Nursing is like breathing for me. It is more than a purpose. Being a nurse will complement not only most people but my well-being as well. To become a nurse you need to be compassionate and able to pass college algebra and several science courses such as microbiology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology. I also need to take psychology, social sciences, and be proficient at written and oral communication. I need to be able to read at a tenth grade level.
For many, 9/11 was a turning point in their professional lives. People began to find they were not satisfied in jobs that didn’t make a difference in someone’s life. Others had always wanted to become a nurse but other factors influenced their decisions and now they want to pursue a career in nursing. I might find it easier than you thought to have a second career as a nurse. Nursing is extremely hard work, both physically and emotionally. Not everyone is cut out for it. It’s not just the blood and gore that might make you think twice. I have to understand what nursing involves before you choose this route.
I don’t have to just work in a hospital to be a nurse. I am about to find out more opportunities for nurses as well as the educational requirements to achieve these roles. Healthcare is one of the fastest growing professions throughout the world. The population ages, and healthcare costs rise, the demand for nurses will continue to increase as well. The health care delivery system is shifting, and nurses, particularly those with advanced education, will be in demand for quite some time. With the rising costs of healthcare, physicians are spending less time with patients, and nurses are shifting into an ever expanding role of health educator, as well as providing more direct care to the patients.
Hospitals and other facilities are competing for nurses with sign-on bonuses, and packages including cars, childcare and/or eldercare assistance, and housing assistance. Attractive salaries, bonuses, and job security are not the only benefits for nurses. Caring for others and making a difference in the lives of others everyday is a rewarding aspect to a career in nursing. It’s something that can be said to be missing in many careers. The shortage of nurses has forced employers to not only adjust salaries, but to look outside the box at alternative and flexible working conditions.
Many more opportunities are available for per diem, part time as well as full time employees. Flexible work schedules and job sharing opportunities are emerging in the field to help nurses meet the demands of their families while managing a rewarding career. One way you can see for yourself first hand is to become a patient, but that is not the recommended route. Many young people choose nursing because of past experiences as a patient or through the experiences of a loved one or a close friend. Other ways include volunteering in a local hospital. Many still use candy stripers, or have auxiliaries which train volunteers to read to patients, to assist with wheelchair transportation at discharge, running library carts, etc.
Another way is to seek out a shadow day experience. Talk to your guidance counselor and see if it is possible to set one up. Sometimes local hospitals and clinics offer these periodically. Call your local facility and inquire. Perhaps you ca help them to do this if they don’t already. Nursing schools may offer shadow day experiences. Some are beginning to offer Nursing Camps for a week during the summer. You live on campus and attend events and tours of their hospital facilities. You shadow nurses, and earn your CPR. You may also learn to take vital signs and visit laboratory facilities. You may get to enter a hyperbaric chamber and observe in the Emergency rooms and Operating Rooms. Yet this is what I aspire to be. Nursing is not just a profession for me it is passion that will take me places and would complement me as a person.