The Pros and Cons of Having a Career in Nursing

Why would anyone ever go into nursing? If you are asking this question, you likely are very familiar with the negative side of the nursing profession. I’ve been a nurse for about 8 years, and I too am well aware of the cons. Thankfully, I’ve also been privy to the many benefits of being a nurse. Let me enlighten you to both sides of the coin.

The Cons of a Career in Nursing

  1. Ignorant people will see you as a glorified waiter or waitress. They probably picture you fetching bedpans all day. Which brings me to con #2
  2. You will have to fetch a bunch of bedpans.
  3. Sometimes you will feel underpaid for the work you do. Just remember the difference you are making.
  4. You will be understaffed most of the time. This is something you have to deal with in many fields now.
  5. You will work long hours, half the time on holidays and weekends.
  6. Nursing school is very challenging. You will have to study more than most college students.
  7. There are health risks to working in the medical field. You could be exposed to any number of ailments. There are, however, a lot of resources and safeguards put in place to prevent this.

Don’t let this list scare you just yet. There are still a lot of benefits to being a nurse. Read a little longer before you make your decision.

The Pros of a Career in Nursing

  1. You will positively impact the lives of your patients and their families. Even when your patients have bad outcomes, you still can make a positive impact. This alone could be enough of a reward to go into the field.
  2. There are so many different areas to work in nursing. You can do bedside nursing in dozens of different roles, or you can do something like case management. You can go into administration, research, or even blogging like I did.
  3. The field of nursing has some of the best job security of any profession. If you can’t find a job in one specialty, there is always another option.
  4. Most nurses only work 3 days a week. I prefer to work a regular schedule, but this type of schedule does afford you the ability to get things done during the week.
  5. You will constantly be challenged to grow and improve yourself. This is something that may seem difficult at first, but it will help you tremendously later in your career.
  6. You will have an entire community of fellow nurses. Nurses tend to stick together. They are your band of brothers… or sisters. Nurses have to rely on each other constantly. This creates a unique closeness not always found in other fields.
  7. Last but not least, you get to wear scrubs to work, leading your friends to think your life is like Grey’s Anatomy. I assure you that it will not be. There aren’t really any nurses on that show anyway.

There are so many more pros than I was able to put on this list. Nursing is a challenging and rewarding career. Unfortunately, it’s not for everyone. If the “Pros” didn’t convince you, and the “Cons” scared you, then nursing probably isn’t for you. It takes a unique person to make a good nurse.

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