For some, the idea of becoming a nurse is a dream they have cherished for as long as they can remember. For others, it’s something that might only just be dawning on them – perhaps after a positive experience with a nurse taking care of them or because they realize that nursing is the fastest growing area of healthcare. Of course, this means there will always be jobs in this sector and that those who have the relevant qualifications will always be in demand. Whatever the reason, the fact is that those who choose to become nurses can truly make the most of their career choice, thanks to the many options available to them.
However, because most people will not have significant first-hand experience of what nursing is really like, and some might only be aware of what a nurse does through TV shows and movies (and this is not always the most reliable source), it’s worth researching exactly what you can expect if you choose to become a nurse. If you are armed with all the facts, you can be entirely sure that you’re making the right choice and that nursing will give you what you’re looking for in terms of your career. So keep reading to find out exactly what you can expect if you apply to be a nurse.
Nursing School Is Challenging
If you’re looking for an easy subject to study, nursing is not the answer. There is so much that you need to know that if you don’t enjoy learning or you’re not willing to put the hard work in, you’re not going to thrive when studying to be a nurse. You need to know that you are going to be challenged, and that’s a good thing. After all, you are taking care of people at their most vulnerable, and in some cases, you will be responsible – at least in part – for saving their lives. They need to know you have paid attention and learned as much as possible when you were at school.
However, although there is no doubt that nursing school is challenging and that you will need to be one hundred percent committed to your studies, you will have a lot of support. There are instructors and advisors who will be with you throughout your learning journey, and they want you to do the best you can, so they will be on hand to help, answer questions, and guide you in the right direction. Plus, there will be your fellow students, all of whom want to achieve the same goal – it’s not a competition as there is certainly enough room for everyone (there is currently a worldwide lack of nurses), which means you can bond together and help one another. Finally, even if you are learning remotely online, there will still be a chance to connect through online forums, video chats, or arranging a real-life meet-up, for example.
Even if you don’t think you can make it through nursing school, you’ll be surprised at the things you can achieve when you are positive and set your mind on a goal. So many thousands of people complete their studies every year, so why not you?
You’ll Need Strong Time Management And Communication Skills
As we’ve said, there are a lot of facts about medicine, the human body, and specialist nursing techniques that you’ll need to learn if you want to become a nurse. These are the main bulk of what your learning will entail at nursing school, either online or offline. However, nursing isn’t just about facts and figures – there are a number of different ‘soft skills’ that are required too. Some of these can be learned, but others are those that you will already have, so it’s crucial to be honest when it comes to understanding what skills you need to work on and what you are already good at.
Soft skills can also be termed ‘life skills’ and are non-technical skills that help you to be more efficient, effective, and productive in all areas of your life, including, of course, your work. Many soft skills will be extremely important when you are a nurse, but the two most important are time management and communication. Are you good at these things? Are you punctual? Can you prioritize tasks? Can you communicate well with a variety of different people in a variety of different ways? If not, you’ll need to ensure that you start learning how to do these things as well as learning how to be a great nurse.
To be the best nurse you can be, you need to not only explain things to patients and their families, but you also need to be an exceptional listener. Listening to what a patient has to say could make a huge difference in their treatment; you might catch something that they failed to mention to their doctor because they didn’t think it was important, for example. However, even if this is not the case, listening is still important. It will show the patient you care, that you’re there for them, and that they can trust you. All of this promotes a positive experience and can actively heal the patient more quickly.
Time management and communication need to be strong when you’re a nurse. What can you do to strengthen these essential soft skills if you’re not proficient in them already? This question is a crucial one to answer, and whether it includes making to-do lists, having a pre-prepared set of questions to ask, or even learning how to make yourself heard – literally – in any given situation, it’s important that you do it.
There Are Many Nursing Specialties
Many people who have not looked more closely into nursing will probably have the idea that there is just one type of nurse – a person who takes care of a patient’s needs in a hospital. However, the reality is that there are many different types of nurses in all kinds of medical areas, and you don’t even have to work in a hospital. This is why nursing can be open to everyone, assuming you will be able to do the work, of course. There is a specialty that will suit anyone who applies to be a nurse, making it exciting for one thing and a viable career choice for another.
When you start medical school, you will study to become a registered nurse or RN. Once you have this qualification, you can move on to specialize in whatever area interests you the most. You might want the fast-paced environment of the ER, for example, or perhaps you would prefer the organized excitement of the OR. If you are interested in helping people with a specific condition or who are of a specific age, you can do that too. You can even become a researcher if that appeals more than face-to-face nursing care. No matter what you want to do in terms of nursing, once you have qualified as an RN, you can do it.
There Will Be Opportunities To Advance Your Career
We’ve mentioned how, once you have gained your RN qualification, you can choose from a variety of specialties. However, it’s also important to mention that you can also advance your career once you have chosen an area of nursing to work in, whether it’s more general nursing or something specific. Nurses don’t have to stay at just one level, and they can continue to advance until they are at the top of their profession, leading others and being in charge of an entire area of a hospital, clinic, or elsewhere. Not only does this mean more responsibility, more varied work, and more money, but it is also good for your self-esteem and general happiness, assuming advancement is something that interests you.
Once you are confident and competent at a certain level of your nursing career, you can start thinking about your next steps. Make sure you do plenty of research; looking into FNP vs NP is a good idea, for example, so you can compare exactly what the two areas of nursing requirements are and which will be the best fit. No matter what your ambitions might be, nursing will allow you to pursue them.
You Will Make A Difference
As a nurse, you can’t help but make an important and positive difference in the lives of your patients. Nursing is a hugely rewarding profession, and above all, this is something you should expect – if you want to have a job that actually means something, and where you can change lives or, at the very least, make a stay in hospital that little bit more pleasant, then nursing is the right option for you.
Not all jobs are like this. There are some where, if you weren’t there, everything would go on just the same. However, this is not the case in nursing. Not only are you helping your patients, but you are also part of an extremely close-knit team, and if someone were absent from that team, that absence would certainly be noticed.
If you want to make a difference, become a nurse.
To read more on topics like this, check out the Health category