Should I Become a Nurse? The Pros and Cons of Nursing

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Are you wondering: Should I become a nurse? There are many reasons to become a nurse, including good pay, diverse specialty options, and career growth opportunities. On a more personal note, you'll benefit from a career with purpose where you can make a difference every day.

Averett nursing student working with sim manikin

As you think about becoming a nurse, there’s much to consider. How do you know whether nursing is the right career for you? If you find yourself asking, “Should I become a nurse?” we’ll offer you some clarity.

Before committing to a nursing program like the 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Averett University, it’s important to know exactly why nursing is the career for you.

If you’re wondering, “Is being a nurse worth it?” we’ll outline the top reasons why it is. The advantages of nursing are endless, but it’s up to you to decide whether you should become a nurse.

Pros of Nursing

Why should you become a nurse? You’ll find that nursing offers not only a fruitful career but also intrinsic benefits that make nurses feel like their work is making a real difference every day. Here are a few of the top reasons why people choose to pursue nursing:

1. Nurses Have Purpose and Impact

One of the top benefits of nursing is the personal fulfillment you’ll get from caring for people. Nursing is important work, and the impact of your efforts does not go unnoticed. Because of good nursing care, patients can recover, heal and continue their lives.

Nurses encounter patients in the depths of their health challenges, and in those moments, nurses get to sustain and give life to those patients. If you want work with meaning that positively impacts others, there’s no better choice than nursing.

ABSN student smiling by stairs

2. Nurses Earn Competitive Compensation

Nurses make a good living, especially if they have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The average salary for nurses in the U.S. is $77,600 per year, according to May 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It’s worth noting that nurses with a BSN generally earn more than nurses with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), not to mention the salary boosts that come when BSN-educated nurses take on leadership roles.

In addition to the base compensation, nurses can earn overtime pay if desired by working additional shifts. So if you’re saving for something specific, like a down payment or a vacation, you can choose to work more hours.

3. Nurses Can Choose from Diverse Specialty Options

Nursing encompasses a broad range of specialties, so it’s easy to find one suited to your unique personality and interest. You could choose a clinical specialty, such as:

  • Critical care nursing;
  • Pediatric nursing;
  • Neurology nursing;
  • Surgical nursing;
  • Dialysis nursing; or
  • Pulmonary nursing.

If you prefer working away from the bedside, you could opt for a non-clinical specialty, such as:

  • School nursing;
  • Community health nursing;
  • Telehealth nursing;
  • Cruise ship nursing; or
  • Legal nurse consulting.

The list goes on. You can tailor your nursing career to the types of patients and health conditions you enjoy treating and a work environment you find enjoyable.

4. Nursing Offers Career Growth Opportunities

When you become a nurse, your career progression won’t stop with your bachelor’s degree. Rather, you’ll be able to grow by leaps and bounds if you aim for career growth. You can take on leadership roles within health care, such as being a nurse manager or working in healthcare administration. You could also earn a master’s degree and become a nurse educator.

If you want to stay in a clinical role, you can earn specialty certification, choosing from a variety of disciplines. You could also go back to school for an advanced degree to become an advanced practice nurse, such as a:

  • Nurse practitioner;
  • Nurse anesthetist; or
  • Nurse midwife.

5. You Can Earn a Degree Quickly

Most traditional nursing programs take four years to complete, but if you have at least 60 college credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, an accelerated nursing program can get you there sooner.

Averett ABSN student using laptop

Once you finish your prerequisite classes and other requirements, you'll be able to earn your BSN degree in as few as 16 months through the ABSN program at Averett. Because you can earn your degree so quickly, nursing is an excellent field to enter even if you’re looking at nursing as a second career.

Cons of Nursing

While nursing offers numerous advantages, it’s important to go in with an honest look at the positives and negatives. Here are the challenges you could encounter as a nurse.

1. Nursing Is Physically Challenging

Nurses are known for being on their feet throughout much of the day. Expect to stand and walk often in your job. You’ll also need to help transport patients and support them as they walk, which will require you to be in good physical condition. Additionally, you’ll need strength for repositioning bedridden patients.

Because of the physical nature of nursing, expect to be physically tired at the end of a long shift. Remember to use good form when lifting and to stay healthy overall so you remain strong and agile in your work.

2. Nursing Can Be Stressful

Another challenge of nursing is that it can come with some job stress. For example, a patient’s status could change suddenly, and you’ll need to collaborate urgently with the care team to stabilize the patient. Nurses can also experience stress when they’re caring for complex patients who have numerous treatment and care needs.

ABSN student working with simulation manikin

Additionally, sometimes patients struggle mentally or emotionally when hospitalized, and they might show that frustration to the health care team. It’s your job to be understanding and empathetic even in these challenging situations. As you gain clinical experience in nursing school and your professional career, you’ll become more adept at managing work stress.

3. Nurses Must Cope with Death

Nursing takes a special kind of person, someone who is warmhearted, compassionate and committed to easing human suffering. However, the unfortunate reality is that not every patient survives, and as a nurse, you could experience the death of a patient. This loss can be challenging to manage, especially if you’ve developed a bond with the patient.

This grief is one of the reasons it’s so vital to prioritize your mental health as a nurse. To care for patients effectively, you must feel healthy and supported in your own personal life.

Is Being a Nurse Worth It for You?

Now that you know the pros and cons of nursing, consider how nursing resonates with you. Are you looking for a purposeful career with good compensation, growth opportunity and variety? If so, nursing is an excellent choice. With any career comes challenges and stressors, and part of excelling in your career is figuring out how to successfully navigate those challenges.

For most nurses, the positives of the career far outweigh the challenges. Having such a meaningful career accessible in as few as 16 months makes the hard work worthwhile.

Become a Nurse at Averett!

Now you’ve thought through the question “Should I become a nurse?” and hopefully have some clarity. If you’re ready to move forward with your nursing journey, the ABSN program at Averett is the perfect way to transition to nursing. Our 16-month accelerated program allows students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 60 non-nursing college credits to earn their degree quickly.

ABSN student smiling outside

Our curriculum uses interactive online classes plus required in-person skills and simulation labs and clinical rotations to ensure you receive a well-rounded nursing education. We even offer three start dates per year, so you don’t have to wait to begin.

To learn more about your eligibility for the ABSN program, reach out to our admissions counselors by completing our online form. We’ll answer your questions and guide you through the entire admissions process.