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Electrical Engineering Vs Nursing (Compared)

Nursing and engineering are two of the most competitive, socially respectable, and financially lucrative careers out there. Consequently, they attract a lot of students — especially those with a passion for science. 

In this article, we will discuss how nursing compares to electrical engineering, which is arguably the most ubiquitous branch of engineering.

Which Is Better: Bsc Nursing Or Engineering?

There is really no straightforward answer to this. For instance, people with a passion for saving lives and social work will consider nursing as the best option. 

On the other hand, those looking to develop solutions to real-life problems, more specifically global warming, will gravitate more towards the engineering field. It also doesn’t help that both professions have almost equal average wages, although that makes both careers more appealing!

That notwithstanding, there are a few notable distinctions when you closely analyze the two majors. Some of these are apparent in the table, which has salary and outlook information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as other useful information.

Median Salary$75,330$92,620
Job OutlookProjected to grow 9% Projected to grow 6%
Potential PositionsMidwifeNursing PractitionerNursing ConsultantDialysis NurseAnesthetistCase ManagerElectrical EngineerCivil EngineerIndustrial EngineerMechanical EngineerSoftware EngineerNuclear Engineer
Job FlexibilityHighLow
Stress Levels among PractitionersHighModerate

Can I Be A Nurse And An Engineer?

It was almost impossible in the past but currently, it is very possible to be both a nurse and an engineer. 

The first, and most obvious way to do that is to get a nursing degree, then go to engineering school or vice versa.

The second option involves doing a dual-degree program that incorporates both nursing and engineering studies in a field of choice. This is, fortunately, not that hard as there are an increasing number of universities (e.g. The University of Pennsylvania) that offer degree programs in Nursing and Biomedical Engineering

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) also runs a cross-training program known as MakerHealth. The program is geared towards training, and empowering nurses to be innovators — to both develop new medical technologies and improve existing tools.

Hopefully, it will be even easier for nurses to cross over to the engineering field in the coming decades. This would solve a lot of existing problems in the medical field.

What Is Harder: Nursing Or Engineering?

For many people, nursing is a harder, more stressful profession, both professionally and psychologically. 

For one, nurses work longer hours on average and have to deal with more psychological pressure. This doesn’t mean engineers don’t deal with pressure, only that their decisions, in most cases, aren’t a matter of life and death.

When it comes to course work, the scale becomes more balanced. This is because, contrary to popular belief, nursing is not all theory. There are lots of technical terms to memorize, not to mention all the high-pressure practical lessons. On the other hand, engineering students study lots of maths, physics, and modeling – which aren’t easy to master. 

To see how Electrical Engineering compares to life as an accountant, refer Electrical Engineering Vs. Accounting (Guide)!

Which Type Of Engineering Is Hardest?

Below are some of the most difficult engineering majors:

  • Chemical Engineering – Ostensibly complicated by its dual focus on both math and science, which can easily overwhelm the student.
  • Aerospace Engineering – Typically has lower margins of safety, and thus little space for errors.
  • Biomedical Engineering – Naturally, courses that combine concepts from medicine and engineering are arguably the most complex fields of study.

Also see our Electrical Engineering or Information Technology (Guide) for information comparing the two fields.

Is Nursing Easy To Study?

No.  Nursing is almost as hard as medicine courses and perhaps harder than some engineering majors. 

Apart from the fact that you are essentially learning a completely new language – that’s exactly what medical terminology is – you also need to have consistently high GPAs. The last part may sound easy but it is not exactly so, as most nursing schools expect students to do weekly tests and clinical sessions.

Additionally, many nursing students find it hard to cope with hospital visits since they find it emotionally taxing to experience and deal with human suffering from a close perspective. . 

It is also important to note that nurses have slim margins of error. This is especially so for students involved in surgical tasks, where the tiniest mistake can result in the loss of lives. 

Although it may not be a problem for some, the high costs of nursing programs, relative to other courses, may also complicate things. 

As such, it is commonplace for nursing students to spend money out of pocket to cover books, exam registration, and medical supplies. 

Can You Become An Engineer With A Nursing Degree?

As mentioned earlier, it is possible for a nurse to transition to the field of engineering. However, it is not an easy process, as the two disciplines differ from each other greatly. 

For instance, a nurse who wants to be an electrical engineer or a civil engineer will have to complete the entire 5-year Bachelor’s program for the same. 

Conversely, nurses who wish to become biomedical engineers can take the dual degree option and complete the two majors within the same time.

Do Nurses Make More Money Than Engineers?

In most cases, engineers earn slightly more on average than nurses. However, some nursing jobs pay almost the same rates (sometimes even higher) as engineering. 

These include certified nurse anesthetists, legal nurse practitioners, and certified nurse-midwife. 

It also goes without saying that nurses who work in the public sector almost always out-earn their peers in the private sector.

Conclusion: Which One to Choose?

There is no doubt that whichever of the two disciplines you choose, you will be guaranteed a relatively fat paycheck and a decent amount of job satisfaction. 

However, from our perspective, we think engineering is the better choice. It pays higher on average, doesn’t bog you down with long working hours, and you don’t get to see people suffering in your arms. 

You may probably not like being an engineer if you are a social person, as you could spend most of your professional time alone with your computer.