Nursing as a Career: Pros and Cons
Making the decision to start a career in nursing is not one to go into lightly. People that want to go into nursing need to consider the many pros and con that are associated with nursing. Nursing is a tremendously hard job that is extremely rewarding at times. Many people get caught up in how rewarding this career can be and do not take into account exactly how much work it requires. There is also the impact it has on your personal and family life if you are unable to find the right balance between them.
The Pros to a Nursing Career
The list of rewards to a career in nursing is extensive. Although most nurses would agree there are cons and that being a nurse is one of the hardest jobs a person can undertake, the list of pros make it a worthwhile choice. The following are just a few of the many pros nurses of different areas of expertise and experience mention when asked about their career path.
- Nurses make a difference in the lives of their patients
- Diverse and interesting work
- Excellent pay in some areas/locations
- Camaraderie with other healthcare workers
- The ability to choose the nursing field that best fits the personality of the individual nurse
- Flexible hours and locations are possible. Nurses can work full time, part time, on call, or can become travel nurses
- Helping the patient – Nurses can help ease a worried or frightened patient. They can provide comfort and laughs to not only the patient but friends or family who visit
- The ability to witness people recovering from their injuries and/or illnesses and leave the hospital healthier than when they entered.
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The Cons to a Nursing Career
As rewarding as a career in nursing is if you ask any nurse they will tell you that there are definitely cons to one of the hardest professions out there. There are people who will read the following collection of cons to nursing and will realize perhaps nursing is not the career for them. Anyone who can deal with the cons listed below, and not listed, is someone who is going to make a tremendous nurse.
- Long hours – Nurses work long hours, weekends, and holidays as hospitals never close.
- Odd hours – Nurses also work shifts where they need to sleep during the day while others in more traditional 9 to 5 jobs are working. Working overnight can impact a nurse’s ability to attend family functions, their children’s performances in school or sporting events.
- Understaffed at times – At times nurses have to deal with far more patients than one person should due to staff shortages.
- Underpaid in some areas – For some nurses they are not properly compensated for all the work they do during their long hours.
- Health risks – Nurses come in contact with countless viruses, germs
- Underappreciated – Not all patients appreciate what nurses do for them. There are times when patients can also be incredibly rude and/or mean because of how they are feeling or the medical condition they are facing.
- Sad situations occur – Not all patients recover from their injuries or illnesses. There are times when a nurse has to watch and deal with the death of a patient. This is one aspect to the job that is very hard to deal with for even the most seasoned nurses.
- Long study hours in nursing school – Nursing school is incredibly challenging and requires a tremendous amount of study time. Some nurses’ state nursing school requires more study time than most other professions.
- High burnout rate for medical surgical nurses
Without question one of the greatest aspects to going into a nursing career is that as an individual you get to make a difference in someone’s life every day you go to work. There is no denying the countless rewards that the individual receives by going into the nursing field. While this is a career filled with rewards, like all jobs, there are cons. If you can accept the cons, which include exposure to countless illnesses, viruses, and incredibly long hours, then you might find you can excel and truly make a difference in a nursing career.