The job of a nurse practitioner is ranked #3 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Jobs list. Nursing is a challenging yet rewarding profession. It is one of the most in-demand careers today. If you are thinking of changing your career to nursing, here are some reasons why you should consider it.
There are many reasons to change careers to nursing including the reward of a fulfilling and stable career. The nursing career is demanding but stimulating and has great prospects. Nurses are always in high demand and command a respectable salary.
Between 93% and 98% of all nurses are happy they chose a career in nursing according to a Career Satisfaction report by Medscape in 2020. In this article, I further examine why nurses have a high satisfaction rate and why you should consider a career change to nursing.
1. The Reward of Impactful and Fulfilling Work
It’s possible that the reason you’re considering changing careers to nursing is that you’re hoping to actually make a positive impact on the world with the work you do.
After all, there are so many careers where you cannot actually physically see the impact of your work.
You may even just have a desire to help others and change their lives for the better.
A career like nursing that comes with so much meaning and gratification may actually be perfect for you!
Nurses are constantly caring for people who are sick or injured. They work with patients and their families to make sure they deliver the best possible healthcare experience they might need.
There is so much satisfaction to be had from guiding people through some of the toughest moments of their lives.
When doing my research for this article, I spoke to some nursing friends about why they felt like their work mattered. These were some of their responses;
“I just love the fact that I’m always learning new things on the job. I love problem-solving and interacting with my patients. The best part is getting to see them pull through and fully recover”Whitney RN, BSN
“I enjoy helping people through some of the most difficult times of their life. I’ve always loved helping people, and now I get to do what I’m passionate about while others benefit”Salem, RN Acute Dialysis
“I love the diversity that comes with nursing. There are so many different specialties, and I have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. I’ve treated helicopter pilots, war veterans, a man that got a pen stuck up his nose. Honestly, my schedule is flexible and my pay is great for what I do.Alex, RN, MSN
“Just like any other job, some of my days are filled with so much exhausting work. But unlike other jobs, every day I accomplish something important, and every once in a while I get to save a life”Catherine, RN, MSN, CRNA
2. Job Security and Stability
Nursing is one healthcare job that has always been in demand but since the COVID-19 pandemic, its witnessed a great boom
Some countries have even reported having nationwide nursing shortages.
The fact that the “baby boomer” generation is aging and will soon need a lot of healthcare coupled with the fact that more and more nurses are retiring, means that there is an increased demand for new nurses to take their places.
Nursing is one of the most secure professions in the world today because nurses will always be needed. Hospitals and healthcare will never go away because there will always be sick people who need care.
Doctors cannot function without nurses. Nurses implement doctors’ orders. They provide the day to day care of patients, issue medications and monitor their patient’s condition.
If there were no nurses how would this work?
Why do nurses have high job security?
Well, firstly with more and more aging nurses retiring, a lot of schools are not producing enough nurses to balance the scales.
This is most likely because nursing school is not easy to pass. As someone who has no prior nursing knowledge, it’s going to seem like you’re learning a new language when it comes down to memorizing medical terminologies.
Nurses are hardworking and dedicated professionals. This shows through the amount of training and education one has to go through to become a registered nurse.
Unfortunately, this means not everyone that gets into nursing school is able to cope.
This leaves a lot of niche roles that require skilled and knowledgeable nurses to fill. It’s very easy to feel a sense of job security when you know that not a lot of people out there have the skills to replace you.
Another reason is that nursing is such a diverse field. There are so many positions that require certain skills and knowledge to fill.
From certified nursing assistants, registered nurses, practical nurses, surgical assistant registered nurses, home care registered nurses, mental health nurses, travel nurses and many more.
There is a whole field out there waiting for you.
3. Nursing is in High Demand and has a Wide Variety of Job Opportunities
There are so many job opportunities open to nurses when talking about areas that they can specialize in and practice.
Nursing is such a broad term for a profession that has so many sub-specialties.
