When choosing a career, there are a lot of things to consider in order to ensure that you’re making the right choice. Sure, passion is important but you also want something that you’re going to be good at. Passion ensures motivation but if you also have the right traits and aptitude, success is guaranteed. Job availability and decent income are just as important. How long are you going to remain passionate about a career path that can’t provide you with the quality of life you think you deserve? With all of this in mind, here are the top 4 pros and cons of pursuing a nursing career
PRO: High demand
Finding work as a registered nurse is relatively easy, seeing as how the demand is quite high. We’re not just talking about a number of spots but also the number of opportunities. As a registered nurse, you can always specialize in things like elderly care, rehabilitation, etc. You can also go for a more adventurous approach. You can serve as a nurse in the military base, become a nurse on a cruise ship, be a nurse on an airplane, etc. The bottom line is that there’s so much room for requalification and specification.
CON: Getting a degree
Getting a degree is not a simple task. First of all, you need to find the right school. Keep in mind that your skill determines the quality of care you’ll be able to provide so choose your school wisely. Second, this takes years of your time. The course is not easy, which means that you’ll also have to display some serious dedication. While this isn’t that expensive, the cost of getting certified as a registered nurse can get quite high.
PRO: A decent living
Your earning potential as a nurse is almost twice that of the global average. Depending on your location, you might be looking for as much as $76,640 annually. The average for a nurse is roughly $63,000, which is also more than decent. Keep in mind that your specialization (something we’ve already discussed) may also determine your income, as well as your working hours. In general, while it is not the highest-grossing profession, it’s definitely somewhere in the upper bracket.
CON: It’s difficult and dangerous
As a registered nurse, you’ll sometimes be put in difficult places in the line of duty. For instance, you might get to work with contagious people or hazardous substances. It is also quite likely that you’ll be in contact with all kinds of bodily fluids, which is not for those who are overly sensitive. The shifts can be 12-13 hours long and during extreme circumstances (like this epidemic), you might have a hard time getting a day off. Remember that this is a special occupation and a different kind of career. Therefore, you need to be prepared for what comes ahead.
PRO: You get to help people
Empathy is a trait that can be both a blessing and a curse. Some people choose to use it as a gift and help others while they’re at it. Do you have to be empathetic in order to be a nurse? Not really, but you do need empathy in order to be a good nurse. The only way to make it in a career, any career, would be to find intrinsic motivation. You need to know why you’re doing what you’re doing and why you’re enduring all the cons we’ve mentioned on this list. Of course, you don’t have to become a registered nurse in order to save someone’s life. Even getting a basic life support certification will make this possible.
CON: It’s physically demanding
Being a nurse means being on your feet most of the day. This can cause stress to your feet, ankles, and lower back. Sure, a lot of nurses develop these conditions later in their careers but if you’re struggling with this, to begin with, you’re not off to a good start. Other than this, you’ll be pushing, pulling, potentially even lifting people, some of which are not going to be easy. Overall, the job will put a lot of stress on your arms, shoulders, and back. You need to be 100% sure that it’s worth it.
Nurses are generally respected as a profession. We’re not just talking about people who they provide with care and their families but the society as a whole. On the list of the world’s top 10 most respected professions, nurses are ranked 6th, right up there with doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, and police officers. In other words, it’s a great way to establish yourself in any community that you enter. Most importantly, becoming a nurse is a great thing for your confidence and it can effectively teach you how to respect yourself.
CON: It can get stressful
Think about it, you’re working with people in pain, people suffering, and people who cannot take care of themselves. It takes a lot of empathy but it also takes nerves of steel. You’ll find yourself in some of the most difficult situations and have to make decisions on the spot. Also, remember that the physicians are not the only ones who can get sued. Needless to say, this will further add to the overall stress that you’ll feel on a regular basis. Still, as you’ve seen throughout this article, the payoff is more than worth it (for some people).
In the end, pursuing a nursing career gives you a chance to make a living while helping those in need. Job stability is high but job requirements are quite high, as well. Other than this, this is a line of work where you’ll be respected but where your physical and emotional strength may be put to a test. It’s a great career path for those who care but not something meant for those who are too sensitive or indecisive. For those who fit the description derived from the above-listed pros and cons, becoming a nurse is definitely a viable career path.