Why Become a Nurse?
There are many reasons to become a nurse, most of which begin with the desire to help and heal others. You may be in search of a higher income, more meaningful work or the security of knowing you’re always needed in your field because of the increased demand for registered nurses across the nation.
More nurses are needed than ever before to care for an ever-growing aging population of baby boomers. In 2011, that generation began turning 65. Until the year 2030, the number of people turning 65 will increase by 10,000 each day. Once all baby boomers have turned 65, a full 18% of the nation’s population will be 65 or older, according to Pew Research Center. Not only does this mean there will be more Americans living with chronic conditions, requiring greater levels of care, it also means that many of the most experienced nurses will be retiring from the profession.
Together, this translates into considerable demand for BSN-educated nurses. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of RNs in the U.S. will grow by around 221,900 between 2019 and 2029 — and that doesn’t even include the number of retiring RNs whose positions will need to be filled.
It’s also reassuring to know that the fruits of your effort will pay off. As of the Bureau’s 2020 data, the median annual wage for RNs was $75,330 (or about $36.22/hour); however, earnings vary from location. For example, registered nurses in states such as Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Minnesota and New York (among others) pay well above the national average.
Nurses Have a Major Impact on the Quality of Care Patients Receive
Not only is the need for nurses greater than ever, studies show that nurses have the highest impact on patient outcomes of anyone on a hospital staff. According to a 2018 survey, 89% of doctors spent 24 minutes or less with each patient. In contrast, nurses spend around 37% of each shift with patients, and patient outcomes improve when nurses spend more time with them. This was studied across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, meaning these nurse-improved outcomes include everything from faster healing, less serious infections, less pain and even fewer deaths.
Additionally, numerous studies have found that registered nurses who hold a BSN degree or greater lead to better patient outcomes, explaining the push for healthcare providers to require all new nurses to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Is Nursing Right for You?
Being a nurse goes beyond a desire to want to help people. While certainly a rewarding career, nursing is also demanding, stressful and can be unglamorous. So, before you decide to pursue a BSN degree, it is important that you can answer “yes” to these eight questions:
- Are you a good listener and communicator?
- Do you have the patience to handle difficult people?
- Are you organized?
- Are you an empathetic person?
- Can you emotionally handle the realities of human pain and suffering?
- Are you able to think clearly in stressful situations?
- Are you willing to clean up bodily fluids while maintaining a positive attitude?
- Are you ok with unpredictability?
- Are you resilient and able to respond calmly and clearly during stressful situations as well as withstand setbacks and tragedies?
Overall, it is important to remember that critical thinking and creative problem-solving are as important as empathy when it comes to sharing your gifts as a nurse and serving your community.
Please contact our admissions team to find out if a nursing career is the right fit for you.