Is Nursing the Right Career Path for You?

Have you always wanted to work in healthcare?

Perhaps you like the idea of making a difference in people’s lives?

Or maybe you believe the sector to be flawed and want to affect real change? 

Whatever reason you have for considering pursuing a career in nursing, the below blog should help you to decide one way or another. 

As you are possibly already aware, there is currently a huge demand for registered nurses and other nursing professionals such as nurse practitioners and nurse educators. This is mainly due to the aging population in the United States, and indeed worldwide, as well as the effects of the recent pandemic and a lack of people seeking out a career in nursing. 

Whether you are currently enrolled in a nursing program, you work in a healthcare facility but not in nursing, or you are completely new to the world of caring for others, keep reading to find out more about this noble profession and if it is the right career path for you. 

What does a nursing career entail?

There are currently more than 3 million registered nurses in the United States, with nurses outnumbering doctors 3 to 1.

While the role of a doctor is typically very specific, the role of a nurse is much more varied, and you will be required to care for all aspects of a patient’s health. 

To answer the question, “what do nurses do on a daily basis”, there is no one answer. However, the most common duties of a registered nurse include:

  • Monitoring and evaluating patients
  • Coordinating with multiple specialists 
  • Carrying out physical examinations 
  • Listening to patients 
  • Providing counseling 
  • Performing tests 
  • Checking a patient’s vital signs 

Nurses can work in different healthcare settings, including hospitals, private clinics, offices, schools, pharmacies, home healthcare settings, and elderly living communities. 

As well as becoming a registered nurse, which is often the first step in a person’s nursing career, there are several other lucrative and rewarding nursing roles that you can pursue, including:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner 
  • Nurse Anesthetist 
  • NICU Nurse 
  • Travel Nurse
  • Nurse Educator 
  • Neonatal Nurse
  • School Nurse 
  • Ambulatory Nurse

Are you suited to the nursing profession?

Now that you have a better idea of what a nurse career can look like, the next step is to find out if you are suited to a career in nursing. 

If you are still not sure, try asking yourself the below questions: 

Do you enjoy caring for others?

This might seem apparent but, if you are looking to pursue a career in nursing, you need to enjoy looking after people, especially when they are at their most vulnerable. 

If you have worked in a caregiver role before or even if you have had experience caring for a relative, this can help you to decide whether you are suited to this role. 

You also need to be able to show compassion at all times and empathize with your patients. Not everyone will appreciate your help, but you still need to remain positive and compassionate. 

To care for others on a daily basis, you need to be quite an extroverted and personable individual. Nursing is not the best career for those who are shy and retiring, as you need to be able to lift people’s spirits at times when they are at their lowest. 

Do you have an active interest in nursing?

Another seemingly obvious question, but there is a big difference between watching ER or One Born Every Minute and actually working in a real-life hospital environment. 

Can you actually imagine yourself working in a busy hospital surrounded by people scared and in pain? Rushing about and spending long periods of time on your feet? 

If you are not sure, then it may be a good idea to look for some work experience in a hospital or other healthcare facility to see if you’ve got what it takes to thrive in this demanding role. 

It is important to think about how you are under pressure? The role of a nurse can be stressful, and you need to make sure that you are able to deal with this stress, both for your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. 

Do you like to learn?

As well as the practical side of nursing, you need to be willing to learn the theoretical parts. 

For example, when you are studying for your associate’s degree or for your nursing license, you will be required to learn about elements of nursing such as acute care, anatomy, and physiology. This level of studying can be quite intense, so you need to determine whether or not you are willing to put in the learning hours to make your dream of working in nursing a reality. 

Furthermore, when you are ready to progress in your career in nursing, you will need to undergo further degree programs such as a Master’s in Science of Nursing (MSN). 

Do you always put others first? 

When you pursue a career in nursing, you need to know that you will be spending the vast majority of your time putting other people’s needs before your own. Therefore, you need to be a pretty selfless person to thrive in this role. 

Of course, if you want to be able to do your job properly, you need to keep yourself physically and mentally fit but, at the same time, you need to realize that the wellbeing of your patients is your main priority when you are on a shift. 

It can also be highly beneficial if you are the type of person who does not judge others. Whether you work in a hospital, a private clinic, a school, or even a prison, you will meet people from all walks of life. People of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences. Therefore, you need to be able to put yourself in other people’s shoes and try to understand where that person is coming from. 

Are you driven and determined?

