Nurses are in the business of saving lives. Although they do not perform surgery, they work hand in hand with doctors and other experts so that the patient may recover. Sadly, there is a shortage of such professionals in the industry. If you don’t know yet what you want to do with your life, maybe the information provided here will make you consider nursing as a possible career choice.
Anyone who wants to start a career in nursing must at least be a high school graduate with good academic standings. He or she must also have a sufficient score in the SAT and the nursing entrance exam.
There are over 1,500 nursing programs currently available and there are three types that will enable the student to start their nursing career. There is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing that is a 4 year course, the Associate Degree in Nursing and the Hospital Diploma both of which are 2 year courses.
Aside from working in the hospital, you will have the opportunity to find work in other places such as schools, correctional facilities, research labs, private companies, health care centers and private homes.
A full time employed resident nurse makes about $46,800 annually while staff nurses make about $42,100. This isn’t that bad when you are working in an entry level position. If you decide to pursue advanced studies later on like a masters or a doctorate degree, you can expect to earn around $61,000 to $63,550.
There are approximately 2.7 million licensed registered nurses in the US and majority of them are women. Men only represent 5.4% of the total population but in the US military, 33% of them are men.
The environment where nurses work is usually well lighted and clean. Most of your time will be spent bending, stretching, standing and walking. You will work not only on the dayshift but also on a nightshift including weekends and holidays. You may be on call on short notice if there is a need for additional manpower to help out in the hospital.
You have the option to work as a full time or part time nurse. In 2006, 21% of registered nurses worked part time as some held another job.
Despite the clean environment, sometimes nurses are prone to hazards. These include coming into contact with patients that are afflicted with infectious diseases and need harmful, hazardous or toxic medication in order to recover. This can be prevented of course by wearing the proper gear and equipment.
Accidents also happen at the workplace such as accidental needle sticks, chemical spills that are used to sterilize equipment and radiation. But nurses are very vulnerable to back injuries, gases and shocks from electrical equipment.
Since nurses are only human, they may also suffer from emotional strain from caring for patients that are suffering from unrelieved intense pain, personal contact with the patient’s family, the need to make crucial decisions as well as ethical dilemmas.
This just goes to show that life as a nurse is not easy and those who can stomach the ups and downs will be the only ones to stay in this profession for a very long time. The question you have to ask yourself after reading this is whether or not you have what is takes to be a nurse.