Do you ask yourself, is nursing for me? 7 things to consider before becoming a nurse include: do you enjoy helping people, how is your communication, what are your career goals, how do you handle stress, can you tolerate unpleasant situations, are you organized and do you enjoy science?
As you consider a career in nursing, there are many factors to think about before you begin. You may be wondering, “is nursing for me?” You want to be sure of your career choice. After all, going back to school for nursing requires hard work, commitment, time and money. It is therefore important to ensure that nursing is the best career for you.
Concordia University, St. Paul is committed to ensuring our nursing students in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program feel a strong calling to the profession and believe passionately in the purpose of nursing. Nursing is a career that offers professional satisfaction and personal fulfillment, and we are proud to help our students earn their BSN in as little as 16 months.
How does the accelerated nursing program work? Learn what to expect in the ABSN program at Concordia.
There are several considerations that will help you answer the question, “do I have what it takes to be a nurse?” Here, we’ll cover seven questions that will help to clarify if nursing is right for you.
1. Does Helping People Bring You Joy?
Passion for helping people is the first factor to consider when asking yourself, “is nursing right for me?” After all, the foundation of nursing is helping people in times of need. Nurses support patients throughout various health challenges, for example, during recovery from surgery or while receiving cancer treatment. This passion for helping people is often the driving factor that inspires people to go into nursing.
Although nurses work long and hard to help their patients, it’s something they enjoy rather than a burden. So, consider how you feel about helping people. Does it invigorate you, make you feel happy and give you purpose? If so, nursing may be a field that will resonate with you and your personality.
2. Are You a Good Listener and Communicator?
Another aspect to consider when deciding whether nursing is right for you is how comfortable you are interacting with people. Nurses spend much of their day communicating with their patients and other healthcare providers, so being a clear communicator will serve you well.
Nurses need to be good at listening when patients share their feelings. Nurses spend a lot of time at their patients’ bedsides, so patients come to trust them with their life details. Often in healthcare settings, patients need a sounding board, someone who genuinely cares about them. That’s where the nurse comes in. Do you enjoy being someone who can talk with patients, listen to them and provide support? This passion for therapeutic communication to meet the healthcare needs of patients is a quality the best nurses possess.
Furthermore, as a nurse, you will need to communicate effectively with coworkers. Nurses work alongside many other healthcare professionals. Therefore, having strong communication skills and thriving in a collaborative atmosphere are important for success in nursing.
3. Does Nursing Fulfill Your Career Goals?
What are your career aspirations? Where do you hope to be in 10 years career-wise? Think about your goals, and consider whether nursing aligns with these. Nursing offers a variety of opportunities for professional growth in a variety of settings.
For example, many nurses choose to grow into specialist nursing roles throughout their career. They can gain certifications and become qualified to care for patients in higher-acuity units, such as critical care or neonatal intensive care.
If you aspire to a clinical role with more independence and a larger scope of practice, you may choose to return to school to qualify as a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist or nurse midwife. These careers come with a significant salary boost, averaging $123,780 yearly, according to May 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Interested in becoming a nurse practitioner? See the pathway to become a nurse practitioner.
Another growth option for nurses is becoming a nurse manager or a healthcare administrator. Nurses with a passion for teaching can also earn their master’s degree in nursing and become a nurse educator, teaching the next generation of nurses. If these options for career growth align with your personal goals, nursing may be a great field for you. Some nurses earn terminal degrees and serve as researchers as well as educators.
4. Can You Keep a Level Head During Stressful Situations?
Nurses have a lot of responsibility. At times, they need to manage the health of their patients in stressful situations. Nurses need to stay focused and clear-minded when the patient worsens or complications occur, such as during a heart attack or when a patient is decompensating.
As you consider nursing, think about your response to stress. Nurses experience stress in their work regularly, so it’s important that you are able to handle this. Bear in mind, though, that you are not expected to be confident in stressful health situations at the beginning. This is a skill you will develop over time as you go through nursing school and gain experience during your nursing career.
5. Can You Tolerate Unpleasant Situations?
Before becoming a nurse, think about how you handle situations like open wounds or bodily fluids (e.g., blood). Nurses have many duties that may make some people squeamish, such as changing wound dressings, managing post-surgical drains, drawing blood and helping patients with hygiene.
Nurses need to be willing to manage and help patients with these sometimes uncomfortable situations. You will also be treating sick and sometimes contagious patients, so taking infection control measures will be necessary to protect yourself. Therefore, before you decide on nursing, consider your tolerance for these unpleasant situations. Nurses also care for patients from all walks of life and backgrounds, so the ability to be non-judgmental is extremely important.
Bear in mind that it’s normal for new nursing students to feel a bit squeamish here and there, and you’re not expected to be completely comfortable from day one. As you practice your nursing skills, you’ll learn how to manage these situations with composure.
6. Are You Organized and Detail-Oriented?
Organization is a key skill for successful nurses. Nurses are responsible for administering precise treatments and keeping a detailed record of their patients’ status in the electronic medical record (EMR).
Nurses also need to stay organized when juggling multiple patients during one shift. When nurses are handling multiple patients with varying conditions, it’s important to implement effective strategies to ensure their patients get the care they need. Along with this need for clarity and focus, you’ll also need to prioritize and address the most urgent issues first. This multitasking is much easier if you have naturally good organization skills.
7. Do You Enjoy Learning about Health and Science?
Accelerated nursing school is a challenging path, and you’ll spend the 16 months of the ABSN program learning as much as you can about the human body and how it works. In online classes, you’ll learn about illnesses, the use of medication to treat them, and how to apply that knowledge in experiential learning environments. Nurses are scientists of human responses to illness and wellness, so a strong background in science is a must!
How does online learning work in nursing school? Learn the benefits of online nursing classes in an ABSN program.
Even once you finish nursing school, you will continue to grow and learn about biology and the human body every day. You will also be putting that knowledge to use through your daily interactions with patients. Nursing knowledge is always expanding, so successful nurses are on a journey of lifelong learning.
Think about whether you enjoyed your college biology or anatomy courses. Other science courses like microbiology provide the foundation you will need to learn about infection prevention and many illnesses. If you find science and learning about human health fascinating, then entering nursing is a great choice for you.
Begin Your Path to Nursing Today
After thinking through these questions, hopefully you have a better idea of your answer to the question, “is nursing for me?” If you’re inspired by a career caring for patients and offering support and compassion in their times of need, nursing may be the ideal fit for you. As a nurse, you’ll get to make a tangible difference in people’s lives each day.
At Concordia University, St. Paul, the ABSN curriculum gives you the opportunity to earn a BSN through a combination of online and experiential learning. In as little as 16 months, students can earn their BSN and be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®).
Hear from real ABSN students in our Concordia nursing student reviews. See why they chose the ABSN program and how it is helping them achieve their career goals.
We offer three program start dates each year at our locations in Portland, Oregon, and St. Paul, Minnesota. If you have a prior non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 54 non-nursing college credits, you may be eligible to apply.
To learn more about the ABSN program at CSP, fill out our online form, and an admissions counselor will reach out to you to set up a call. Now is the time to make a nursing career your reality!