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What are some of the pros and cons of becoming a registered nurse?

I am a sophomore in high school and looking to work in the medical field. I have recently been interested in becoming a registered nurse after college, but I do not know a lot about the job. What are some of the pros and cons of the job and/or working in the medical field?
#nursing #medicine #registerednurse

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Aaron’s Answer

Hi Gabriella,

The pros of becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) is there are so many opportunities available in the healthcare field that you can work in because this field is very big. In this field you can work in areas such as the Emergency room caring for people who are brought to the hospital on the ambulance and more in other areas. You get to learn and work on different skills as a nurse such as giving injections similar to flu shots with a needle and syringe, and doing wound care by changing bandages and cleaning wounds.
The cons of becoming an RN is you have to really make sure you are giving the right accurate amount of medication to the people you are caring for because if you don’t you can accidentally kill or injure the patient. You have to make sure that you document accurately the patient’s health status in areas like are they eating well because if you don’t other people part of the health care team like the doctor could not be aware of something and not know then something bad happens where the patient gets sick. Hope this helps.

-Thank you,

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Julianne’s Answer

Being a registered nurse can mean a great deal of different things, so the answers to this question can vary. I’ll answer from my perspective (and give slightly different info than the other answers): as a bedside pediatric nurse in a very specialized area.
My favorite Pro is probably caring for babies and children with complex healthcare needs. These patients are so special and they’re often in the hospital for an extended time with several admissions, so you really bond with them and their families. Also, in this particular area, I am constantly learning because the subject is incredibly complex. For me, this is important, as I like to be challenged and not get bored with my work.
Another Pro is feeling like I’m truly making a difference, both with small things (like keeping a patient’s sister busy painting and decorating while her infant sister is intubated in the ICU) and with the important parts of helping a child heal and survive, like when an urgent situation arises, when an infant stops breathing or they’re having a stroke. Honestly, both of these types of things are why I became a nurse. They are incredibly fulfilling in a way few other things are. The feeling of competency while saving a life is unlike anything else. There can be a Con associated with that, as well, though. It can be traumatic to go through these events, so it’s important to have a support network.

On a lighter note, the schedule can be amazing Pro, but can also be draining. The ability to work overtime and make extra money also can be very helpful. Someone who works a 40 hour-a-week desk job typically has a stable salary and has to get a second job to make extra money. As a bedside nurse, right now with Christmas and other upcoming things to pay for, I can just pick up extra to help cover those costs and when I’ve made the extra money I need, I can go back to my normal schedule.
However, as a Con, sometimes, this schedule can be tough. I’m currently looking to change positions because as a night shifter working three 12 hour shifts (which really turn into 13-14 hours), it can be tough to try and maintain a normal life. Some bedside nurses at my hospital work 8 hours shifts. I’m still on the fence as to whether that’s better. Working holidays and weekends is also a standard requirement, so that’s something to keep in mind. You do typically get a few dollars more an hour for those shifts, so I personally think it’s worth it.

Another Pro is dependent on where you work, but the team you work with can be a huge factor because you have to work so closely together and depend so much on each other. The stressful nature of the job really brings you together if you’re part of a good team. After a few years of working with the same core crew, you can feel like you have a true support network. The importance of a team can be a Con, however, if you’re not part of a good team. I left my last job partially because it had devolved into such a negative, backstabbing environment. Bedside nursing is not a solo sport, so if you find yourself on a team like that, run in the other direction! There are plenty of nursing jobs and no one should have to be in an environment where they’re treated poorly.
I hope that helps :)

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Raquel’s Answer

As with any profession there are basic pros and cons to being a nurse, however each individual will be affected by the job differently, what may be very frustrating/difficult for one person may not be a big deal for another, so when considering whether or not nursing is for you be sure to think about your own personality and how it may be affected. But I can tell you some things that are generally thought of as pros and cons.

Job stability: there is a huge nursing shortage right now and no matter where you go you will be able to get a job.
Variety: There are so many areas of nursing that you can always find something new to do. From working on a regular med-surg floor in a hospital, oncology, ICU, ED, neurology, telemetry, pediatrics, mother baby, nursing homes, rehab, and general practice are just a few of the many many options available to you as a career. And the great thing is that you can become any type of nurse at any point in your career. Many people switch specialities throughout their career and find the ability to experience change and something new a good way to continue to love nursing and prevent burnout.
Making an impact: Everyone has their own specific reasons for wanting to become a nurse but it always boils down to wanting to help others. This is a career where you get to impact peoples lives on a daily basis, you are often there to support people through the worst times of their life.
Pay: Nurses are a job where you are well compensated right outside of school. The average for the country is right around $71,000.
Advancement: Similar to always having a variety of areas you can work in as a nurse there is also lots of room for career advancement. You can move up through the ranks of the hospital and become a charge nurse, supervisor, or director. You can teach lectures or be a clinical instructor. You can do research. And of course you can become a provider as a nurse practitioner.
Trust: Nurses are one of the most trusted professions out there, people believe in you.

Highly demanding: Being a nurse is a very demanding job not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. Like any job there are good days and there are bad days but it often takes everything out of you. For new nurses it can also be very difficult not to take what happens at work home with you. Nursing takes a lot of baseline knowledge as well as critical thinking skills to provide quality care for patients and recognize changes in patient status. You are on your feet for 12 hours running around caring for people, often performing tasks and there is lots of bending and lifting. If you are not careful and take proper care of your body it is easy to become injured. With the emotional and mental difficulty of the job many nurses also suffer from burnout. It is important to surround yourself with a good support group of both fellow nurses and people outside of the profession to help you through the hard times.
Difficult patients: You will have patients who no matter what you do aren't going to like you or appreciate you. It can be hard to have someone constantly yelling at you and expecting things from you that you are unable to provide.
Difficult working conditions: Due to the nursing shortage hospitals are constantly understaffed putting nurses out of the nurse-to-patient ratio that is recommended for safe care on their floor. Being out of ratio makes the nurses job more difficult and lessens that quality of care delivered. It is also a significant factor in nurse burnout. You are also regularly exposed to bacteria and viruses that spread easily and have potential for exposure as well as dealing with every kind of bodily fluid (it is not a career for the squeamish).

Long hours: Working three 12 hour shifts a week can be considered either a pro or a con depending on your perspective so I will put it in its own category. Being on your feet, providing total care to patients for 12 hours at a time is hard work and is tiring. It is also not the typical work schedule so you don't have much free time on days you work and finding a balance between working, enjoying time outside of work, and getting a proper amount of sleep can be very difficult. Some people find it difficult to balance working these hours with their outside social/family life while others find it to be wonderful. People do tend to enjoy that since you work 12 hours at a time, nurses only work three days a week giving you four days off. Finding work life balance tends to be more difficult for those who work nights because you are on a completely different schedule than the rest of the world. There is also often a lot of flexibility with your schedule depending on where you work, people are often able to arrange it where they can take short vacations by arranging their schedule so they have a week off (without having to use vacation time).

As you can see there is a lot to consider when trying to decide whether or not being a nurse is right for you. The best thing you can do is do your research and make a decision on what you think will make a fulfilling career for you. If you do decide to become a nurse do it for the right reasons, to help others and make an impact in the world. Not because of the schedule or pay. I hope that this helps and wish you best of luck.

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Mansi’s Answer

The pros and cons of nursing are as follows:

Pro: Nursing is a trusted profession.
Con: Dealing with bodily fluids.

Pro: Many different specialties available.
Pro: Getting ready for the work day is simple.

Con: 12-hour days.
Pro: 12-hour days.

Pro: Variety in your daily work.
Con: Being underappreciated.