If you find yourself feeling an intense calling or need to be in a particular career field or job, you should count yourself lucky. Nurses tend to be people who experience this feeling. If you are a person with a strong feeling to help other people, a keen intellect and an aggressive work ethic, you might find a rewarding career as a nurse. Nurses find the job fulfilling, but they will be the first to tell you it is not an easy job. Here are some things you need to know about working as nurse in this day and age.
1. Nursing is Fulfilling and Meaningful Work
According to PayScale’s Most and Least Meaningful Jobs report, healthcare jobs are higher ranked for meaningful occupations than other areas, and nurses are well aware of the difference the make in people’s health and lives. On the report, surgeons and doctors are ranked barely higher than nurses on career meaningfulness, yet they make significantly more, which goes to show that nurses tend to not do it for the money.
2. Nurses Work Long, Physically Exhausting Hours
Most nurses work 12-hour shifts several days per week, and their daily responsibilities can change at a moment’s notice. These shifts are spent on their feet and constantly on the move. Overtime is a common occurrence, and if you’re considering nursing, you should be prepared to think on your feet in addition to being on them all day.
3. Nursing can be a Stressful yet Rewarding Career
Besides the long hours and physically exhausting labor, nursing is also psychologically taxing. As a nurse, you’re responsible for a wide variety of patients with a wide variety of needs, and you may work long shifts without much reprieve. However, many nurses appreciate the daily change of responsibilities, and get a lot of satisfaction from knowing their work is helping people and making a difference. If you thrive in high-pressure environments, nursing may be the career for you!
4. Gender Pay Gap Exists in Nursing
While 9 out of every 10 nurses are women, male nurses tend to earn more in almost every field. While the gap varies depending on specialty and expertise, men average $5,000 more than their female counterparts. Even so, the national average for a RN is around $60,000 annually.
5. Nurses Hold an Important and Ever-Changing Job
Caring for patients and medication administration falls heavily on nurses and is a critical part of any health care team. Nurses have a variety of crucial roles not limited to assisting during surgeries, operating medical technologies, making sure they are accurately reporting aggregate spending and keeping medical records secure and private. Medical technology is always evolving, and nurses must be able to learn and evolve as well to find better and smarter ways to care for their patients.
These are five things you should know before you get into nursing. It is a stressful and demanding calling, but one that many find rewarding and exciting with many personal rewards, decent pay, benefits, and job security.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. You can follower her on Twitter @DixieSomers.