Is Nursing Right for You?
If you are wondering if nursing is right for you, this article will help you understand the job, the training and the pressures involved.
Nursing is one career which is not going to go away and it’s also one which offer a great many different options, both in terms of the actual work involved and in location. If you are considering a midlife career change, this is definitely a field in which older applicants are welcome.
Nurses can work in many different settings. Initial training is offered in different branches of nursing, such as adult, childrens’ or mental health nursing. Once qualified, nurses can choose to specialize in areas such as intensive or coronary care, emergency medicine or cancer care and work in a hospital or clinic or they can choose to become midwives or community nurses, visiting patients in their homes and enabling them to cope with serious illness or the frailty of old age while remaining in familiar surroundings. They can also work alongside General Practitioners, dealing with everyday illnesses and accidents.
Is Nursing Right For You? Nurses also work in the military, aboard cruise ships, in schools and old people’s homes. And many nurses use their skills to see the world, working as they travel and possibly settling in another country.
Nurses can also qualify for jobs with a great deal of responsibility,for example as nurse practitioners who are able to diagnose and prescribe. Or they can move into roles in research or education.
Is Nursing Right for you – Education
Nurses undertake many practical tasks and also have to be prepared to study throughout their working lives in order to keep up with developments in medicine and surgery. So you will need to have a combination of practical and academic skills. So if you don’t enjoy studying, this is not the job for you. In the past, training was carried out in blocks of a few weeks in the school of nursing, interspersed with time spent learning practical skills on the wards.
Entry qualifications vary according to university, but in the UK these generally include 5 GCSE passes at grade C or above for the current diploma courses and an additional 2 Alevel passes for the degree. Don’t forget that after this year (2012) new applicants will have to take a degree course.
If you are in the United States, you can find more information about entry requirements here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nursing_in_the_United_States
As with most jobs, good literacy and numeracy are important, as is the ability to use information technology.
Nursing education has changed a great deal, with most of today’s nurses studying for a degree or diploma and spending more time in the classroom than their predecessors. From 2013, all nursing programmes offered in the UK will be at degree level. This change has been made necessary by the increasingly technical demands made on nurses,combined with their need to be able to make decisions.
Some Factors You Should Consider Before Answering Is Nursing Right for You?
Nursing can be stressful and is often hard work, requiring plenty of stamina, both physical and mental.
It’s also not amongst the most highly paid jobs and so not a good choice if you want to make a lot of money. Of course, the higher up the scale you climb, the more you wil learn. But, in common with a great many professions, the jobs at the top of the tree tend to be more administrative than hands on and this can be frustrating because it takes you away from the job you originally trained for and enjoyed.
Nurses must also be interested in people, have genuine compassion and be able to relate to people from all walks of life. However, they must also be able to maintain a certain distance, as otherwise the job would be too emotionally taxing, particularly if you choose to work in a speciality where death is a frequent outcome.
Of course, you need to be prepared to encounter the death of patients, whatever area of nursing you choose. And although it won’t happen as frequently, it can be much more distressing when you witness the death of a young person, child or newborn baby.
Nurses need to be prepared to work anti-social hours, at least when they are training. Once qualified, you wil probably have more freedom to choose when you work, but this will depend on individual circumstances. It’s definitely something to be taken into consideration if you are thinking of training as a nurse as a career change, especially if you have children.
You will also need to be able to work as part of a team, where quick thinking and pulling together can mean the difference between life and death. And with government cuts, you may find your workplace is short staffed, meaning that you have to work harder and longer than you might want to.
If you don’t like routine and have had boring jobs in the past, nursing could be a very good option. You’ll get plenty of variety during your training and you’ll be able to choose a specialist area which fits in with your interests. You can also develop hihgly specialized skills and play a critical role in the lives of your patients. So there is potential for a very interesting career which provides you with a great deal of job satisfaction.
International Opportunities for Nurses
Nursing can open doors internationally and although you might have to do some additional training, once you have your basic qualifications, you should find it is possible to work abroad. Many nurses choose to spend part of their careers travelling, which gives them the chance to see the world, as well as experience working in different countries. You may find that nursing in another country suits you much better than working at home.
However, before you pack your bags, double check the requirements and working conditions in the countries which interest you. And don’t forget that leaving home can be traumatic. There are plenty of stories of UK nurses who have gone to Australia or New Zealand,where there are shortages of nurses and have found the lifestyle and the pace of work much better than in the UK. But don’t forget that leaving family and friends behind can be very difficult.
Background Research into Nursing
To find out if nursing is the right career choice or career change for you, do as much research as you can. If possible, talk to people already in the job. You should be able to do some voluntary work at your local hospital – even if it’s only making tea or distributing library books, it will give you an insight into the job and the chance to observe nurses at work, as well as getting to know some of them who will be able to answer your questions.
Find out as much as you can about courses and opportunities to specialize in the areas which interest you most. Is nursing right for you is a question only you can answer, but do your homework before you make your decision.