Is Becoming a Nurse Right for You?

Nurses are an integral component of the healthcare profession. They have more interaction with patients than doctors, and as anyone who's had an unsympathetic nurse knows, they make a huge difference in improving patient care. Although being a registered nurse can be a challenging career, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Ask yourself these questions if you are considering becoming a part of this highly-regarded profession:

Do I have the right personality?
Being a nurse can be emotionally strenuous if you don't have the right disposition. Nurses must be empathetic and caring, but also have the ability to be emotionally stable. As a nurse, you will be working directly with patients on daily, and may form relationships with long-term patients. It can be difficult to show patients and their families that you care about their situation while keeping your emotions in check if you lose someone who had become your friend.

Am I willing to be flexible?
No two days are alike when you are a nurse, and you have to be willing to adapt to any situation that may arise. Nurses also have varied schedules, taking up shifts that are anywhere from four to 12 hours long, so if you prefer a stable schedule, nursing may not be for you. However, flexible scheduling can allow you to make time to chaperone field trips or take on additional education opportunities.

Where would I want to work?
A benefit of nursing is that RNs are needed in a variety of different segments of the healthcare profession. Nurses can work everywhere from hospitals to schools. In hospitals, nurses are increasingly needed to take the lead in giving primary care as doctors move toward specialization.

Am I a hard worker?
Being a nurse is not for the faint of heart. It's an important job and patients rely upon you giving 100 percent constantly. Nurses are on their feet all day, and don't get many breaks, so you will need to have physical and mental endurance. If you plan to work in a hospital, it's important to know that there will always be a patient in need of attention. If you're up for it, being a hard worker will help you become a great nurse - and as a health care provider, you can truly make a difference in people's lives.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN,  BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. 

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