Deciding on the right career is a tough decision. While some people seem to know what they want to do early on, many others end up choosing a different career when they’re halfway through their working lives. And it’s quite clear that most adults struggle with finding something they truly enjoy. A nursing career, on the other hand, is often one of those options that you land on because of a passion for the field. Working with people and helping them through the most difficult times in their lives can be truly rewarding and also very difficult.
Here are some tips in case you’re considering a career as a nurse. This guide can make it a bit easier to figure out if you have a special skill set that it takes to be a good nurse.
A Nursing Career is Emotionally Heavy
Any kind of work that involves helping people in need will be tough emotionally. Doctors, nurses, psychologists, and even firefighters experience the same kind of numbness and burnout after a while. And it will help greatly if you’re prepared for this to happen.
Helping people means that you will have to go through difficult conversations, quarrelsome patients, and even the loss of a patient from time to time. Learn to talk to your colleagues and your family members and friends about your worries; you might find the burden a bit lighter to bear.
You have a lot of Options in Nursing
Some students who attend nursing school are not sure about whether or not they want to specialize in something. In the nursing career, there are a ton of options for specializations like becoming a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, etc. Check out to learn how to become a nurse practitioner NP.
And you can always choose to continue your education later on when you know more about the field you’d like to go into down the road. Have a look at dnp midwifery online, for example, if you prefer to study remotely.
You will have to Work Hard
Helping people and providing care may sound like an easy job for those who don’t know any better. But let’s be real: being a nurse is hard. Be prepared for many long shifts, often overnight, and other challenges that might come with the job.
Remember that you’ll be able to get lots of great advice from more experienced nurses. An informational interview with them can help you understand what their shifts are generally like, for example.
If you decide a nursing career is right for you, reach out to your colleagues for help if you feel it’s all a bit too much. They can have mental health tips to help you. Everything considered, becoming a registered nurse is rewarding work, and those who stay in the job tend to be passionate about helping others.
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16 thoughts on “Nursing Career: Do You Have What It Takes?”
Beautifully written post about a profession I personally love. It is emotionally heavy and hard work. The bad days can be truly horrible, but the good days are some of the most rewarding of my life. I am also glad you touched on the fact that nursing is an incredibly varied field. Many people do not realize the versatility of a nursing degree (I just started a blog about alternative nursing roles, including my own as a tele-health RN). Really enjoyed this post. :)
You are helping people daily, Nurse Meg, and for that I commend you for it. Having your appreciation of this post, as you’re someone who works in the healthcare field, means a lot to me. Wishing you all the best with your blog!
I agree with everything you said here. I have been a nurse for 4 years and a CNA for 4 year. The healthcare field has been such a journey and incredible experience. check out my blog if you have time: travel with me LPN to DNP.
I’m a student currently in the thick of my third semester in nursing school. I just want to encourage all of you out there who may have read this post and think that you do not have what it takes. If a call has been placed on your heart to serve, then YOU WILL. You will grow to be a person who DOES have what it takes, even if you don’t right in this moment. One of the most valuable lessons I took from clinical this semester was not a medical skill, but was a mindset…and it did not come from my instructor. A fellow nursing student said, “Megan, you do not have to have it all together right now, and no one expects you too. You can’t be too hard on yourself. You’re a student not an RN. Give yourself the grace to lay your future and your actions in the Lord’s hands.” This small comment spoke so much truth into my life. The Lord doesn’t always call the qualified, but he qualifies the called. If you feel a pull towards a career in nursing, I would encourage you to dig deeper and really consider a career in this field because it is so very rewarding (even while in the very stressful hike of nursing school:)) Thank you so much for this post Christy, very well done!
Hi Megan, it sounds like you know your call in life is to be helping others and a nursing career offers a great opportunity for you to do exactly that! Blessings xx
Great post, Christy. My sister is a retired RN. She’s a saint and has done it all in every dept. in the hospital. I give anyone in the medical field lots of credit because it’s not for everyone. Sadly, she’s caring for her husband 24/7 now who has Alzheimer’s, but since she is a nurse, that has benefited her in so many ways in this new and unfortunate chapter in her life. xo
Oh wow I feel like your sister’s career choice has come full circle as she now cares for her husband around the clock… I send kind thoughts to you all xx
Thanks, Christy, and I think you’re right. It’s just so sad…
Hugs, many hugs
Thank you, Christy, for sharing the post on nurses. I’m proud to say that my daughter is a neonatal nurse practitioner who returned to college, while working at the Children’s Hospital in Denver, to get her advanced degree. I admire her stamina to work 12 and 24 hour shifts and her devotion to the young patients under her care. Nurses are on the front line for providing critical care.
I’m a nursing student at Indiana Wesleyan University. I entered my first semester with the goal of doing this exact job (neonatal nurse practitioner). Now, as a sophomore, I’m considering pediatrics. I’m not sure of my career path, whether I will go straight into grad school, or work for a few years before I continue on. What did your daughter’s career path look like? Did she work for a while before she continued her education? Does her hospital pay for her student debt/continued education?
Those long shifts must be tough for her but I sense your daughter loves what she does and that keeps her going, Linnea. She has made such a commendable career choice. When you wrote that you’re proud of her, it made me smile xx
I enjoyed my nursing career. The education is something that you can draw upon even if you decide to do other things in life.
Wonderful, Peggy! As a nurse you no doubt made a positive difference in the lives of many people.
Back in 1973 when I was 14 I got my working papers and told my Dad that I wanted to be a Candy Striper at Mary Immaculate Hospital formerly located in Jamaica, Queens. (MIH went out of business several years ago) Anyway after interviewing with the head Nun I got the go ahead and spent that summer volunteering in the clinics. It was an eye opening experience. Cut to the chase I decided that blood, body fluids, drug addicts and screaming kids were not for me. Still it was a valuable work experience for a young teenager.
It’s good that you realized it wasn’t for you without having to go through 4+ years of college to realize it. All the more reason to volunteer in an area of interest :)