Let’s look at some of the top nursing specialties and what they involve;
Registered Nurses (RN)
Registered nurses mostly either have an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. They coordinate basic patient care and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their families.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
CRNA’s must have completed a master’s degree and spent time in a cardiac care unit. Because of the amount of training involved in becoming one, CRNAs are some of the highest paid nurses to date.
Critical Care Nurse
Critical care nurses are specifically trained to work in emergency situations. They mostly work with vulnerable patients facing life-threatening issues.
Education-wise, they must hold either an associate nursing degree or a bachelor’s in nursing as well.
Emergency Room Nurse
ER nurses treat patients that come through the hospital’s emergency section. In emergency situations like a heart attack, stroke, gunshot wounds or accidents, ER nurses are expected to stabilize their patients. An associate or bachelor’s degree is required for this role.
Mental Health Nurses
Mental health nurses mostly provide counseling services to patients that are diagnosed with psychological disorders. A master’s degree and a registered nursing license are required.
These are the nurses that train and teach nursing students. They may teach general nursing classes or specialize in a particular field of nursing. A master’s degree is required to become one.
Oncology nurses care for people of all ages that have been diagnosed with cancer. They support patients and their families right from diagnosis through treatment. An associate degree or bachelor’s degree is required.
4. High Salaries
Nursing is such a broad and diverse field, which means that asking “how much do nurses earn?” isn’t really the right way to go about this, the only reply you’re likely to get is “What type of nurse?”
Different fields of nursing earn different salaries. Some nurses earn upwards of $153,000 per year.
That aside, nursing has always been a profession with high earning potential. Because of how diverse healthcare is, a lot of the high paying careers can actually be found in its different sectors.
As of May 2020, the median annual wage for nurses was at about $75,300 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 2021.
Nursing graduates earn in excess of the average national salary- a good 20% higher than the average fresh graduates’ income, with the potential to earn even higher further down in their career.
An experienced nurse can earn more than a hundred thousand dollars per year, which is still a lot more than mid-level professionals of other disciplines.
You might be wondering why nurses have such high earning potential.
It’s mostly because working as a registered nurse in any field requires a lot of passion, dedication and extremely useful skillsets and abilities; this means employers are obligated to pay them very well so as not to lose their talent to competitors.
Let’s take a look at some median salaries of the highest-earning nursing careers;
- Median Salary: $76,000
- Median Salary: $95,000
- Median Salary: $63,000
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- Median Salary: $153,780
- Median Salary: $67,490
Critical Care Nurse
- Median Salary: $71,694
Emergency Room Nurse
- Median Salary: $62,000
- Median Salary: $100,000
Mental Health Nurse
- Median Salary: $64,500
Public Health Nurse
- Median Salary: $56,000
5. Many Opportunities for Career Advancement
There are so many opportunities available with a career in nursing. You can choose to serve as a general nurse or specialize in a field that interests you;
As a fresh nursing graduate, you will most likely work in an entry-level role where you will receive the necessary on-the-job training.
After a few years of experience and expertise in the field, there are always opportunities available even if you feel burnt out and want to try something new.
Tired of being an emergency room nurse? No problem you can try travel nursing and travel around the world.
Nurses are employable in every part of the world. The worldwide nursing shortages have made it easier than ever for nurses to get hired and practice in foreign countries.
In some countries having a nursing qualification can even quicken your visa processing time and permanent residency.
As a working nurse, you will always have professional goals to work towards. Promotions to senior nurses, nursing administrators, or even nursing directors are not impossible at all.
There are many reasons to change career to nursing. Some people may choose to become nurses because they love helping people.
Others may be drawn to the stability of the nursing profession or the benefits that come with it. Whatever the reason, there are many reasons to consider a career in nursing.
Nursing is a highly respected, stable, and rewarding profession with a continuously growing demand in the job market.
Imagine a career where each day is different from the last, working alongside doctors and other practitioners to improve the health and well-being of your patients.
You will constantly learn, be challenged, and be stimulated throughout your career.
Nursing offers flexibility, variety, and allows you personally see the impact your work has on the lives of so many people.
If you are considering a career change and the reasons in this article appeal to you, Nursing may be the right choice for you.