Nursing has always been viewed as one of the noblest and caring professions, along with teaching and elderly care. However, in recent times there has been a decline in the position of nursing as a credible career choice. Risks to staff, low pay, long hours, and low regard for the profession left it in a poor state. Numbers were down, essential positions were left vacant, and staff shortages were on the increase. Nursing became a stressful occupation and one that also received a fair amount of bad press.
This has changed, and more recently, there is nothing but positivity around the nursing profession, and it looks to be working itself back to full health. Nursing offers a rewarding sustainable career choice once again. This article examines why this is the case, discussing nursing as a great option as a long-term career choice.
Nursing Offers a Rewarding Sustainable Career?
It sounds simple, but a sustainable career can be quite tricky to achieve. It is about primarily defining what it is you want from your work-life balance and then planning a career path in your chosen field. Longevity is key, and as such, it must be an option that will allow you to work in the specific field or job for as long as you are employed or present you with an opportunity to move sideways and upwards into management or strategic planning as opposed to operations. Being able to work in the role for as long as possible is, however, only one aspect, and the next is the rewarding nature of the role. There will be no point in being in a job that has longevity, but that presents no reward. The reward can be financial in the way of remuneration for the tasks performed as well as self-fulfillment and personal development.
Nursing offers a rewarding sustainable career is the pinnacle of a happy work-life balance as we all need to work to support our lifestyles and family lives, but the aim is to work to live and not live to work. Creating this balance and feeling that a difference has been made by the work that you do is what most people look for their entire working lives and yet is something that can be provided by a career in nursing.
The benefits of a nursing career:
- Emotional rewards are noted by those in the profession as one of the main reasons nursing has been their profession of choice. It serves to meet the nurturing needs of many and additionally has the benefits of allowing the nurse to be at the forefront of ongoing, constant, sometimes lifesaving care. These emotional rewards far outweigh the monetary for many in the profession.
- Job security. The statistics as noted herein and the fact that as long as there is human life, there will always be the need for care and healthcare in particular. This means that as a job type or career choice, nursing will never be redundant.
- Flexibility. Nursing is a 24-hour job as somewhere in the country, at all times of the day and night, someone needs a nurse. This means that it, like warehousing and manufacturing, can be performed around family and lifestyle needs. It is this flexibility that many workers appreciate and allows for many to create great work-life balances, with nursing as the backbone.
- Specialization and progression available in nursing, more so than most other professions or careers, once a nurse you will be able to move into many other aspects of healthcare, homecare, live in community care, shift management, records and administration, basically any other aspect of healthcare that becomes available to you, with the right training and development.
The growth and changes in the healthcare sector with regard to nursing
The additional demand for nurses and RNGs has been quite noticeable, and the US employment statistics show that nursing is still the largest component of the healthcare sector, and with 3.9 million nurses in the US, there is still a yearly requirement for an additional 1million a year. The US Bureau of labor notes that an additional 11 million nurses will be required in total to overcome the current shortage and nursing offers a rewarding sustainable career.
It is a profession growing faster than any other in the US, and the main reasons for this are:
- The recent pandemic has cemented the realization that frontline workers such as nurses are critical in times of medical emergencies, and these staff cannot be trained on demand. It will pay to prepare, and this has added to the increased demand for nurses.
- Aging populations – as people live older in a healthier state, there is an increased requirement to look after these elderly communities.
- Proactive healthcare is on the increase, and the trend is for people of all ages to be more concerned and proactive about their health. This requires ongoing checks and health assessments.
- Advances in medical tech and treatments mean that more health issues can be dealt with, and the means to diagnose is becoming simpler as the tech improves.
How to enter the nursing profession
With the demand in employment needs as aforementioned, it is expected that there has also been huge pressure on the education system and a proliferation of courses and offerings online for training. You must be able to pick a course that is accredited and accepted in the state that you wish to work in and offered by a reputable institution that you know. There are some great examples, such as TWU’s comprehensive online nursing program, and you must be sure as to what you are looking for to get what you want. Choosing the right program for your needs will require some research, but as the aforementioned program shows, there are schools and colleges online that will be able to advise and offer you a full range of courses to get you from entrance level to professional through a series of courses and exams to prepare you nursing offers a rewarding sustainable career.
The right course or training is the first step, and at the risk of stating the obvious, it is the foundation that will need the best work, so where you start in terms of your training could be a defining direction for your career in healthcare.
Choosing the right training provider or online university/college
Healthcare is a professional qualification, and as mentioned above, the training institution must, first of all, be accredited and registered to provide the training and to certify you as competent (should you persevere and complete the training).
Research and read the institution’s reviews and see what others have noted as to the content, social engagement, and interaction with staff and other students. The student experience is also key regardless of whether it is online or not, interacting and having a transformational student experience. The learning may have an end goal, but the process should be fun and enlightening.
Speak to those in the nursing profession as well as any prospective employers if possible and ask as to the competence and their assessment of the institutions you have shortlisted. In some instances, and based on where you are, there may only be one choice, yet it is still worth the initial research to ensure that you know exactly what you are getting.
Look at the state rankings of the institution and pick from the top-ranked schools. With so many schools and training institutions out there, the range will be wider than you can imagine. Narrow it down by only considering those that have an industry ranking or are ranked by achievement and those that have successfully graduated.
Do they help with the state nursing exam, and if so, which state? Getting through the training will be the first step of a process, and subsequent to the knowledge gained, a prospective nurse will need to pass the state nursing exam, and reputable nursing schools and universities will offer a detailed support program for the state exam. If it is an online course, be sure to enquire as to which state exam they will help you to prepare for.
Regarding financial aid, research and inquire about any available financial aid that may assist with course and registration fees.
You need to be sure of the above factors before choosing where to study. It is worth reiterating that to build a rewarding career, you will need a solid foundation, and for most careers, this foundation will be the course of study that you embark on.
Nursing has proven to be one of the professions to have stood the test of time. It remains an essential component of human life and arguably provides one of the few sustainable, humanist careers in a world of constant uncertainty. And nursing is one of them. Nursing offers a rewarding sustainable career.
With many looking for the perfect career that will sustain a family and serve to keep them happy and committed, it is clear that priorities have shifted and stability in a long lasting, sustainable career is being seen as preferable and more rewarding than fast and immediate gains with no chances of longevity.