Nursing Education: A career in nursing is not the easiest path to choose in life. Nurses in all different fields are called upon to work relentlesslyin order to improve the lives of other people. It is often a thankless job that requires plenty of inner strength and determination. For these reasons, it is also incredibly rewarding. Knowing that you are making a positive difference for so many people without expecting their gratitude is a great way to boost your self-esteem and feel happier in yourself. Keep reading to find out why a career in nursing might be right for you and how to go about taking your first steps along this career path.
Who Should Choose Nursing?
First of all, what kind of person should consider a career in nursing? It takes a lot of hard work and a certain combination of personality traits to cope with and excelin this role. There are particular characteristics that someone can possess that show they might be perfect for nursing.
Here are just a few:
- This is one of the most important qualities you can possess as a nurse. Being resilient is about how well you handle setbacks, obstacles, and unexpected challenges. Nursing is not a predictable job, and you will be tasked with a whole variety of responsibilities at every stage in your career. Being able to bounce back after daily challenges will be the way you carve out the best career for yourself over time.
- Caring for injured or unwell people takes someone with a lot of generosity in your heart. If you are empathetic and motivated by the opportunity to improve the lives of other people, you have one of the most valuable traits a good nurse canpossess.
- There will be many instances during your nursing career that will test the limits of your patience. Working with a team of different professions and striving for the best outcome for each patient can lead to tensions arising among people. Maintaining patience and having the ability to keep a cool head under pressure are vital for a nurse.
- Sometimes the day ahead might look too daunting to tackle. Having an inner motivation to get up and work hard anyway is important in a good nurse, especially ones wanting to enjoy a long career.
- Nurses are required to have the knowledge and expertise to make tough decisions alongside other medical professionals. This takes confidence and conviction in your choices. You must be able to assess a situation and come to the best solution under pressure.
As you can see, there are very specific qualities that are needed in order to become a great nurse and pursue a long career. If you have these traits, chances are you can excel in a nursing role and provide care to many people in need.
Why Choose Nursing?
There are many reasons a career in nursing might appeal to you. Although it is notoriously demanding on a person, it is also hugely rewarding.Take a look at some of the benefits that come with choosing a career as a nurse:
- While starting salaries might not be immediately attractive, the wage for nurses as they progress is nothing to dismiss.
- Job stability. Since healthcare workers will always be in demand, and there are frequent shortages of people qualified and willing to care for the injured and sick, becoming a nurse provides you with a level of job security not afforded to many other professions.
- Opportunities for travel. Nurses are needed all over the world. Once you have trained and qualified as a nurse, you will most likely be able to find work anywhere. This means that if you feel like a change of scenery, you can easily move overseas and start a new life without having to worry about finding ways to make a living.
- Advancement and promotions. You will be offered plenty of chances to progress as a nurse. The industry wants its qualified people to stay, so they provide many opportunities for nurses to add to their skill-set and earn more money. With promotion often comes a higher salary plus more choice about where you would like to work and what types of jobs you would like to do.
- A sense of purpose. Many people struggle in life to find meaning and feel fulfilled. Nurses may experience tough times when it comes to seeing scenes of pain on a regular basis, but they rarely feel as if they aren’t making a positive difference in the world. If you have what it takes and are looking for a purpose, nursing is for you.
Here are some steps to take in order to make the very most out of your nursing education. If you have read the above and decided that this path is right for you, you will want to know how best to take advantage of your opportunities and potential.
Get Ahead of the Game
Do as much online research about nursing as you can before applying to any courses. You will want an in-depth knowledge of the field, what will be expected of you, which various branches are out there, and how you might fit in. Perhaps dental nursing or mental healthcare interests you more than general or practice nursing. It’s important to know these differences and the path you hope to take, so you can tailor your education to suit your needs.
Know Your Reasons
Why do you want to become a nurse in the first place? What has motivated you to take this step in your life? You need to make sure that your reasons will stand the test of time. If you only want to become a nurse to prove to someone else that you can do it, chances are your motivation will falter sooner rather than later. Some good reasons to become a nurse include a genuine desire to help other people and wanting to give back to the world. Of course, like any career, one of your main reasons will be to make a good living for yourself and your loved ones, but there isn’t anything wrong with that. How you choose to spend your efforts and use your skills should not only put food on the table but also bring you as much personal fulfillment as possible.
