Looking at the pros and cons of nursing jobs
Hate your job? You're not alone. Nearly half of Americans, 53 percent, don't like their jobs. Your odds of hating your job skyrocket if you're younger than 25 years-old, or you make under $15,000 per year. That includes pretty much every person working a part-time job. Look, we're not here to dole out free psychological evaluations, but maybe it's time for a career change.
Changing careers can be intimidating. It means learning something brand new from scratch. You can limit some of the risk by choosing a profession with job growth potential, and there are few careers growing faster than those in the healthcare industry, specifically nursing.
Imagine going on your next job interview, and instead of worrying about a call-back, the employer is offering you a signing bonus, a family-friendly work schedule, paid training and maybe even vacations. Not paid time off, paid vacations. As in: "If you take this job, we'll send you to Aruba with a guest." It's a game changer. While nursing jobs can be a great opportunity, they aren't for everyone. Here are some things to consider when trying to make up your mind on whether a nursing job is right for you.
Benefits of nursing jobs
Education: There are three ways to get into nursing and none take longer than four years to finish. A four-year bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) is offered by colleges and universities. Associate degrees in nursing (ADN) are offered by junior and community colleges and take two or three years to finish. The last way, a diploma, is administered by hospitals. Any credible nursing program will have practical experience and training hours you will have to log in a hospital or medical facility.
Pay: Remember the study that found that most people who make under $15,000 per year are unhappy with their job? Well that's not an issue for nurses. The average salary for a registered nurse is over $60,000, and the highest 10 percent of nurses earn over $90,000. Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it sure doesn't hurt.
Career stability: Nursing schools are turning prospective students away, not because applicants aren't qualified but because there is a shortage of nursing teachers. The need for nursing faculty and stuff will only increase as more and more nurses retire. Opportunities for nursing jobs will only grow in assisted living centers, nursing homes and backfill positions for retired nurses.
Less awesome parts of nursing jobs
The gross stuff: This should be obvious, but nursing isn't a walk in the park. If you're one of those people who faints at the sight of blood, this isn't the job for you.
Hours: The old-fashioned nursing shifts were 7 a.m. - 3 p.m., 3 p.m. - 11 p.m. and 11 p.m. – 7 a.m. While those are still roughly true, there is some variation. The point here is that many nurses at hospital and residential care facilities need to be available around the clock 365 days a year. Nurses need to be more reliable than mail carriers, and that says something.
Stress: The ability to cope with highly stressful situations is incredibly important, especially in a hospital setting. Trauma units, critical care and emergency rooms require quick, clear thinking from everyone, all the time.