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Considering Becoming a Nurse? Breaking Down the Nursing Career

by Editor

The medical field is a large and vibrant community that demands the best of its members. Nursing is an honorable profession, but it’s not without its challenges. The constant focus on improving care can lead to an endless cycle of self-improvement, or what nurses like to call “the quest for excellence”.

For those who have chosen nursing as a career goal, this quest can seem daunting at times. But with the help of experts from around the world in medicine and nursing practices, you will learn how to make significant strides forward on your journey towards professional excellence. 

This article will provide you with some helpful guidance in achieving a successful career in nursing. 

To begin the process of your quest for excellence, it is imperative that you take a look at yourself as an individual and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Start by writing down what drives you as a professional, what personal characteristics define your work ethic, and what you truly want to accomplish in the field of nursing. 

Identifying your strengths is an important step in setting yourself up for success as well. Many professionals are hesitant to highlight their weaknesses because they fear that others will judge them harshly, but this is not an effective way to achieve excellence.

The Benefits of Choosing a Nursing Career

If you are considering nursing as a career, know that it is a good choice. Today’s nursing profession has a wide variety of options for you to explore and really make your mark on the medical community.

You will spend your time working with people who are in their most vulnerable state, helping to heal them from their illnesses and injuries. 

In addition, nursing is a very rewarding career choice.

Some of the personal benefits of this career move include:

  1. Achieving a purpose through nursing and gaining new goals helps you move towards a successful and meaningful life. 
  2. The nursing field is always growing, which means there are always more opportunities available for professional development and career advancement. 
  3. The more you learn in the field of nursing, the more satisfied you will be with your life, as every day presents new puzzles to solve to help others and yourself live a better life. 
  4. You will gain health benefits by helping people to get well again, or even for the first time in their lives. 
  5. You will learn appropriate professional etiquette through interacting with numerous healthcare professionals and patients while they evaluate your style and mannerism during every interaction. 
  6. Your education will be well-rounded, which means you will be able to apply your knowledge to many different fields at graduate or post-graduate levels. There are a lot of options for continuous study, from post-graduate level courses right up to doctorate level with options like one of the many accelerated online DNP programs.

If you are still in the process of deciding whether nursing is your career choice, you can gain important information to make an informed decision on the pros and cons of this particular field of work. 

The Challenges of Nursing Today

While nursing as a career is a good choice for the reasons listed above, it must be noted that it isn’t an easy choice or by any means an easy career.

Some of the challenges you may face include:

  1. There is a shortage of nurses.
  2. Technology advancements have made it easier for physicians to make their own medical decisions, which puts more responsibility on nurses to manage patients with symptoms and diagnoses they may not fully understand.
  3. There are many factors that affect your ability to help others on a daily basis, and doctors rely heavily on you to help them decide what the right thing to do is.
  4. Pressure and demand on the staff are always increasing. 
  5. There are many cases where you will be placed in situations where you feel as if you did not do enough to help your patient recover. 
  6. There are many cases where you may feel uncomfortable working with people that are different from yourself, which means you must be strong enough in your beliefs to work with those who have different values from yours and still maintain a professional demeanor at all times, regardless of their viewpoint.
  7. You could be put in a position where you will have to take care of patients that are younger or older than the age you are used to dealing with every day, and that could present some problems with communication about their illness or injury.

These challenges are a part of your life as a nurse, but they can also be overcome by following the advice of experts. 

The Tough Road to Becoming a Successful Nurse

To excel in this profession, you will need to put in the time and effort to study and practice. 

Achieving excellence is not something that happens overnight; it takes time and commitment to become a great nurse. But once you have mastered your craft and are consistently using your acquired knowledge for the benefit of your patients, you will be able to say that your hard work has paid off. 

Another factor that is important to consider when it comes to becoming a great nurse is your work ethic. 

If you have chosen nursing as your career path, this is the most important thing you can do to get yourself on the right track towards success. 

It’s easy to think that others in the medical field will recognize what you do and how good a nurse you are, but this may not always be the case. 

The opinions of those around us at all times can have an impact on our own feelings, and this can be perceived as either negative or positive.

Competency-Based Practice

Nurses today work within a framework that is known as competency-based practice, which gives them a chance to take on more responsibilities and be the nurse they aspire to become.

