Nursing is one of the most promising career options. There’s no two qualms about it. But it must also be said that it certainly isn’t ‘the’ career for everyone. A lot of nursing students drop out midway from school because they realize that it isn’t anything like what they expected it to be.
The attrition levels is equally high in qualified nurses with many leaving the profession prematurely.
However, with a staggering shortage for skilled nurses, the demand isn’t waning anytime soon.
If you have considered nursing to be the career option for you, then here are a few questions that you should ask yourself before you enroll. The answers to these will help set realistic expectations and also prepare you for the many challenges that you’d typically face on-the-job.
Are you ready to make academics your priority?
Before we talk about nursing as a career, it is equally important to talk about the academics in nursing school. Right from the prerequisites which include subjects like Applied Pathophysiology and microbiology, you will be neck deep in course work that includes volunteering and clinicals. You must be willing to make it your priority and go the extra mile to excel in what you do.
Why do you want to be a nurse?
For most students that we have spoken to, Nursing is just another promising, stable career option with great work hours, a good pay slip and a lot of perks. If that’s your answer to this question, then you’d probably be better off rethinking your career choice. Nursing is one of the few careers that demands an undying passion to serve. You can volunteer as an assistant to a nurse to get a good idea of what to expect from the job.
What does a nurse’s job look like every day?
Once again, there’s no better way to experience this firsthand than volunteer at a healthcare clinic. Many a time, there’s a huge difference in the expectations and reality. Think about it this way. You will be constantly working for 12 hours monitoring patients, making follow up visits, encountering smells that can make normal people barf, advocating for patients, calming down relatives, performing CPR, taking notes and supervising other nurses.
Can you work with people?
Nursing is a people’s job. You will mostly be surrounded by sick people, who at times can be more difficult to handle than you ever imagined. You will be working with other caregivers, with families of the patients and with fellow nurses. You need to be able to be compassionate, loving, understanding and most importantly, caring towards each and every patient in your care. If you feel that these are qualities that you don’t possess, then nursing may not be the right career option for you.
Do you know the 6 C’s of nursing?
Eventually, it is the core values of nursing that makes it such a challenging job. Care, compassion, commitment, communication, competence and courage are often called the 6 Cs of nursing. If you have or can master the 6 Cs then you have laid the foundation for a rewarding career in nursing.