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Is Nursing Still a Profession Worth Pursuing?

*Original post released on 2/20/2023

Is nursing still a profession worth pursuing? This is probably a question that’s crossed your mind at least once in your nursing journey. The answer likely varies from person to person, however, I’ll try to take an objective standpoint and review some of the pros and cons about nursing as it currently stands. So my answer to the question? Long answer short, in my opinion, yes. Nursing is still a profession worth pursuing. Let’s dive in to some of the pros and cons of nursing. We’ll start with the cons and then end on a better note to wrap up the article.

Nursing shifts, no matter what the setting is, can be long…sometimes up to 12-14 hours in length. Many times, employers require nurses to work holidays although they also tend to rotate holidays so you likely won’t have to work Christmas day two years in a row. Nursing can be hard on the body and mind. We’re often lifting patients, standing for long hours at a time, and don’t get much time for breaks to eat or use the restroom. It can also be hard on the mind as you care for people in their most vulnerable states and, sometimes, even in death. At times, the nursing care can you provide to your patients can conflict with your own personal values and ideals. Additionally, there’s always a concern for workplace violence, whether it be physical or verbal aggression. At times, your employer may float you to alternative units depending on your specialty and the hospital’s demand. This can be especially true if you’re a nurse trained in critical care and/or are a traveling nurse. There is also always a risk for contracting transmittable diseases such as Covid or resistant bacterial infections.

Now let’s move on to some of the upsides of the nursing profession! Nursing often offers the potential for a very flexible schedule…many employers allow self scheduling, PTO requests, and you can often choose the type of shift you want to work (day/nights) depending on the setting and location where you work. Additionally, you can typically change from one shift to another or to a different nursing setting as it best meets the needs of your life and lifestyle. Also, you are usually able to change specialty depending on your interests. The opportunity to travel is readily available now more than ever if you choose to pursue it.

You have immense capacity to make a difference in the lives of many patients and you get the opportunity to grow and learn as a healthcare provider. There are flexible degree options when pursuing nursing. For instance, you can start as an ADN-RN, work and have your job help you pay for and obtain your BSN for a more affordable degree option. You’ll also get the opportunity to learn and grow as a nurse while you pursue your bachelor’s degree. While you work as a nurse, there are also many opportunities to pursue certificates related to your specialty (Ex: if you’re in critical care, you can pursue the CCRN certification). After that, you have a multitude of career options available to pursue: charge RN, clinical instructor, a master’s degree that allows you to become an NP or an instructor, a doctoral degree that allows you to become a CRNA.

These are just a few of the pros and cons related to nursing. In my opinion, the pros far outweigh the cons…although that can be difficult to see when you’re having a rough day or you’re exhausted from working 3 or more shifts in a row. Despite the cons, the opportunities are endless for career changes, career advancement, and lifestyle adaptations. Ultimately, you have to choose this professional path for yourself. Think about the pros and cons I’ve highlighted, ask around for other opinions, and do your research so that this is an informed choice made by you. You’ve got this, and you likely won’t regret it! Until next time, happy studying!

Andra Alyse

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