What’s GOOD About Being a Nurse?

Article Categories: Nursing Jobs & Nurse On the Job

Every day we read how nurses are burnt out. Exhausted, over-worked, under-paid. Unappreciated and unacknowledged. Why would anyone want that job?

Because for every negative, there is a bigger and better positive. For each nurse, there is a unique reason why he or she loves the work and why he or she doesn’t regret the career choice. Studies show that 74% of nurses report being satisfied with their jobs. Compare this to doctors: Only 63% of dermatologists are satisfied, the highest of all physician specialties.

What are some of those reasons nurses are satisfied?

1. Altruism: Of course, this is at the top of the list. “Unselfish concern for the welfare of others” says the dictionary. Few nurses enter the field for reasons other than the need or desire to make a difference in someone’s life by giving the best possible care. The emotional reward of helping others is unsurpassed.

2. Job Security: There has, and always will be, a need for nurses. A nurse can find employment during every economic situation or at any location. Most nursing jobs offer a good salary and benefits, as well as additional pay for shifts, holidays, and overtime.

3. Flexibility: Nursing is one of the few careers that offer options for when and how long to work. Twelve-hours shifts, three days a week? Part-time? Weekends only? Evenings? There’s something for every lifestyle. As hospitals look to recruit and retain nurses, scheduling can get creative and enticing.

4. Range of Specialties: There is probably not another field or career path that allows for changes in specialty. A nurse can work in one area, such as pediatrics, then switch to another, perhaps surgery, rehabilitation, or orthopedics. There are no boundaries! A nurse can also choose to get certified in a specialty, as well as pursue an advanced degree as a Nurse Practitioner.

5. Respect: Year after year, nursing tops the Gallup Poll as the “most trusted” profession. Over 85% of the public sees nurses as honest and ethical. (Pharmacists are second, with 68%.) Family and friends seek the advice of a nurse, and are likely to listen when the nurse provides education or encourages them to see a provider.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a need of almost 440,000 more nurses by 2024. The job growth rate is 16%, well ahead of the average rate of 7%. For people considering becoming a nurse, the outlook is bright.

Donna Wilk Cardillo expresses her feelings about being a nurse in an inspirational way:
“When I think about all the patients and their loved ones that I have worked with over the years, I know most of them don’t remember me nor I them, but I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them and they to me and those threads make up the beautiful tapestry in my mind that is my career in nursing.”