Nursing is a “work of heart.” It is a “calling.” It is a “passion.” You have likely heard these same quotes about this amazing career. But what makes it truly amazing? That would be at least a textbook’s worth of information; so instead, let me give you the career highlights you have been searching for!
1. Nurses Have Moxie
It is difficult to think of a profession outside of healthcare where you can walk into a stranger’s room and within minutes of meeting, build the kind of trust that usually takes years to form. Though not an easy profession, nursing will humble you, remind you to count your blessings, and teach you how to communicate with almost anyone. Nursing will organically introduce you to different ways of thinking, new cultures, deeper connections, as well teamwork essentials. It will shine a light on your strengths and weaknesses alike, and this will ultimately mold you into a person with more purpose and impact than you could have ever imagined. That impact will be exponential; bettering the life of one patient benefits their families, and impacts their friends, workplaces, and ultimately their communities. As a nurse, you cause a ripple effect of health, wellness, and the goodness of the human spirit. This career is not for a paycheck; it is a calling for the betterment of society.
2. Endless Opportunities
There are different nursing degrees, LPN, RN, MSN, and even DNP. Among these degrees are countless specialties. (Oncology, Cardiac, PACU, OR, etc.) The typical inpatient specialties usually come to mind; but you can work in a doctor’s office, be a school nurse, or work in phone triage. You can even work in medical apparel! No matter what your interests are, you can make this career fit your own lifestyle. More active? Come work in a hospital. Don’t like blood? Work in medical sales. Want a change mid-career? Become an educator or preceptor. The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can do with your nursing degree.
3. Travel Nursing
Say you read the last paragraph and thought, ‘But I don’t want to choose! I want to do it all!’ Well, that is a perfect reason to look into Travel Nursing. While you will have to practice as a nurse for 1-2 years prior to getting hired by an agency, it can have great benefits for your career down the road. You can gain knowledge and understanding faster than employees that stay on the same units simply because you encounter more knowledge and experience with each assignment you take. According to TravelNursing.com, you can switch specialties from one assignment to the next as well, as long as you, the agency, and the healthcare facility deem it a good fit. And speaking of a good fit, you are not required to accept any job offers you do not wish to take (just be mindful of not continuously turning down offers and straining your relationship with the agency you work for.) You can also request to stay working in a certain state or city. Did I mention pay? How could I forget!? If travel nursing interests you, a great article to read is How much do Travel Nurses Make in a Year- Salary 2023 by Chaunie Brusie. You will usually make more money than a staff nurse in the same position. How much of an increase depends on a number of factors; the need, the specialty, the facility, and the location. The time of year can also be a factor. Beyond hourly pay, there are frequent sign-on bonuses, paid travel expenses, and housing as well as meal stipends. And don’t forget the simple attraction of traveling as well. Between exploring new cities, meeting new people, and learning new skill sets with every assignment you take, travel nursing might just be your ticket to happiness!
4. The Pay
Let’s delve deeper into compensation, shall we? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently more than 3 million RNs in the United States (we will stick to the biggest nursing sector, RN, for simplicity). Of these nurses, the average pay is $39.78 per hour. This works out to be about $82,700/ year. And this is just the average. At the top of the pay scale is California with an average annual salary of $124,000. If you are a nurse working evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays, however, the differentials will bring you thousands more per year. It is important to consider the cost of living in your specific area and the exact nursing route you would like to take. Nevertheless, Nursing is a career that should keep you comfortable in the middle or upper socioeconomic classes in most areas of the United States.
5. Change is Inevitable
One thing is certain, whichever nursing path you choose, boredom will never be in your vocabulary. Every day on the job presents an opportunity to learn something new. There will always be medical mysteries to mull over and new research that changes diagnostic and treatment options. The medical device market will be worth 964.9 Billion dollars by the year 2030, and nurses are often at the forefront of learning and implementing these new technologies.
About the Author:
Ashley Jerome BSN, RN, PCCN is a Massachusetts native who works part-time at a Cardiac Surgery unit in a Boston hospital. She graduated from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Ashley then obtained her PCCN Certification in September 2019. Ashley is also the proud co-designer of the Moxie Scrubs Ashley Top and has two young boys and a loving husband in the South Shore area.