Should I Go To Nursing School? This Is Your Sign!

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If you’re researching different career paths and wondering if you should go to nursing school, please know that I have been exactly where you are. Just know, if you are asking yourself this question, there is a great chance the answer is, yes!

Interest in the medical field is a great first step! Many people, if not most, know right away they can’t “do hospitals”… But if you find the prospect of working in the hospital interesting or exciting, then nursing may just be the right career path for you.

Now, it’s not like someone on Google can tell you a definitive yes or no if you should go to nursing school. Of course, there’s nobody who can definitively answer this question but you.

However, there is definitely a reason why so many more people are searching this question than ever before. Nursing is an amazing career! So hopefully, in this article, we can provide you with some helpful information that will help you in your decision-making process.

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93-98% of nurses are happy they chose a career in nursing. Those are some great numbers to prove career satisfaction.

As many know, nursing is a career that provides a good living wage. The average salary of an RN in the United States is 75K. But salary satisfaction is not even what results in job satisfaction numbers this high. Respect and meaning are actually what make up the most significant percentage of job satisfaction.

I can testify to this myself. Working in postpartum and nursery gives me so much joy, not just because I’m paid well, but because I absolutely love what I’m doing. The thought goes through my mind all the time, “I can’t believe I’m being paid to do this”. If you hate what you do no dollar amount will be worth it, just keep that in mind.

Nursing is a Meaningful Career

should I go to nursing school

When you are a nurse, you can be a part of some of the highest points of a person’s life, or the lowest… A good example is labor and delivery nurses. As long as everything goes well, and a healthy baby is brought into the world, they are a part of that family’s highest moment of their entire life.

On the flip side though… L&D nurses are also there for births that result in complications, stillbirth, or sadly, the loss of life from mothers and babies during childbirth.

There’s no doubt about it. Nursing can be a very heavy career path, but with that comes meaning and purpose. Death and birth... These are the most significant components of life. And nurses are in an environment where they are faced with that reality every day.

Your career should inspire you

If being a part of these moments in a person’s life inspires you, that is a great sign that you should be a nurse. If this makes you uncomfortable, then you may want to rethink this career path. And that’s okay. Nursing isn’t for everyone, just like law or engineering isn’t for everything. There is room for all of us because we like different things.

I will tell you from personal experience, that nothing beats the feeling of driving home and knowing you did some really important work that day.

Nursing Is One of the Highest-Paying Occupations

It is okay to talk about money. We all have to work, and even though nursing is a meaningful and purposeful career, it is extremely difficult work, both physically and mentally. And you absolutely should be compensated fairly for it.

Now, let’s talk about job security. You will ALWAYS be able to find a job as a nurse. There are more open jobs than there are nurses out there, and that will be true for the foreseeable future. So don’t panic if you have a few years of school ahead of you to go. There will be plenty of jobs waiting for you, and you will likely get hired before you even graduate.

You can help be a solution to the national nursing shortage…

Also, not only will entering the nursing career benefit you, your family, and your patients’ lives, but you will also be helping with the intense national nursing shortage. Your future peers need you. Burnout is real, especially after what has happened in recent years.

The demand for travel nursing has also gone way up and will continue to as well. Have you seen how much travel nurses get paid? Look on YouTube, and you will be absolutely blown away.

Additionally, there is also so much room for advancement. So if you get more certifications, or continue your education, you can earn even more. For example, Nurse Practitioners earn over 100K annually! As far as a good “return on your investment” from college goes, nursing always comes out on top.

The Nursing Career Supports Ambition

One of the best parts about working in health care is that you are surrounded by go-getters. You will also be working next to nursing support staff who are also extremely hard-working. Many of the CNAs and PCTs will also be working on their degrees to become licensed healthcare workers as well. Nursing is an environment that encourages growth and ambition.

Because so many hospitals now prefer BSNs, they are helping nurses and support staff to pay for their college education. Additionally, many have student loan payment programs as well.

So if achieving higher education is important to you, and if in prior careers you didn’t find the support you needed from your employer, you will likely have a very different experience in healthcare. It is pretty much expected that you will continue to advance, and the hospitals are right there to help you do it. It is in the best interest of both of you.

Nursing Needs More Diversity

Why is diversity important in nursing? Because we are a diverse nation!

Our patients in the hospital, collectively, represent a far more diverse population than the nursing collective does. Having more minority nurses is important for so many reasons, far too many to list in this one single article. But just one aspect I will focus on is cultural competence.

If you’re wondering if you should go to nursing school and are from a minority background, you can help with these numbers…

When we have patients from different cultures come in with specific needs, traditions, and communication barriers, it is not a good thing when staff cannot accommodate them due to most of the staff having a single similar background.

Having a more diverse staff allows for more education and more accommodation to those needs. Ultimately, this will lead to better patient care, safety, and outcomes.

As mentioned, there are so many reasons why diversity is important in nursing. So if you are a minority considering nursing school, you are needed for so many reasons. As a minority myself of Latina background, I am proud to be a part of raising this percentage, even if it is just a “small” step.

Okay, I’m Convinced I should go to nursing school, now what?

should I go to nursing school

Once you have made the decision that YES, you are going to go to nursing school, now the real fun starts.

We wrote a hopefully helpful article right here that goes into the simple steps you take to get into nursing school. But, we can also touch on some of the basics here too.

1. Research & decide which nursing school you want to attend

If you plan on staying in the area where you live currently, you can start by just typing into Google, “Nursing schools near me”. I personally am a big fan of going the community college route or your closest State University. Private schools can be quite expensive, but they are still the right choice starting out for some.

2. Secure your funding for nursing school

As we all know, college isn’t free. Well, most of the time at least.

Depending on if you have gone to college before, many community colleges are practically free if you qualify for grants, but you need to apply for the FAFSA and see. Also, in certain states like Michigan, community college is free. So check your state’s college funding status.

If you have exhausted all of your aid from getting a degree already, there are always federal and private student loans. But remember, many hospitals are now helping to pay for your school if you work as a CNA/PCT, and many have a student loan repayment program as well. So do your research before you get into some crazy amount of student loan debt like some private schools are notorious for.

When it comes to whether you should go to nursing school or not, financing is something you should consider from the start.

3. Apply to your school of choice and talk to the nursing school counselor

Once you have applied, and are accepted to the college of your choice (not a nursing program yet), you will want to set up a meeting with the nursing school guidance counselor right away.

They are going to give you all the ins and outs of how to get into the program as quickly and as successfully as possible. They will help you plan your schedule in a way that leads to success, not a crash and burn. For example, not taking anatomy and organic chemistry at the same time.

4. Take the entrance exam your school requires

There are two entrance exams that most nursing schools require. They either require the HESI A2 or the TEAS. I personally took the HESI A2 and I was absolutely terrified to take it. However, it ended up being so much easier than I anticipated thanks to just some simple, yet strategic, preparation.

Read here about how I scored 94% in all required categories for the HESI A2 and was accepted into my school of choice, the first time I applied.

5. Keep calm, you will pass and get through nursing school.

Once you get into your nursing program of choice, just keep your eye on the prize. There has never been a better time to be in nursing school thanks to all the supportive resources out there.

YouTube is an absolute gold mine of free nursing content and extra help. Additionally, I am a big fan of the Saunders books and for test prep when you are in the nursing program. These are the only two additional paid-for resources that I recommend. Otherwise, I recommend YouTube and Quizlet which are of course “free”.

Important Considerations to The Question of “Should I Go To Nursing School?”

should I go to nursing school

Now as we have covered, nursing is an awesome career. It pays great, offers job security, encourages advancement and education, etc. But, let’s not ignore some of the obvious roadblocks for some people. There are a few important questions you need to ask yourself before you commit to this path.

How do you handle bodily fluids?

How do you handle blood? Vomit? And cleaning up after people when they go to the bathroom?

This is a big part of most nursing jobs. While it’s true you don’t have to go into bedside nursing when you graduate, these things will be expected in nursing school during your clinical rotations. Also it is important to know that most nursing administration jobs require bedside nursing experience for at least a few years.

How do you handle stress?

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but nursing can be very stressful, especially depending on which department you are working for. For example, in some states, Med-Surg nurses are taking care of 6-7 patients all by themselves…

Nursing requires exceptional time management skills, communication, attention to detail, and “playing well with others”. So if you prefer to work alone in an office, you may want to really think about why you want to be a nurse.

Should you go to nursing school? Our Conclusion:

To conclude this article, the decision to attend nursing school is a personal and transformative choice. As you navigate the intricacies of this career path, consider your passion for helping others, adaptability to busy environments, and commitment to lifelong learning.

Nursing offers a fulfilling journey, but it requires dedication and resilience. So reflect on your goals, assess your strengths, and envision the impact you want to make in a healthcare career.

By making an informed decision, you embark on a rewarding career where compassion meets skill. Ultimately, the question of “Should I go to nursing school?” is yours to answer, paving the way for a meaningful and impactful profession.

Jackie Jimenez BSN, RN
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