Although the demand for nurses is high, if you want to progress in your nursing career, you need to have the determination to succeed. Nursing is one profession where you are unlikely to be pushed into further education. If you want to progress in your career, you will need to take the initiative yourself. 

That being said, there are lots of prospects for career progression in nursing, as long as you are willing to put in the work and invest in your future. 

For example, you could train to become a Nurse Practitioner, which is both a high-paying and in-demand role within the U.S healthcare sector. If this sounds interesting to you, find out is becoming a nurse practitioner worth it? 

It is worth knowing that there are lots of different roles within the umbrella term of “nurse practitioner,” including a Family Nurse Practitioner who acts as a primary care provider for patients of all ages, from babies right up to the elderly. 

Why choose a career in nursing?

Hopefully, you now have a clearer understanding of whether or not you are suited to the nursing profession. You may be interested to find out more about the benefits of becoming a nurse. 

  1. Job security 

The nursing profession will experience a 6.8% annual job growth by 2030. This is faster than the national average for all occupations. 

A combination of an aging population, the effects of the pandemic, and an aging nursing workforce in the United States mean that it has never been a better time to pursue a career in nursing. 

Therefore, if you are worried about investing in further education and accumulating more debt, you can rest assured that you will find employment once you are qualified. 

  1. High level of job satisfaction 

While the portrayal of nurses in the media and on television is that they are overworked and underpaid, the reality is somewhat different. 

If you want a job that you actually enjoy doing every day, then nursing is a great choice. According to an American Mobile Nurses Healthcare survey, 81% of nurses are either satisfied or extremely satisfied in their jobs. 

Furthermore, the survey showed that 70% of nurses would recommend this profession to others. 

  1. Competitive pay

Although money isn’t everything, it certainly helps to make your life easier, especially if you have invested in your education in order to further your career in nursing. 

The median annual salary for a registered nurse is $75,330, and the median annual salary for a nurse practitioner is $114,510. 

Furthermore, depending on what type of healthcare facility you choose to work in, you can expect other benefits such as flexible working, paid sick time, paid family leave, health and life insurance, childcare, and even wellness programs. 

If you are looking to earn a high salary in the field of nursing, you should look to seek employment in a private healthcare organization as these tend to offer the best rate of pay. 

  1. Opportunity to make a difference 

Most people who choose to work in nursing are not in it for the money. They choose to become a nurse so that they can make a difference in people’s lives. 

Whether you are a registered nurse, a nurse practitioner, or a nurse educator, you will have the opportunity to improve your local community and help the people within it. You can even take part in local volunteering events such as health fairs which can improve services within the community. 

  1. Flexibility in studying 

If you are worried about working and studying at the same time or you have family commitments that take up a lot of your time, you will be pleased to hear that you can complete most nursing degree programs online and the popularity of online nursing programs only continues to increase.

That’s right. No rigid schedules. No extortionate commuting costs. No struggling to juggle work and classes. 

There are now many accredited online nursing programs that enable you to study at the times that are most convenient to you. Plus, you can choose to complete your chosen degree program either part or full-time depending on your current commitments. 

  1. A respected field 

Nurses and other healthcare professionals are highly regarded in local communities and, once qualified and working, you will find that people offer you a high level of respect. The field of nursing is seen as an honest and ethical profession, and therefore, as a working professional within this sector, you will be rewarded with the same prestige. 

If you choose to pursue a higher degree such as an MSN or Doctorate, you will then have the knowledge and experience needed to affect real change within the industry, such as policy reform. 

  1. Learn transferable skills

If you gain the necessary qualifications needed to become a nurse and then you discover that you are not suited to this specific role after all, then you are at least left with many transferable skills that can help you to find employment in another industry. 

These skills include critical thinking, good communication, organization, and the ability to stay calm and collected under pressure, which are vital for the situations that you will face on a daily basis in your nursing career. 

If you want to remain in the field of nursing but you find that you are not suited to the role of registered nurse, there are many other career options available to you, such as a job in nursing administration, public health nursing, and the role of a missionary nurse in clinics abroad. 


As you can see from the above, a career in nursing can be both professional and personally rewarding, offering good rates of pay and the chance to actively make peoples’ lives better. 

That being said, this demanding, and at times stressful, the role isn’t for everyone. 

If you think you can stay cool under pressure, are willing to constantly learn and improve your knowledge and skills, and want to have a positive impact on the community you work in, then a career in nursing is the perfect choice for you. 

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