Becoming a nurse requires extensive specialised training, and for good reason. Nurses play a major and critical role in helping patients recover from their injuries and illnesses. People must be able to put their full trust in nurses during the most vulnerable moments of their lives, and it’s important that we have high standards for these professionals.

If you’re thinking about becoming a nursing major and preparing for a career in the field, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the realities of becoming a nurse before you decide to enrol in a nurse education program. Here are 5 things to consider if you’re thinking about nursing as a career.

  1. Nursing Isn’t For the Faint of Heart

Nurses have to deal with a lot on any given day. While their main tasks are routine and might involve giving patients medications, taking their vital signs, and providing comfort, there are other tasks that can be dirty, exhausting, and downright scary.

Sometimes, patients don’t make it to the bathroom, or they soil their sheets. Nurses often have to clean up blood and other bodily fluids. Occasionally, nurses have to speak with family members who are upset, or even patients who become violent. Being able to deal with these stressful incidents on the job without taking them home is critical for people who want to be nurses.

A nurse has to be able to juggle lots of different tasks, without making errors that could affect patients’ health and well-being. This means being adaptable and flexible, while still being able to focus on the task at hand.

Nursing is satisfying, fulfilling work, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. You need to be honest with yourself and decide if you think you’re cut out for a job that can be quite stressful at times. Take some time to think about it before you decide to move forward!

  1. Getting Your Education is Just the First Step

Nursing school will prepare you as much as possible for the reality of working as a nurse in a hospital, but there’s only so much you can learn in school. You’ll get some opportunities to work in a clinical setting before you graduate, but you won’t get to experience everything before you’re on the job and you’re expected to handle many of these situations yourself.

Learning is a long-term process for nurses. Once you graduate and pass your exams to become certified as a nurse, you’re only just beginning. You can expect to feel in over your head for a while, no matter how well you did in school. This is normal!

Go into your nursing education knowing that you’re not done learning once you graduate. If you approach your work with an attitude of lifelong learning, you’re likely to be much more successful in the field.

  1. There are Different Nursing Theories

We know by now that there are many different factors that impact a patient’s health and ability to recover from injuries and illnesses. The individual, their health condition, their environment and situation in life, the healthcare facility, and the relationship they have with their healthcare providers are all important in determining a patient’s likely outcome.

A nurse needs to understand different nursing theories and how they affect quality care. Nurses are a critical component of every care team and they need to be able to approach care in different ways based on the patient. While you’ll learn the essentials of patient care as a nursing major, understanding nursing theories and developing your own approach will take time.

  1. Becoming a Nurse is a Smart Career Move

The nursing profession is still relatively new, but it’s now one of the most important jobs in the field of medicine. Doctors have lots and lots of patients to juggle and nurses are expected to take care of many different tasks, including coordinating with the patient’s other healthcare providers.

This means that the need for nurses is strong and growing. If you decide to become a nursing major, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a job once you graduate. In fact, 94% of students who graduate from nursing school in the UK find jobs within 6 months. Most nurses who are skilled and enjoy the work never have to worry about long-term unemployment.

There’s never been a better time to pursue nursing as a career. It’s a smart move that can lead to lots of great options in the healthcare field and excellent stability.

  1. Compassion IS a Requirement

Nurses don’t just provide for patients’ physical needs—they also help keep their spirits up and provide much-needed company. Even though nurses are usually too busy to spend lots of time talking with individual patients, they can still help people get through difficult times of pain, fear, and uncertainty in their lives.

Compassion is a prerequisite if you want to become a nursing major. If you care about people and want to make a positive difference in the world, then nursing might be the right career path for you!