What Are the Pros and Cons of Becoming a Nurse?

Firstly, before we delve right into what are the intrinsic advantages and disadvantages of being a nurse, I believe it would be best for us to first be on the 'same page' as to what a nurse actually is, does and is basically all about as a profession. 

A nursing profession is involved in the health care industry (whether it be privately or in the public sector) that is focused on assisting and providing 'care' for individuals (and collectively for families and the community) to regain or to consistently have "optimal health" and from that a decent "quality of life". Nurses are somewhat different to many health care professionals both in their approach to treating patients and can be considered as having the 'jack of all trades', whereby they have a wide scope of training for dealing with various situations which is in contrast to specialized health care with other professions.

Hopefully from the brief overview above and the video, you have a sound idea and comprehension of what being a nurse is really all about. So let's get right into what are the potential benefits of having a nursing profession as well as some of its drawbacks.

Advantages of Being a Nurse

  • Awesome Job Satisfaction - it may sound somewhat trite, but there really is no other profession on earth that can provide you with so much opportunity to actual make a meaningful contribution and difference to someone and the world. Then from that, no matter how hard the job is (and it is) you can always take that from a days work, you have 'actually' done something directly to help someone else. . Where if it wasn't for you and your actions as a nurse and the application of skills you have learned, many people could potentially be in trouble and harm. It is difficult to find something that is even half as reward as that. This is the biggest benefit of being a nurse there is.
  • Job Security & Flexibility - people are always getting ill, hence Nurses are always going to be needed. The nursing profession is known to have an extremely low (relative) unemployment rate in comparison to most professions and the demand for them in the future (particularly in western countries) is only going to get greater with the oncoming ageing population coming our way & with that increasing longevity. Then because of such demand it allows you to pretty much work anywhere you want, nearly every hospital or even just a local medical center ( that's just based in a school perhaps) is pretty much on the lookout to hire a new nurse as they are needed 24/7. So you never have to really fear becoming unemployed or without some kind of work for too long, which from an individual economic point of view is a great advantage of being a nurse.
  • Trusted, Respected and Challenging - being a nurse is definitely something to be proud of and anyone who is anyone always respects a good nurse. However, as you have undoubtedly heard, it ain't an easy career and is at the least challenging from an emotional and intellectual view point -- and in most cases a physical one too. But, from that comes the opportunity for you to learn and grow as an individual and acts as a lifelong education.

Disadvantages of Being a Nurse

  • Physically it Can Be VERY Demanding - as mentioned above, the nursing profession it by no means a light feat, you will be required to do a whole range of tasks which many require you to actually be physically strong in terms of endurance and actual power. For instance, you will have to lift patients to transfer them from bed to bed or to assist them to sit up right. Also, as mentioned in the video above "coffee" and "comfortable shoes" are your best friends, given the amount of time you are up on your feet with a 12 hour shift being seen as 'average'. This is all builds up into the disadvantage of you getting tired and lacking leisure time.
  • Emotionally Stressful - of course as with any job, being human you can end up getting emotionally invested in patients that you are working with day in and day out -- it is only natural. However, what is also 'natural' is that ill people can die and so when you are constantly working around people who are trying to look after but unfortunately take a turn for the worse, it can take quite a toll on you from an emotional stand point. Where although they say it 'gets easier', in the case of nursing it does and doesn't, only being a nurse can you really understand such a perspective.
  • Unsocial Shift Work - the other huge drawback of being a nurse is the actual shift work and 'when' it is required, although as said above you are flexible (and that is true), the medical practice can sometimes need you to work on a night shift etc. Thereby you are essentially not able to hang out with your friends who have more structured jobs given they sleep during the night (you are at work) and they work through the day (you are a sleep).
  • The RN Course - also you actually have to 'become a nurse' (obtain a nursing licence) and this required you to take a registered nurse program which a number of institutions offer you (in many cases you can actually participate in RN nursing degrees online via nursing schools online -- definitely a great option to take if you are considering a nursing as a second career). However, it does cost both money and time, although this good be potentially an advantage of becoming a nurse if you enjoy learning around this topic.