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.
Nurses Are in High Demand
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. Since 2010, the 65 and older population in the U.S. has grown by over a third, thanks to the large generation of aging baby boomers. Because of this rapid expansion of the senior population, health care will take an even more prominent role in future years.
Not only does this mean there will be more Americans living with chronic conditions, requiring greater levels of care, but 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 276,800 between 2020 and 2030 — and that doesn’t even include the number of retiring RNs whose positions will need to be filled.
Nursing Offers a Stable Career Path
It’s also reassuring to know that the fruits of your effort will pay off. As of the Bureau’s May 2021 data, the median annual wage for RNs was $77,600; however, earnings vary from location. For example, registered nurses in places such as Oregon, California, Hawaii, District of Columbia, Alaska and New York (among others) pay well above the national average.
With a BSN, you’ll be able to choose between myriad competitive nursing specialties, such as:
- Emergency nursing
- Pediatric nursing
- Surgical nursing
- Cardiac nursing
- Community health nursing
- School nursing
The BSN sets you up for diverse job options, plus it also gives you the chance to pursue leadership roles in the future. You could become a nurse manager or healthcare administrator. You could also go back to school to become a nurse educator or advanced practice nurse, such as a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist.
Nurses Provide Quality Patient Care
Not only is nursing a desirable field because of the high demand for nurses, but nurses also have a significant impact on their patients’ care and recovery. According to a survey from The American Journal of Medicine, physicians spend about 15% of their time on the patient units during day shifts. In contrast, nurses spend around 33% of each shift in patient rooms, and nearly all their time is spent on the patient unit.
Furthermore, of all the time when patients are receiving care during the day shift, nurses are present about 86% of the time, while physicians are present about 13% of the time. Because nurses are more present in the day-to-day recovery of their patients, they play a vital role in ensuring patients receive high-quality care.
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 or strongly encourage 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.