Obtaining a nursing degree is difficult. There’s no arguing it. Whether it’s the “hardest” degree to obtain or not is irrelevant. It is a demanding curriculum and it requires more than a little sacrifice and dedication to secure certification. Enough said.
But attending nursing school, going from RN to BSN, or enrolling in an online nursing school, can be highly rewarding endeavors, especially upon graduation, and after you obtain your certification to practice. Exams are tough. Clinical rotations are potentially exhausting. The demands on your time, energy, and mental faculties will undoubtedly be greater than if you’d chosen to major in early childhood education, for example. But the rewards are potentially great, too.
Challenges and Rewards
Many of your peers will graduate and go on to sell widgets at the best possible price. You will go on to save lives; to make a difference to people who are frightened or suffering, and to provide relief, reassurance, and assistance, in ways large and small, on a regular basis. You’ll also earn the respect of your patients, colleagues, family, and friends. Your widget-selling peers may have the easier time in school.
But who will enjoy the more rewarding career? Keep in mind that both nursing school and a business school curriculum each lasts a handful of years. But your career will sustain you for many decades to come. When evaluating if it’s all worth it, think about the future. Whatever you choose, it will set the tone for the rest of your life. Do you want your contributions to matter? Or can you settle for a career that rarely delivers any real sense of accomplishment? The choice is yours.
Sure, when you struggle to draw blood or start an IV for the tenth time, it can be tempting to think about your friend who’s learning about teaching reading to first-graders. But even she is likely to encounter the occasional unexpected run-in with body fluids on the job. So remember, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. And your friend majoring in business and finance will probably face uncertainties in the job market. Even after he lands a job, he’s likely to face frequent downsizings and constant job insecurity. Not you. Nurses are always in demand.
Job Opportunities and Security
Nursing jobs are also portable. Regardless of where you go, your skills as a nurse will be welcomed, appreciated—and in demand. True, you’ll probably be required to obtain state-specific recertification in some localities, but the demand for your services will be strong virtually everywhere. In fact, the need for qualified healthcare professionals is only growing, as the aging baby boom generation continues to put growing pressure on an already-overtaxed American healthcare infrastructure. So, while nursing school may be among the toughest educational pursuits, it’s also a ticket to one of the most rewarding careers possible.