Nursing jobs are always in demand, and you can build a rewarding career providing care to patients of all ages. If you have a particular field you’re passionate about, like intensive care or pediatrics, you can gain specialized training that allows you to work with the populations you most want to serve. Nurses are essential to every facet of healthcare, but becoming one and succeeding in the field takes serious passion and commitment.If you’re contemplating becoming a nurse, there are a few things you should know before getting your degree.
Student Debt Will Be a Reality for Years
Nursing school isn’t cheap, and to become an R.N., you’ll need to hold a bachelor’s degree. Getting your undergraduate takes a minimum of four years, so you’ll need to be prepared for long study sessions and plenty of challenges as you master the ins and outs of human anatomy, physiology and more.Nursing school can cost between $40,000 to well over $100,000. You’ll want to plan early on how to pay for your nursing degree beforehand so student debt doesn’t overwhelm you after graduation. One of the best ways to start financing your education is to explore private student loan options. A student loan from a private lender is more personalized than a federal loan; the money you borrow can be allocated toward tuition but also other expenses like rent and utilities while you’re in school.
You’ll Need a Good Memorization System
Nurses are constantly having to multitask, and you’ll need to be good at remembering details if you want to succeed in school and in the field. From lab results to vital signs, you’ll have to be quick on your feet and easily remember crucial details. In school, this will make or break your performance on exams that require you to label the entire human body or write the names of different medications and their sideeffects.You’ll also need to accept the fact that there are certain details that will slip your mind. Be prepared, and keep a notebook or tablet on hand so you can always jot down important information.
Nursing school and hospitals are full of cliques. You can be targeted more than once for no apparent reason. At work, there will be other nurses who talk about you behind your back, insult you to your face and even threaten you. Elitists will be prevalent everywhere, but you can’t let yourself be intimidated. Bullying is unacceptable, but it’s a reality that nurses everywhere deal with. Find yourself a few good friends who you can rely on, and focus on your job above all else. Whenever you can steer clear of drama, do so. It’s never worth getting involved, especially when it turns your workplace into a soap opera.
Nursing Is Emotionally Exhausting Sometimes
You’ll never be truly prepared for the first time you watch a patient die. Every death is different, and it is a selfless commitment to be a nurse who stands by dying people and their families. You’ll find that some patients are okay with passing while others are having their lives torn from them from a tragic accident or cruel terminal illness. Whatever the case may be, you will feel the impact, and it’s okay to cry when you get some time alone.You’ll also find it challenging just dealing with heavy workloads, demanding patient needs, understaffed hospitals and long shifts. It does get a bit easier to juggle your responsibilities, but you should be realistic about the fact you will be worn out at times.
You Will Be an Unsung Hero
If you’re going into nursing because you think you’ll be a celebrated member of the medical field, think again. Although it’s true many people are grateful for the amazing nurses who took care of them in the hospital, nursing isn’t done for glory. Nurses are underappreciated, and they often feel a massive sense of love and equal amount of hate for their careers. Every day won’t feel like a win. There will be long periods of time where you’re tired, burnt out and struggling to balance your personal life with work.
People will get angry at you. Other nurses will curse at you, insult you or even tell you that you don’t belong where you work. But there are lots of happy moments, too. There are days where you will bring company and hope to a patient who is going through the darkest period of their life. You may save someone’s life.Nursing will push you to your limits, but if your heart is really in it, you’ll push back and grow stronger.