Nursing has been a great career choice for millions of men and women throughout the decades, but it has never been brought out into the foreground as profoundly as it has been, in the present times.
Nursing practitioners, together with physicians and other health practitioners, are the front line warriors battling the invisible enemy, Covid 19.
Other than this very noble mission, there are some other things that you need to know and expect when you choose this profession made famous by Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing:
1. WHEN YOU GRADUATE, YOU SHOULD STILL PASS THE NCLEX.
After acquiring your Bachelor degree, you still have to take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Exam) before you can start working as a nurse. The NCLEX will cover all the areas in nursing which you learned when you were in school. If you prepared well, there’s no reason that you won’t be able to pass it.
2. THE WORK OF NURSES IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Nurses have so much responsibility. They are expected to provide high quality healthcare to their patients but still maintain the composure of emotional strength. Their greatest contribution is the saving of lives while undergoing enormous stress.
A nurse, passionate about her vocation, feels pure joy when a patient of hers wakes up from a coma and puts smiles on his face and that of his family.
3. THE CAREER PATH OF A NURSE HAS TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL.
As a registered nurse, you will be directed first towards general health services. But throughout the years, you will realize that you will have interests geared towards specific specialties. As a nurse, you could go into cardiology, neonatology, neurology, nephrology (renal care), neurology, and many others.
You could also advance in your nursing career as an administrator of a hospital if you get your masteral degree. Your Bachelor degree could also be your pre-medical course before venturing into advanced studies leading to becoming a physician.
4. EXPECT YOUR SKILLS TO BE IN DEMAND.
There will always be a need for nurses as the population grows and the elderly folks grow in numbers. Old people will always be the first ones to have sicknesses as well as small percentages from the younger age groups. Nurses are beacons of hope, patience, and good health because they will be the hospital staff that will most likely face the needs and the tantrums of the patients most of the time.
5. EXPECT HIGH PAY.
A lot of older generation nurses are getting ready to retire, so that means you will always have a job waiting for you. Not just any job, but quite a high paying job because your skills are much in demand. The salary for nurses has never been better.
Expect to make $20 to $36 per hour as a starting salary. Some hospitals even offer hefty hiring bonuses with five figures before you even start working.
6. EXPECT FLEXIBLE SHIFTS.
Hospitals and other medical service companies make allowances in terms of flexible shifts so that they can make the jobs of nurses easier.
This practice also encourages the nurses to stay loyal to the hospital or company because they are made to feel so welcome and needed. But be warned: remain humble.
You know you are needed and you are looked up to in your profession, but don’t abuse it by making unnecessary and unreasonable demands on management. Act as a cooperative and productive part of the team.
7. EXPECT TO WORK OVERTIME OR ON ON-CALL SHIFTS.
In this abnormal times, expect staff shortages and absences to be regular occurrences.
So, you will be called in sometimes to work extended hours or to work on unpleasant shifts.
It is imperative that you rest well and be cautious to pursue a healthy diet which protects you and your family from the dreaded virus. This is because you can be called in any time to work even on your rest days.
8. EXPECT DIFFICULT PATIENTS.
Build good relationships with all the patients assigned to you.
It is tempting to spend more time with good natured patients, but it is also in pursuit of your noble mission as a nurse to build good rapport with unhappy, nervous, and anxious patients who always seem to find something to complain about.
It is two way communication that will eventually break this tension filled barrier between you and them and they will have happy memories to think about when it is time for them to go home.
9. BE PREPARED FOR DIFFICULT SUPERIORS AND SUBORDINATES.
You cannot please everybody in your workplace.
There will always be supervisors who will always find loopholes in your job and there will always be employees under you who will give you headaches.
The boundary you should watch out for is if everything they do are within hospital/company rules and regulations. If they violate these boundaries, you have every right to complain to the proper authorities.
10. ANTICIPATE A RELAXING RETIREMENT AFTER DECADES OF SERVICE.
Nurses who have worked from 30 to 40 years and even beyond, expect to be rewarded with an above average pension scheme from the government. You are entitled to a relaxing retirement period after decades of saving lives and even risking yours to probable infections and other dangers on the job.
A nurse is a modern day hero in the sense that you go to work every day to prolong lives in teamwork with other nurses, doctors, and other health professionals. Be proud of the work you do and continue to learn new aspects of healthcare every day! We give you a big salute!