- Nurses are very employable.
- Nursing options are extremely varied. You can start your career as a med/surg nurse in a hospital, for example, and switch to ICU, long term care, surgery, school nursing, informatics, psychiatry, education, nursing administration, ER, etc., etc., etc., without too much trouble. It’s like being able to switch careers without relocating, and often without even changing employers.
- Nurses are regarded by the public as being competent and trustworthy.
- It’s possible to become a nurse without a 5 year nursing degree. There are more opportunities for BSNs, certainly, but (depending on where you live, and what kind of work you want to do) ADNs (associate degree nurses) and LPNS (licensed practical nurses) can also do quite well. Many LPNs and ADNs go on to get BSNs and beyond, and can often get tuition assistance from employers.
- Most (not all) nursing work is done in a clean, temperature controlled environment.
- Some nursing jobs can be dangerous. Patients and family members can sometimes be volatile, and you have to learn to defuse tense situations. (In some cases, defusing is impossible—-it’s more important to have good security around you!)
- Nursing can be tense work. In some cases, making an error could kill or seriously injure the patient.
- Nursing is often stressful. Depending on the job, you’re often pulled in several different directions at once, so you need to know how to prioritize.
- If you do bedside nursing, be prepared to give up at least half of your weekends and holidays. You might also have to put in time on a shift you don’t wish to work, at least until you gain enough seniority to get the shift you want.
- Nursing hours can be long. 12 hours shifts are the norm in many institutions these days. Though that can sound attractive on the surface (work 3 days a week and get full time pay), it can also wear you out. And most nurses can vouch that you will often miss break times. Nurses get used to putting everyone’s needs ahead of their own, so you need to make sure you’re not neglecting yourself while doing your job.
- These are just a few advantages and disadvantages. Despite the problems (and there have been many), I’d still choose nursing, if I had to do it over again.