5 Things You Should Know Before Becoming a Nurse

According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of nursing jobs is set to grow by 19 percent by 2022. Thanks to an entry level position that only requires an associate degree, combined with an average hourly salary of $31, nursing jobs are the crème de la crème for many people. Before you enroll in a nursing program at your local community college, take a look at these things you need to know before you invest in brightly printed scrubs.

Physical Demands

Talk to a nurse who works in a hospital or otherwise high traffic location and you’ll soon learn the truth. Nurses are definitely not lazy people. You are constantly on your feet, running to and from patient rooms to offices. The shifts are typically 12 hours long, which means you can anticipate standing and moving for 99 percent of the time. That’s not all. In addition to being able to get up and go when needed, you are likely going to be lifting, dragging, and turning patients who may quite possibly weigh three times as much as you do. Start lifting weights now, and make sure to sign up for an aerobics class, or three, while training to become a nurse.

Attention to Detail

Nurses must be attentive when it comes to accurately recording details. After all, who wants to deal with allergic reactions or misinterpreted diagnoses just because a nurse wasn’t paying attention? One of the ways that nurses are trained to record data is via a military time timepiece. While wrist watches are not exactly the best thing for nurses who follow the Bare Below the Elbows protocol, fobs and pins showcasing the time, in military time of course, are all the rage in nursing stations.

Grow a Personality

Some people are good with people and some are not. If you are a nurse, your days and nights will go much more pleasantly if you are good with dealing with people. As you will experience all sorts of personalities during your work as a nurse, be prepared ahead of time for this. By accepting that you cannot take things personally or that you will be yelled at, a lot, by strangers, you will be one step ahead of the game.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

If you have a wishy-washy personality, forget working as a nurse. You are going to be put on the spot many times when at work. While every situation will not be a life or death scenario, the chances are that you will have to make a decision regarding someone’s life during your career. This is part of the territory of working in the medical field. Be prepared to back up your decisions with your nursing skill and training.

Educational Requirements

Nurses vary according to their educational attainments. Registered nurses begin with diplomas or certificates earned through nursing programs via two- or four-year programs. While you can begin working as a RN with an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree will grant you greater opportunities in the field of nursing. Additionally, if you continue with your education you can earn a master’s degree as a nurse practitioner, which is the ultimate goal for most nurses.