There are many reasons people pursue a career in nursing.
Due to a shortage of doctors, the aging baby boomer population and the efficiency with which nurse practitioners can provide quality healthcare to patients, nurses have been and continue to be in high demand, which makes nursing a highly secure career path. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners will see a 25% increase in demand by 2022.
People need medical care day and night, on weekends and weekdays, in urban and rural locations and in all sorts of settings. Because medicine is such a broad-reaching field and nurse practitioners are so high in demand, nurses often have the luxury of choosing their schedule and location. As a nurse practitioner, you get to decide: Would you like to work a regular 9 – 5 schedule? Or perhaps night shifts are your thing. You choose the setting: Are you interested in working at a private practice, in a hospital, at a school, in a research facility or elsewhere? You select your specialty: Do you want to interact with a variety of patients, or are you looking to hone in on a certain type of patient, such as pediatric or geriatric, or medicine, such as oncology or anesthesiology? If you know what you want as a nurse, you should be able to find it.
Nurses have so many potential paths from which they can choose, and even better, they can change their path at any time without worrying about jeopardizing their career. For example, you could go from being an inpatient nurse at a clinic to doing research at a medical device company and then return to being an inpatient nurse — or even try something else — without suffering any sort of major career progression disruption. In addition, once you’ve earned your registered nurse license in one state, you can apply for reciprocity in another state, and potentially move around freely.
As a nurse practitioner, you are not limited to a clinical setting. Being a nurse practitioner could mean you execute critical medical research, educate other nurses, hold a medical-related corporate position, advocate for nurses or patients, and more.
Nurses make a significant difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. They help and support both their patients and their patients’ families. Simply put, that feels good — it’s the main reason most nurses become nurses.
Nothing stays the same for long in the medical field, and nursing is no exception. Constantly evolving, changing and advancing, nursing offers a lot of opportunity to learn and grow. Typically, good nurse practitioners are accepting of change and handle it well.
Nursing Keeps Life Interesting.
As a nurse practitioner, chances are you’ll never encounter the same exact situation twice. Every shift brings new challenges, satisfaction and opportunities to learn. You are not at risk for boredom as a nurse; learning, and even stress and frustration, effectively keep you engaged and motivated to do your best.
Nursing is a financially competitive field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean national nurse practitioner salary is $101,260, but salaries can vary greatly depending on market, education and specialty. In general nursing pays well.
Respected and Trusted.
Year after year, nursing is among the top two most respected and most trusted professions (along with firefighting), and for good reason. It is a demanding job that requires a great deal of stamina, compassion and skill. In return, along with all of the other rewarding benefits listed above, nurses enjoy the well-deserved respect, admiration and appreciation they receive from their peers, families and communities on a regular basis.
For further reading, check out this Nurse Practitioner Infographic.