It is deceptively easy to take a cursory glance at the nursing industry numbers and hastily decide this career would be the one to pursue.
After all, there is a constant nursing staff shortage – 41% of nurses proclaim the situation much worse today than just five years ago. Several other factors also play a major role. For one, 71% of nurses who are close to their retirement age are sure to retire in the next three years.
Furthermore, the world needs 9 million nurses, and the employment for registered nurses should grow 12% in the next 10 years. With these numbers and projections, nursing might seem like a sure bet for many who are seeking to carve their career path.
However, before firmly deciding to become a nurse and obtaining all the necessary licenses, there are more things for you to consider.
Education is Expensive
To become a registered nurse, you’ll need financial means to do it, and that can mean anything between $20,000 and well over $100,000, depending on how far one wishes to take their education and whether you will score a place in the community college or go for private institutions.
After all, there are many different types of nursing jobs, and some are much better paid than others. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses are at the top of the earning chain with the average salary in the range of $110,930, while Certified Nursing Assistens earn the least, around $27,520.
Job Market is Competitive
Regardless of the shortage, the job market for nurses is still competitive, and some positions are much harder to get than others. This is especially true if you wish to find a position as a nurse in the hospital because they have strict rules and only accept a finite number of new graduates.
This may mean you shall have to seek other options, such as working in schools, care homes, private practices, camps or cruise ships, hospices, etc. The field is broad, and there are many opportunities, so it might be a good idea to research all the options before committing several years of your life to earn a degree in nursing.
The Nurse Burnout is Frequent
There is no doubt that being a nurse is one of the most selfless and rewarding jobs a person can do, but the stress levels that the job includes have to be factored in. Actually, this might be the deciding factor.
Because dealing with people in pain, incurable diseases, dying, and being a witness to the pain of the patient’s family can and has broken many who opted to take this path. Add to this the incredibly long hours, night shifts, the huge responsibility, paperwork, and the constantly growing number of patients, and you’ll finally put together the whole picture of what it means to be a nurse.
Lack of Support and Strong Leadership is Common
Another common problem nurses face in their working environment is the harsh treatment from their older and more experienced colleagues. This situation is frequently referred to as “the nurses eat their young” type of scenario. If becoming a nurse is your ambition, you need to be prepared for this possible situation and try to learn skills that will help you deal with this situation.
Lack of strong leadership and support from individuals who are in a leadership position is another frequent occurrence in the nursing industry. It is so prevalent that half of the nurses were either ambivalent or disagreed when asked if they could trust their leaders or if they have support in developing their careers further.
Nurses are always wanted; they are an indispensable part of the health care system. Their job is not only respected and vital for the wellbeing of the society but is also one of the hardest, most demanding positions one can choose. Do your research about this job before you commit your time, energy, and funds to become a nurse.