8 Things You Should Know Before Pursuing A Degree In Nursing
So, you’ve been thinking about becoming a nurse – mazel tov on that. Perhaps all those nurse-related TV series inspired you to choose this line of work, or it was just your never-ending desire to take care of those in need.
Regardless of the reason, there is a hard truth that you must know about becoming a nurse: It is one of the most crucial yet exhausting jobs on earth. It is all very hectic, from observing, assessing patients, administering medications and treatments, and providing emotional support and help.
We’re not trying to scare you off; we want you to know everything that comes into the making of a good nurse. The part where you get your education is the most important because you will get tested the most. It’s not like you can spend a few years in college, try out a job for a while, and then switch to another if you don’t like it.
So if you are serious about becoming a nurse, we’d like you to take a seat and read this article. It contains a preview of everything you must know before choosing a degree in nursing.
Let’s get to it:
- It’s more about comprehension, not grades
Nursing school is full of bright, high-achieving students accustomed to receiving straight A’s. If you go into your first semester hoping to ace everything, you should reconsider your strategy. Students may discover that they cannot achieve the same high score they did in high school or other programs. During their first semesters of nursing school, knowledgeable folks get Bs and even a D. Don’t be alarmed if this happens to you. Instead of obsessing over grades, concentrate on your ability to comprehend, learn the content, and hone your critical thinking skills. And since we’re on the topic of expanding learning, registered nurses can enroll in an online RN to MSN program and qualify for advanced practices. After all, you are winning as long as your mind develops and your knowledge and skillset expands.
- You will need to commit to lifelong learning
Nursing education does not end with completing your degree and acquiring your license. Nurses must maintain their current skills throughout their careers while also discovering new ones. Nursing is a shifting profession. With that being said, nurses must be on the cutting edge of reading the latest findings, learning new skills and knowledge, and presenting them to their patients and the community.
- Hospital jobs are super-competitive
While some nurses may find work in a hospital right away, others will need to expand their horizons to include other healthcare facilities. The soon-to-be nurses might not know what it is like to find an actual healthcare job or how difficult it is. And of course, there’s always a shortage of nurses, which fools everyone to believe that they will quickly get hired as nurses – that is entirely wrong.
While there is a nursing shortage, most hospitals have residency programs that only accept a limited number of new graduates. When you are a recent graduate, keep your options open to gain experience that will provide you with more opportunities. If you can’t get into the hospital right away, think about other options as well.
- Your schedule as a nurse will always be terrifying
Nurses are said to have the best schedules in the world. The majority of hospital nurses work three days a week for 12 hours. When you account for the time it takes you to notify your patients and the arriving nurse, your day is closer to 15 hours — and it starts before the sun rises. Oh, and did we mention three days a week? Pretty funny!
Expect to receive calls at 5 a.m. pleading with you to come in on your “day off” because the squad is short-staffed. And you’ll go in because you begged people for the same thing the day before.
- You’ll need to have proper time management skills
Although all of the skills you learned in nursing school will be useful, none will be more important than time management. You have a specific set of tasks that you must complete before the shift ends. Make a plan and stick to it. Unfortunately, nursing does not progress in a straight line. You may be going through your timetable and become distracted several times. As a result, you’ll have less time to complete the mundane tasks on your to-do list. However, you can’t escape getting interrupted. That is the essence of effective time management. You will have a much better transition if you learn to manage this phenomenon early on.
- Student nurses never stop for a second
Forget about keeping time: your days as a student nurse will take flight. You’ll be preoccupied with work-placement shifts, exams, deadlines, and classes. You will quickly amass a slew of contact data for new hospitals, friends, placement areas, wards, and tutors. What is the best advice here? Get an academic journal to keep track of your progress and everything else that you do.
- You must have a good memory; otherwise, you are out
You must remember your patients’ names and address details, as well as their lab results, vital signs, and medications. Because doctors can check on their patients at any time, ensure you’re ready. If you know you can’t always rely on your memory, you should have a decent scheme in place to help you remember this information. You can write them down on a piece of paper and pull them out quickly before answering their calls or paging doctors.
- You will need emotional strength
Nursing is not a happy-go-lucky job. It is pretty depressing. Prepare for guts, blood, and feces. You’ll have to deal with seriously ill people. You’ll need to be there for worried parents and suffering cancer patients. However, there is some truth to the adage that the most challenging jobs are the most satisfying. There is no better feeling than a patient thanking you for assisting them during some of their most defenseless and frightening hours.
Yes, studying to become a nurse is hard, and then working as one is even harder, but once you get your head in the game, you will love everything. There is no better feeling for a passionate nurse than making a patient happy during a stressful time.
Still, you need to acquaint yourself with all the challenges and aspects that might come your way (mentioned in the above section). By getting to know these things, you will see if you are ready for this profession or not.