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What are the difficulties that a woman can face when studying to become a nurse?

im 17 and excited to study to be a nurse, but I would like to know a little bit more about this career
#future-careers #careers #career

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Suzanne’s Answer

Hello Montserrat,

This is Sue and I am a retired oncology nurse. I was in practice for over 30 years. Nursing was traditionally been a role for women. When I started, most physicians were male and most nurses female. Of course, because of women's rights and other societal changes, gender plays less of a role than before in choosing a career. As a matter of fact, my nursing class in the early 1980's had some of the first men entering the field! I found that some patients preferred being treated by the same gender nurse/physician, but that comes later in your career process. The nurses that trained me told stories of old-time male physicians not allowing nurses to sit at the nurses station when they were present. They made the nurses "stand at attention". Ugh. The bad old days. Thank goodness that times have changed!

I believe that both men and women face the following challenges when studying to become a nurse:

1. The academic requirements in completing the prerequisites for nursing school
2. Finding and getting into a good nursing school
3. Successfully completing the rigors and requirements of nursing school
4. Studying for and passing the state board exam (NCLEX)
5. Finding that all important first job as a new nurse

Here is an interesting article discussing gender roles in nursing: https://www.elitecme.com/resource-center/nursing/gender-roles-in-nursing

This article briefly discusses the challenges of nursing school: https://www.registerednursing.org/guide/in-school/

Nursing is a fabulous career, distinct from medicine yet complementary. Doctors treat diseases. Nurses treat people. I have never regretted my choice to enter the nursing field. I was able to help thousands of people, make great friendships, and help my family financially. The science was always evolving and I was always learning new and wonderful things.

I hope this answers your questions. Please copy and paste the links into your search bar to read the articles.

Sue, RN

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Montserrat,

My sister-in-law is a nurse. It is a career that is typically occupied by women, although thankfully that is changing. We need both genders in the role of nursing. My sister-in-law recently returned to school to get her master's degree. The challenge for her is probably what is expected, being a working nurse plus a wife and a mother can be a hard balancing act. The work is a particular challenge since in her job, the nursing job is 12-hour shifts, which is very different than most careers. This can create scheduling challenges around everything, including school. You then have to be good at scheduling all the important things in your life. You also need to get good at saying no to some personal events, especially early in your career. Early in her career, my sister-in-law often had to work holidays, which is never easy since they are important to many families.

My sister-in-law has been in nursing almost 30 years. It is a rewarding job. She is using her masters degree to now teach nurses how to do their jobs at her hospital. I believe that part of the reason that she stayed so long was that her chosen area, labor and delivery, was very rewarding. For nursing, school is hard but that is important. The job is hard too.


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MARCUS’s Answer

Greetings Montserrat R.,

The biggest challenges you will face as a nursing student is prioritizing your time effectively. Remember, medicine is considered a practice for a reason. It requires a great deal of patience and critical thinking skills. Irrespective of gender, if you are not totally invested, it’s difficult to be successful in this field. Challenges will arise and you may feel overwhelmed, but don’t take your eyes off the prize.

Download a copy of the S.M.A.R.T. Goals Worksheet to help you measure your progress, while pursuing your degree in the nursing program.

Best wishes.

MARCUS recommends the following next steps: