Isn’t it time you answered your own question, “Should I go to nursing school?”
If you are asking yourself this, there is a great chance the answer is, yes!
Why? Well, you must have an interest, which is a great first step! That’s where we all start after all.
Now let’s address why you are questioning this. If you are wondering if you should go to nursing school or not, it’s important to understand why you are having doubts in the first place.
I would be lying if I told you I didn’t google this exact question myself at the beginning of my own journey into the nursing career. I’m honestly not even sure what answer I was looking for when I typed it into the search bar.
It’s not like someone on Google can tell you a definitive yes or no. Of course, nobody 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! And hopefully, in this article, we can provide you with some information that helps you in your decision-making process.
Those are some great numbers to prove that nursing is an excellent career path if I do say so myself. As most of us know, nurses are absolutely well paid. 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.
Nursing is a Meaningful Career
When you are a nurse, you are involved in 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 were 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.
If that 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 too, that I have worked as a patient care tech for years now, and working 13-hour shifts alongside nurses… Nothing beats the feeling of driving home and knowing you did some really important and valuable work that shift.
As a nursing student, I now know even more about what goes on behind the scenes to take care of our patients. Few careers are more important than this work. Truly.
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.
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 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.
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 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 with nursing support staff who also work extremely hard. Many of the CNAs and PCTs will also be working on their degrees to become licensed health care workers. Nursing is an environment that encourages growth and ambition.
Because so many hospitals now prefer BSNs, they are helping nurses and support staff 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 your prior careers, you just 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 continue to advance, and the hospitals are right there to help you do it.
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. 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.
When we have patients from different cultures come in having certain needs, traditions, and communication barriers, it is not a good thing when staff cannot accommodate them due to most of the staff having similar backgrounds. Having a more diverse staff allows for more education and more accommodation to those needs. Ultimately, this will lead to better patient safety and outcomes. Which is always the goal.
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, I am proud to be a part of raising this percentage, even if it is “small”.
Okay, I’m Convinced, Now What?
Once you have made the decision that YES, you are going to go to nursing school, now the real fun starts.
We wrote a great article right here that goes into simple, yet great detail on the steps you take to get into nursing school. But, we can also touch on the basics here too.
Research & decide on which 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 extremely expensive, but they are right for some people of course.
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. Remember, many hospitals are now helping to pay off many of our RNs’ student loan debt. 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 the question of, should I go to nursing school, financing is something you of course need to address from the start.
Apply to your school of choice and talk to the nursing counselor.
Once you have applied, and are accepted to the college (not 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 out’s 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.
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 a 94% in all required categories for the HESI A2, and was accepted into my school of choice, the first time I applied.
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.
Those are the only two additional paid-for resources that I recommend. Otherwise, I recommend YouTube and Quizlet which are of course “free”.
Lesser Fun Considerations To The Question, “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.
How do you handle stress?
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but nursing is 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 themself…
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.
Conclusion: So, Should I Go To Nursing School?
As we mentioned at the start, nobody can answer this question for you, but you. However, hopefully, we have helped provide some important information and considerations to your question.
Obviously, we are biased here at Midlife Nursing. But we truly are passionate about encouraging and supporting prospective and current nursing students. Few careers are as important as nursing. We have an aging population, and people need to take care of them.
Also, we all will likely end up patients as well who need care one day. So it is our mission here to be a strong voice and positive example for future nurses out there.
We love to read your comments, so please feel free to comment below. If you’re a nurse, do you agree? If you are a prospective nurse, do you feel more sure of what direction to go?
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