Choose How You Want to Study
Where do you want to study for your nursing qualifications? Do you want to study full time or part time? Keep an eye out for reputable online nursing programs if you would prefer to study remotely.Sometimes, these decisions can be made easier if you take the time to figure out what your learning style is and what your preferences are. For example, some people learn best by tackling problems with their own skills and approaches, while others are better at absorbing information by listening and reading. Of course, depending on the program, you might not have a choice in the presentation of the information, so make sure to adapt your notes and lessons to suit your preferred method. Ask your tutor or lecturer if you can record the audio of your lessons to transcribe later ordraw diagrams in your notes if your brain works better that way.
Listen to Older Students
Students who have already experienced a year or two at your chosen institution are worth reaching out to. Find out what to expect as you progress and what advice they might have for upcoming students. Some might even be able to lend you textbooks to save you money on purchasing them for yourself. Students at other schools are also worth talking to so you can compare knowledge provided by different institutions. Build up a network of fellow nursing students to make the most of your education as best as you can.
Find Reviews Online
You can often find reviews for your school and professors online. This might help you choose your classes better and find tips on how to approach assignments set by certain tutors. You can also contribute your experiences to help other students who might be considering the same path as you. This is a great way to involve yourself in the learning community as a whole.
Balance Work and Play
While nursing is an incredibly tough course to undertake, it is also important for you to find time to experience the other aspects of college. Even if you are learning remotely, you can get in touch with classmates and arrange social events together. Having a foundation of friends who are studying the same subjects as you can make the harder times feel a bit less stressful. Reward your hard work after an exam or assignment by spending the weekend with loved ones or taking a short vacation.
Diversify Your Skills
If you are not yet sure exactly which kind of nurse you hope to be one day, it is important to keep your course choices diverse. This means that you will be better placed to narrow down your path when the time comes. Of course, if you are already certain that a particular kind of nursing path is best for you, then take the relevant courses to fulfill the necessary qualification. There is no harm in broadening your skill-set at the beginning of your career, as this shows future potential employers that you are keen to learn and eager to try alternatives.
Find Time for Extracurriculars
Similar to the previous point, if you can add to your skills by seizing opportunities outside of your direct circle, then you are setting yourself up for success. Since a large part of being a good nurse is thinking on your feet and being curious enough to seek the best solutions, it is useful if you can feed your education with tangential interests. Just because your nursing education will probably take up a lot of your time doesn’t mean you can’t pursue other passions too. You would be surprised at the varied knowledge that comes in handy when working as a nurse.
Become a Time Management Pro
Studying requires intense focus and the ability to delay gratification for the purposes of higher achievement. Nursing students are expected to be extremely punctual and able to complete tasks when requested, as this indicates whether or not you can appropriately prioritize while on the job. Tasks can quickly get on top of you and overwhelm you if you don’t have a strong timetable or plan as a basis, so create a structure that gives you stability. This way, you will be able to adapt to the unexpected with greater confidence. Find a method of studying and dividing your time between work and socializing that helps you achieve your goals.
Nurture Your Caring Side
Since becoming a nurse requires an immense level of kindness and compassion, take any opportunity you can to exercise this skill. Volunteer at a residential home or foster stray kittens at home. You will quickly build up the mental habits of being kindand empathetic without expecting anything in return. This is a valuable skill to solidify if you want to become a reliable and successful nurse.
Take Time for Yourself
Although nursing is about taking care of others, it is just as important to make time for yourself. If you aren’t feeling good, then you aren’t fit to help anyone else. Know when to take breaks and when your body is telling you to rest. It might be tempting to force yourself to keep going even when you’re past your breaking point, but this will inevitably lead to burnout. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes and learn to bounce back stronger. Becoming a nurse is a lot of hard work, which means you will need plenty of time for rest and recuperation along the way. Don’t forget that just because you are training to become someone who takes care of others, that doesn’t mean you can neglect yourself.