What You Need To Know Before Becoming A Nurse

becoming a nurse

When the time comes to choose a career, the choice may well be a hard one. There are so many options and although some people always have known just what it is they want to do with their lives, many more truly don’t know. There will be lots of careers they are interested in and a variety of directions they could go in. Of course, just because you opt for a career at one stage in your life doesn’t mean you can’t change it later on – and sometimes that’s exactly what you’ll want and need to do – but choosing well at the start will certainly have its advantages.

Nursing is a career that many people consider. How seriously they consider it will depend on their own personal likes and dislikes, what they want out of a career and how far they are looking into the future. For some, nursing is the ideal choice and they’ll know that right away. Others will know they wouldn’t make a good nurse, so they discount it.

Yet, there will be others who are right in the middle. They know they would be able to become a nurse, but they don’t know if it’s the right choice. Being in this position is the most difficult of all because you can see the pros and cons of each idea; you just don’t know which way to turn because you don’t want to make a mistake.

The good news is, research will help you greatly. The more you know about becoming a nurse, the more you’ll know whether it’s the right option for you. With that in mind, read on for some facts about what you need to know before becoming a nurse so can you finally make up your mind if you’re on the fence.


You’ll Work More Than Your Scheduled Hours

Nurses will usually work shifts, although this will depend on what kind of healthcare facility you work in (at a private clinic or a school, for example, you might have more standardized, regular hours). For some, this is a reason to become a nurse; they love the idea of the freedom that shifts will bring because they will be working when others are sleeping, meaning their free time will be spent when most people are working – stores will be quieter, and getting around will be generally easier. Others will feel that shift work is certainly not for them, so that will help them make their final choice.

No matter what, it’s crucial to know that just because you have allocated hours for your shift, it’s highly likely that you’ll end up working more than this. Again, for those who definitely want to be nurses this won’t be an issue – but for others, it could be the sticking point. The reason for longer hours sometimes is that you won’t be able to leave in the middle of performing a specific task, particularly when it comes to patient care. Plus, you might need to switch shifts with other people at times (and you’ll be able to ask them to switch with you at a later date). If you are excited about the idea of becoming a nurse, this won’t faze you, but it’s an important point to note, nonetheless.

There Are Dozens Of Ways To Be A Nurse

If you started to think that there was only one type of nurse and this made you feel as though nursing wouldn’t be right for you, it might be worth reconsidering for a moment. There are actually dozens of different types of nurses, so just because the role of an RN doesn’t seem to suit you, that doesn’t mean a different role wouldn’t. Before you can make a final decision about whether to be a nurse or not, it’s worth delving more deeply into the different roles as there might be one that’s actually perfect for you.

Not only can you pick from a variety of different nursing roles, but you can also look forward to some impressive career progression. Again, many people feel that there is just one type of nurse and that career progression isn’t part of nursing. Of course, this is not true, and if you do want to accomplish your ambitions, becoming a nurse will allow for this to happen. You will need more experience; knowledge from specific courses and qualifications such as nurse practitioner courses; and you’ll need to think about what aspects of nursing interest you the most, but once you have all of this, moving forward in your career is certainly possible.

becoming a nurse

Being A Nurse Isn’t Just About Medical Care

There is a lot of learning involved in becoming a nurse – that’s one point that you’ll need to consider carefully because if you’re not keen on studying and gaining more knowledge, nursing might not be for you. You’ll need to understand a lot about medicine, from medication to procedures, and you’ll need to stay up to date in an ever-changing industry, so your learning will never end, even if you don’t choose to take on any specific qualifications as mentioned above.

Yet this is not the only fact you’ll need to learn when it comes to nursing. Medical knowledge is crucial – you can’t help your patients or your colleagues without it – but there are many other jobs that a nurse will be tasked with doing, and it might be some of these other jobs that help you make your decision about becoming a nurse – with the medicine side of it just becoming a part that you have to learn to be a great nurse.

When you think about it, a nurse is not just a nurse. Their role consists of many elements depending on who they are working with and what department they might be in. As well as nursing, you might have to be a mediator, an advocate, a housekeeper, waiting staff, a therapist, a technician, a carer, or any of a plethora of other roles. This is why it’s important to know more about nursing and not just assume that it’s all about the medicine. You’ll need to consider your personality and your likes and dislikes to ascertain whether nursing is a good choice, but until you know exactly what nursing entails, making that choice won’t be possible.


You Can Forget Yourself – Don’t

Nurses put their patients first. This is a hard and fast rule, and it’s a fact that most people – perhaps everyone – knows about nurses. It’s why some people will want to become a nurse and others will shy away from the idea; they know they would or would not be able to do it.

Yet as noble as this is, and as important as it is, there is another point you’ll need to consider when you are a nurse or are choosing whether or not to be one. You’ll also need to take care of yourself. When you are spending all your time working with your patients and making sure they are as happy and healthy as possible, it’s so easy to forget about your own health and how you can be affected mentally and physically. This is a terrible idea.

It’s easy to skip a meal because a patient needs help, or to take on an extra shift and lose out on sleep because you want to be there to help as much as possible, for example. Yet although these situations might have to happen on occasion, doing them too often will be detrimental to your health, and can lead to burnout. When that happens, you’ll be too stressed and exhausted to do anything, and that will mean you can’t help your patients at all.

It’s crucial that nurses take time for themselves when they need to. That means using their days off to rest or enjoy stress-free activities with family and friends; it means ensuring you eat well; it means getting enough sleep; it also means talking to someone about any problems you might be having. This could be a professional therapist or it might be family and friends – you need to do what feels right for you. Bottling everything up inside is not a good way to go about your nursing career, however.

Mistakes Happen

Nurses are not perfect. If you try to be a perfect nurse and attempt to live up to some kind of ideal, you’ll become disillusioned very quickly. The fact is, nurses are human. They might appear to be superheroes, but they are human underneath, and sometimes mistakes happen. They can happen when you’re just starting out, and they can happen when you’ve been nursing for a long time. Human beings are fallible, and mistakes happen.

It’s what you do about that mistake that truly counts. Simply wishing a mistake hadn’t happened isn’t going to be helpful, but realizing your error and then working at fixing it will be. You need to be focused on your nursing, so accept the mistake, deal with the consequences and move on. Just make sure you learn from what happened.

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