Whether you’re making plans for your first career or considering switching paths to a new one, there are few jobs more selfless than nursing. However, dedicating your career to helping others isn’t the right choice for everyone ─ and that’s okay. Ask yourself the five questions below to determine if the nursing profession is a good fit for you.
1. Why do I want to become a nurse?
People consider breaking into the nursing field for a variety of reasons ─ some good and some not. If you have a genuine desire to spend your days helping people, you’re in the right mindset. Conversely, trying to please a parent working in the field or pursuing the career only for the salary may not lead to professional fulfillment.
2.Where do I want to work?
Nurses are needed in many different settings, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, schools, nursing homes and more. It’s important to remember that people need healthcare on a 24/7 basis, so if you’re not interested in working nights, weekends and holidays, taking a job at a hospital is probably not the best idea.
3. What type of nurse do I want to become?
Nurses can specialize in a wide-variety of areas, such as pediatrics, oncology and ambulatory care. After becoming a Registered Nurse, you have the option to seek graduate degrees and additional certifications or specializations, such as nurse educator and nurse practitioner ─ or even go on to earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
4. Where will I go to school?
Consider your current lifestyle. Do you have time to go back to school full-time? If you’re working 40 hours per work or have family obligations keeping you from pursing your nursing degree in a traditional manner, there are flexible part-time and online programs that can fit your schedule.
5. Is nursing the right career path for me?
The nursing profession is all about helping others. Patients rely on nurses to be kind and sympathetic, so if you’re a hard worker with a big heart and excellent communication skills, you’ll probably be a great fit. Remember, many nursing tasks are also less-than-glamorous, so if you can’t stand the sight of blood or become queasy when faced with messy situations, you might be better off in a different job—or at least working in the indirect patient care of nursing in a management or informatics position.
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