t have to move anywhere; it’s entirely possible to have a hugely rewarding nursing career as an RN for the entirety. However, it’s useful to know that there are options if you want them and that there is lots of choice as to what you might opt to do, depending on your skills and interests.

You Won’t Get Used To Someone’s Suffering

As a nurse, you are going to see a lot of suffering. From people in pain to those losing loved ones, there will be some very sad days ahead in your career. It should be said, of course, that there will also be some joyous ones, and hopefully, these will outweigh the others. These are what makes nursing such a rewarding career to choose.

Regarding the bad days, however, it is going to be hard to deal with someone’s suffering, and this is not something you will ever get used to – at least, this is the case with most people. Instead, you will need to learn how to control and manage your own emotions, as this will make your job much easier. It will also help you to be a better nurse; if you can control your emotions well, you will be more level-headed, more comforting, and more able to do your job even in the most trying of circumstances.

If you are worried that seeing people suffer is going to affect you, you’re the same as every other nurse. It will affect you, and this is why being able to speak to someone after work and let your emotions go when you’re at home is important. You’ll need some kind of support network in order to be healthy when you are a nurse.

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