As your career progresses, you should have the opportunity to grow and develop your nursing skills while also expanding your abilities in order to offer better care to each patient you work with. 

One of the best ways to ensure that this happens is by participating in professional development courses that are taught by experienced professionals. This way, you will be able to gain access to high-level information that will make a difference in your ability as a professional. 

Benefits of Partaking in Professional Development Courses

Professional development courses have many benefits for nurses at every stage of their career path. 

You can look forward to:

  • An increased skill set. 
  • Workshops and webinars that can allow you to receive continuing education credits. 
  • Professional courses that will help you develop a stronger leadership role in the workplace by allowing you to use your knowledge and skills. 
  • Exposure to new ideas, which lead to better and more effective ways of treating patients in the future, as well as ways of handling different situations that may arise in the workplace; it is always good to be prepared for anything life has to throw at us. 
  • Use of more advanced and helpful technology that can help provide a better patient care experience and also improve your work experience as well as that of your patients. 
  • The chance to get the most out of your career by gaining valuable knowledge and skills that will help you solve problems more efficiently in the future.

Nursing Career Prospects

Your career as a nurse will be as long and prosperous as your hard work. 

The challenges of becoming a great nurse are not always easy, but if you are willing to put in the time and work to become the best nurse you can be, you will see that these things will be worth your time. 

In addition to being able to provide your patients with the best possible care, nurses have many other benefits that come with their profession, including:

  • Better Job Opportunities – Nurses often have better job opportunities than people who do not hold a degree in nursing.
  • Higher Earning Potential – The average nurse makes more than $70,000 per year, depending on their location. 
  • Healthcare Options – Nurses have many health insurance options available to them. 
  • Flexible Work Schedules – You may have opportunities to work a reduced schedule during times of school or family life so that you can be available to your family members during those times.
  • Retirement Plans – Although health insurance and retirement benefits may vary by employer, most hospitals offer their nurses the benefit of company healthcare and retirement plans that could amount to more than $1 million over the course of your career. 
  • Health and Wellness – Nurses are known for having a higher likelihood of being in better health than the average worker or other professions.
  • Strong Benefits Package – You will be able to take advantage of benefits such as medical, dental, and vision, paid time off, and more when you hold a nursing degree. 
  • Strong Management Skills – Nursing experience could also help with management positions within your organization in the future.
  • Growth Potential – If you are looking for opportunities to become an RN, you will want to be sure that you continue developing your skills throughout your career so that you can make an impact on the lives of your patients and colleagues in the future. 

Finance Management for Nurses 

Nursing can be a difficult profession to maintain financially. 

Due to the nature of this work, you are constantly on call and drawing on your skills and knowledge almost every day. 

As a result of the financial drain on your bank account, it is important to manage your finances as a nurse. 

In order to make sure that you are able to meet all of your financial obligations by using strong financial management skills, you will need to know how much money you will require every month in order to meet these obligations, as well as what you can do to help maintain or achieve better savings so that you can make smarter decisions when it comes time for things like healthcare. 

Preparing for Retirement

Despite the fact that nursing is a physically demanding job, the income of a nurse can be both lucrative and rewarding. 

As you approach retirement, you should take into consideration the amount of money that you will need each month in order to cover your bills and other expenses. 

Luckily, many employers offer some sort of retirement program that could potentially offer you a certain dollar amount per month after all is said and done. 

Some of the benefits of retirement plans include:

  • 401(k) – When this type of savings plan is used, you will be able to contribute a certain amount in pre-taxed money each year and receive money back on the taxes that you have paid on that contribution as well as extra income tax savings. 
  • Pension Plans – Many employers offer pensions that allow you to contribute a certain percentage of your salary each month and then receive money back based on how much you have contributed over time. 
  • Retirement Accounts – When you have retirement accounts such as IRAs, they often require that you make a certain type of investment over the course of ten years and then will give you further tax savings on what is left over. 

Conclusion: How to Achieve Successful Results as a Nurse

With so many different options and opportunities for nurses, it is important to take the time to get educated on how to achieve success in this profession. 

There are many great nursing careers out there, and if you aren’t exactly sure what it is that you want to do with your career, consider all of the options that are available, whether it be work in a hospital or a clinic or even working as a certified nurse’s aid. 

If this isn’t something that you feel strongly about, then maybe it isn’t the best choice for you, but if it is, you should consider starting your journey today.

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