When you consider a career path, some people may believe that you will be unhappy or unsuccessful.
The issue seems to be particularly prominent with nursing, as people may warn you it is difficult work, emotionally burdensome, or involves long hours.
As a result, you may worry you are making the wrong decision by pursuing nursing.
However, many nurses find their jobs fulfilling despite the stress and hard work.
Follow along to learn all the important facts before changing your mind.
Some nurses may regret entering the profession; however, the majority of nurses enjoy a fulfilling career.
The main elements contributing to regret are:
- Unmet Expectations: Modern nursing programs do not provide an accurate picture of what nursing is actually like. Nursing students may only work a few days a week during their practical hours. However, once they enter into nursing as a career, they realize how demanding and long shifts can be.
- Focus: Many nurses focus on the salary aspect of the job, rather than also entertaining what you have to do to earn the salary. While nursing does pay well, you have to take care of people on a consistent basis.
- Stress and Burnout: You have to take care of yourself first before anyone else. Many nurses neglect their mental or physical health, ultimately leading to complete burnout.
If you are aware of these factors, you may have an easier time avoiding career regret down the line.
According to official studies, 15% of nurses have a nursing career choice regret.
However, in unofficial studies, these numbers reach as high as 44%.
Although these numbers may be startling, it is important to notice the majority of nurses do not regret their career paths.
In fact, many accept that their careers come with burdens, such as high levels of responsibility, long hours, and stress.
If you have a passion for helping others and find the job fulfilling, you might enjoy your nursing career.
Many nurses also have higher job satisfaction if they have a pleasant working environment, supportive peers and leaders, and higher pay.
Most nurses enjoy their jobs, for various reasons.
Nurses provide care, comfort, and support for people who are going through painful times.
As such, they know they have the power to greatly assist and alter the course of certain lives.
They also recognize that their skills and knowledge are invaluable.
Some nurses have the opportunity to build long-term, meaningful relationships with their patients.
They can see the difference they make over the long term in their patients’ lives.
This can drive them to continue in their nursing career, even if some moments can be stressful.
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There are many advantages to becoming a nurse, including:
- Average Salary: The average salary for nurses is relatively high. A registered nurse makes $77,600 per year on average.
- Job Opportunities: There is a large nursing shortage in the United States. So, you may have more job opportunities than in the past.
- Benefits: Nurses receive excellent benefits packages, which can include paid sick leave, paid vacation, health, and life insurance, retirement benefits, and childcare.
- Specialties: There are many nursing specialties, allowing you to explore your passion or maintain comfort levels. You can be a registered nurse, cardiac nurse, clinical nurse specialist, ER nurse, family nurse practitioner, geriatric nurse, or mental health nurse.
It can be difficult to know if you should become a nurse.
Fortunately, there are a few sure signs you would be excellent at your job, mainly:
- You care about others and their well-being.
- You want to help make others’ lives better.
- You enjoy being around others.
- You have energy.
- You can stay calm in emergency situations.
- You are able to multitask.
- You are proficient in math and science.
- You enjoy learning on a consistent basis.
- You have a kind or caring demeanor.
You may be worried about what you can do if you hate nursing.
Fortunately, there are many options for you even if you completed a nursing degree or already have experience in nursing.
First, you should evaluate if you hate nursing in general or simply your specialty.
Your basic training serves as a foundation, but you can always take short programs and transfer into a different specialty easily.
Second, if you truly hate nursing, you have many transferable skills you can use to change your career.
Most likely, you have excellent communication skills, interpersonal skills, time-management skills, critical thinking, and a calming and comforting presence.
Many employers look for these traits and skills.
You can also use your nursing degree to pursue jobs such as medical writers, health researchers, health services managers or administrators, teachers, and nurse consultants.
Nurses in the United States make $77,600 per year on average.
Entry salaries may average $45,760 per year, while the highest-earning nurses earn on average $120,250.
Your salary can vary depending on your specialty, academic degrees, experience, workplace, and state.
Military nurses’ salaries start at $58,000 per year.
You can earn more if you have high education, further specialty certifications, and a high rank.
As a military nurse, you may also receive a commission if you sign a contract or a student loan repayment.
On the other hand, civilian nurses’ salaries start at $45,760 per year. They will also vary according to experience and expertise.
Depending on your specialty and workplace, you may perform a wide array of tasks every day.
A typical registered nurse has the following responsibilities during an 8-12+ hour shift:
- Checking and recording patients’ vital signs
- Administering patient medications
- Performing basic exams or evaluations
- Carrying out care tasks such as feeding, bathing, changing diapers and clothes, and helping patients exercise
- Assisting doctors and other nurses with assessments and interpreting results
- Speaking with patients, sitting with patients, and explaining things to patients
- Helping patients and families navigate diagnoses, care, and paperwork
- Writing and organizing patient charts
Learn more: Do Nurses Take Work Home?
The highest-paid nurse is a certified registered nurse anesthetist, making around $183, 580 per year.
A nurse anesthetist provides anesthesia to patients before surgery and consistently monitors them during surgery.
They may also provide ongoing pain medication after the surgery.
Nursing is one of the most valuable rewarding occupations you can pursue.
Fortunately, the majority of nurses enjoy and benefit from their career choice.
If you are passionate about helping others and believe you have the stamina, you may also love nursing!
Even if you hate it and regret becoming a nurse, you will have many transferrable skills to apply to a new career.