Ever since I've decided to switch to nursing from pre-med, I have gotten very mixed reactions from the people around me. It wasn't until I decided to switch into this field that I realized the stigma around the field of nursing, which inspired me to write an article about all of the reasons I think it's the best career! I put a lot of thought into my decision to become a nurse, and I am determined to put everything that I have into my career and show the world that I am capable of making a difference. For both myself and anyone else who wants to go into the nursing field (there's a shortage and we need you!), here's the reasons behind why I wanted to become a nurse (spoiler- it's not because it's easier than pre-med, I've honestly found it to be a lot harder!!).
1. There's a variety of options
Nursing doesn't lock you into any specific specialty or career. A degree in nursing can place you anywhere from an emergency room to an ICU to a nursing home, and there's no one stopping you from switching what you want mid-career. Nursing allows you to explore different fields in a way that many other careers in the medical field aren't able to.
2. There's the ability to specialize
While there are many different options, you can also specialize in something and become an expert in that area (and you can do it more than once!). If you find that you have a passion for a specific area of nursing, you can take a certification exam and become specialized in that area. And if you decide you want to do it again, you totally can!
3. There are many opportunities to move up
While you come out of your undergraduate school with an entry level knowledge in nursing, there's the ability to get a Master's degree and become a Nurse Practitioner, or even a PhD and become a Doctorate in the Science of Nursing. There are many ways to move up from an entry level nurse.
4. It has a lot of flexibility
Nursing has been known as one of the best careers to raise a family with, and since I plan on having a big family someday, I find comfort in knowing that I'll have the flexibility to take time off to be with my kids. Nurses understand the importance of a mother bonding with her baby, and I love that I'll be able to be there for all of the big (and little) moment's in my children's lives while still maintaining a career that I love.
5. Nurses approach healthcare differently
Nurses look at their patients with a holistic approach, meaning that they take into account the emotional needs of the patient along with the physical needs. I am an empathetic person, and while I respect that doctors need to see a lot of patients and don't always have time to spend talking to each one, I know that I want to give my patients that emotional support as well.
6. The scrubs!!
This one is super silly, but I love walking around campus in my scrubs. They're more comfortable than my favorite pajamas, yet they make me feel powerful as I walk through campus. I wouldn't say this is a REASON for becoming a nurse, but it is totally an added benefit!
7. They see people at their most vulnerable
Nurses have the honor of seeing people in the first moments of their life, the final moments of their life, and all of the most vulnerable moments in between. I know that this is a difficult task, and I am honored that I will get to be such a vital part of so many people's story.
8. They advocate for health promotion
Not only do nurses treat people, but they also educate people to prevent problems in the future. Nurses can make or break someone's health by teaching them a few simple tricks, and I want to be able to help someone in such a powerful and intimate way.
9. I'll have the knowledge to help myself and those around me
I hate feeling helpless, and often when I am sick or one of my family members is I feel like the words that medical professionals use is just jumbled. I want to be able to keep myself and my family members in the best health possible, and my nursing knowledge will allow me to do that.
10. I'll be able to support my family
I know everyone says not to do something for the money, but at the end of the day, I want a career that allows me to support my children and my family. Nursing comes with a paycheck that will allow me to give my kids a great life and provide them with the same options that my parents were able to provide me with (and hopefully they'll want to be nurses too!!) .
11. I've seen the personal impact of nurses
I've had my fair share of family members who have been severely ill, and the moments that have stood out to me the most have been the ones where a nurse took the time to explain to us what was going on or advocate for my family member who couldn't advocate for themselves. Everyone has their own "why" for becoming a nurse, and seeing the impact of nurses in my own life was the turning point when I realized nursing was my calling.