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Why Choose Nursing as a Career: Discover the Benefits of one of the World's Most Important Professions

Updated on May 9, 2013
Becoming a nurse offers many advantages.
Becoming a nurse offers many advantages.

Join a Community of Health Care Professionals

Nurses are some of the most important people in our society. A good nurse can help someone who is chronically ill stay as healthy as possible. Good nurses can also help people who are recovering from sudden illness feel better and live longer and fuller lives. In their role as health care professionals, they assist patients directly, making sure that just because someone is sick does not mean their fundamental humanity and access to their community of fellow human beings has been lost.

If you are thinking about becoming a nurse, you should do as much investigation as you can before making a commitment. A career as a nurse can be just right for someone who is comfortable with science, likes people, works well under pressure and is fully committed to the idea of being part of a well respected community of health care professionals.

Ease of Entering the Profession

If you want to become a nurse, you will need to complete at least some postgraduate training. The good news? This training can be completed in as little as eighteen months. You can become an LPN or licensed practical nurse in under two years. As a potential LPN, you will spend time in a classroom learning the fundamentals of nursing practice. Once you have completed your coursework, you will spend time in an actual clinical setting to discover if you like the work. This means you will have the opportunity to discover if you are suited for the profession of nursing before you even start a job.

You may also decide that you want to become a registered nurse instead. RN’s must complete at least two years of coursework at a community college. Again this is a very flexible education. If you realize that you dislike the coursework, you can easily transfer your academic credits to another potential degree. If you are considering another health care profession such as physical therapist, this should not be a problem. You can also use your academic college credits to get a general degree.

Opportunity For Advancement and Additional Training

Another major advantage of choosing a nursing career is the opportunity for advancement. Once you have completed your undergraduate training and gained a few years on the job, you can apply for management jobs. Nursing supervisors are often chosen from the ranks of nurses. You can use your knowledge of this subject to help other nurses perform their jobs more effectively.

You can also earn additional degrees and certifications. Many nursing jobs allow job holders time off to complete an additional degree. Some even hold on site classes, making it easy to attend classes and complete coursework. As a nurse, you can always expect to expand your knowledge base and explore new areas of medicine and patient care. If you love to learn, you will find many opportunities to do so if you enter the nursing profession.

Diverse Working Environments

Nurses often have their pick of where to work. Do you like the excitement of an emergency room? You can apply to be an ER nurse. Love expectant mothers and tiny newborns? Consider labor and delivery nursing. Find yourself drawn to people who are recovering from cancer? You can work in a cancer ward and help people.

A nurse can work in a hospital, school , doctor’s office, research lab or even a disaster area. Nursing is a highly flexible field. You might become a school nurse and help make sure local area kids stay healthy. You may be drawn to cutting edge research and find yourself assisting scientists as they find new treatments for illness. Nurses are also called on to work with people who have been injured in the aftermath of a hurricane, tornado or earthquake.

A Choice of Hours

As a nurse, you can decide the kind of hours you want to work. If you prefer a standard eight hour day with weekends off, you can often find a staff position at a doctor’s office where you will work a traditional eight hour day.

Hospitals often offer nurses a choice of shifts. A morning person might prefer to start her day at seven a.m. while a night owl is more comfortable showing up for work in the afternoon. Some hospitals allow nurses to take three twelve hour shifts a few times a week instead of multiple eight hour weekly shifts so they can balance childcare commitments.

Portability of Work

As a nurse, you can work anywhere you like in the United States. All you have to do is pass the state’s nursing exams. You might get a degree in New York but decide you prefer sunny Florida. You can also opt for staff positions or for temporary positions. Temporary nurses earn more money and have fewer benefits. This can be ideal for those who get benefits from a spouse’s employer. You can also try out several different areas of nursing or working environments and see which one like you like best. You might spend a week in one hospital and then two weeks in a local doctor’s office and then another two weeks in a different hospital.

This can help decide exactly where you like working.

Good Salary and Benefits

Nurses earn a higher than average salary and often enjoy more benefits than comparable professions. Nurses are expected to be in demand in the future as current nurses retire. Many nursing tasks cannot be outsourced and must be done onsite so nurses will continue to be needed even if the economy falters.

Choosing nursing as a career also offers many intangible benefits. As a nurse, you really have the opportunity to make a true difference in someone’s life. You can be the person who comforted a laboring mother and helped her get through delivery with less pain. You can be the person who helped a cancer patient find hope in her darkest hour. You can be the person who provides much needed support and medical attention to an elderly woman in her last hours on this earth.

You can be the kind of person all of us hope to find when we are sick: compassionate, caring, and knowledgeable who helps her fellow human beings live better lives.

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