Nursing is a popular and distinguished profession that is recognized for its values of integrity, reliability, and compassion. At present, there are some 5,355,450 nurses in the U.S. It is projected that by the end of 2030, the number of nurses in the U.S. will increase by nearly 11%, resulting in an estimated 593,500 new nursing jobs.
Nursing is a rewarding career that allows you to make a difference in people’s lives. Nursing also offers employees many opportunities for advancement and flexibility. But it’s important to understand what it takes to succeed in this profession.
Here are 8 tips from nurses who have been there:
Understand the Demands of the Job
It’s important to understand the demands of your job before you start. The following list outlines some of the things you should know about nursing:
Choose the Right Educational Path
When it comes to choosing your nursing school, there are many factors to consider. Cost and location are among them, but so is the quality of education offered by each program.
You want to make sure that you’re getting the best education possible so that when it comes to applying for jobs as an RN (registered nurse), LPN (licensed practical nurse), or CNA (certified nursing assistant) after graduation and potentially throughout your career, you can feel confident about what you learned in school.
Consider accelerated BSN programs if you already have an undergraduate degree from another field and want to switch careers into nursing.
An online accelerated BSN degree program offers benefits such as flexibility, shorter completion time, and career advancement opportunities. It allows students to earn a BSN degree in a shorter timeframe than traditional programs and often provides opportunities for online coursework and clinical experiences, making it more convenient for working professionals.
Gain Practical Experience
Volunteering is a great way to gain practical experience, and there are many different ways you can do it. You could volunteer at your local hospital or nursing home, or you could join an animal shelter or health center that needs help. If you’re interested in working with seniors, consider volunteering with a hospice agency or doing community outreach for an organization like Meals on Wheels.
Try working directly with patients as part of your nursing studies. This will give you an idea of what it’s like being on the job without having finished school yet.
Develop Good Communication Skills
Good communication skills are essential to being a good nurse. The ability to listen, explain and empathize with patients and their families is key to providing the best care possible.
You’ll need to be able to listen carefully when someone tells you about a medical condition or treatment plan, even if it’s not what you were expecting them to say. You also need good listening skills so that you can make sure your patient understands everything that’s happening during their stay in the hospital, whether they’re having an operation or getting daily check-ups on their recovery after surgery.
Nurses must have good speaking skills too. This means being able to explain things clearly to people using health services (such as service users) to understand what is happening with their health condition/treatment plan.
Embrace Lifelong Learning
According to Oncology Nursing News, the field of medicine is continuously progressing, and it is the responsibility of nurses to remain informed and educated to deliver excellent care to their patients.
As a result, learning is an ongoing process for nurses, similar to a marathon rather than a sprint. This education can take various forms, including acquiring knowledge from patients and pursuing advanced fellowships after graduation.
Cultivate a Strong Work Ethic
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that nursing is a team sport. You will be surrounded by other nurses, doctors, and patients who all need your help to get through the day.
As such, you should cultivate an attitude of being a good communicator and listener, as well as being able to solve problems on your own or with others’ input. It’s also important that you can make good decisions on your own as well as lead others in making decisions together when necessary.
Nurse.com noted that the practice of self-care is recognized as an effective approach to enhancing one’s overall well-being. A study focused on self-care found that nurses, who often work extended hours in high-pressure situations, reported greater exhaustion.
However, when nurses engaged in self-care practices, such as acknowledging their limitations, they experienced increased happiness, improved health, and greater self-assurance.
Some examples of self-care activities include:
Join Professional Organizations
Joining professional organizations is a great way to network with other nurses, stay up-to-date on the latest research, and find jobs and volunteer opportunities.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is an organization that provides resources for nursing students and professionals alike. They have a career center where you can search for jobs in your area or even apply directly through their website.
If you’re looking to join the nursing profession, it can be helpful to know what to expect. The job is challenging and rewarding, but it requires hard work and dedication on your part. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort needed for this career path, and if you are interested in helping others, then there’s no better time than now to be a nurse.