Understanding the pros and cons of nursing helps determine whether it’s the right career for you. The benefits of nursing include the ability to make a difference, growth opportunities, good salary, an in-demand career, and schedule flexibility. The cons of nursing include stress, grief, and infection exposure.
When considering which career path is right for you, it’s important to have all the facts. Becoming a nurse is a big decision that many find rewarding and fruitful. But before you start applying for nursing schools, let’s talk through the pros and cons of nursing.
At Felician University, our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in New Jersey prepares the next generation of nurses to earn a BSN in as few as 16 or 18 months. The faculty at Felician believes in the value of a nursing career and knows that the numerous pros outweigh the challenges of the job.
Pros of Nursing
With so many benefits of nursing, it makes sense that most nurses are passionate about their work. Here are just a few of the many benefits of choosing a nursing career.
1. Nurses Make a Difference
If you’re seeking a career that will make a difference in your life and the lives of others, nursing will not disappoint. You’ll get to support and sustain others, including anything from helping a patient recover from a stroke to supporting a patient experiencing a heart attack.
Nurses form connections with their patients and help them recover physically and emotionally from health challenges. You’ll see the impact you make on your patients daily. You may even hear appreciation from your patients because of your attentive care.
2. Nurses Have Growth Opportunities
Do you aspire to take your career to the next level? Nursing is an excellent choice if you want a career where you can advance professionally and expand your leadership capacity. Some of the growth opportunities include:
- Becoming an advanced practice nurse, such as a nurse practitioner or nurse midwife
- Earning specialty certifications
- Becoming a nurse manager or leader
- Entering a healthcare administration role
- Teaching future nurses as a nurse educator
Interested in an advanced practice nursing career? Here are the steps for becoming a nurse practitioner.
3. Nurses Make a Comfortable Living
While salary isn’t the most important factor when deciding on a career, you’ll be happy to hear that nurses make a good living. The average yearly salary for nurses in the U.S. is $77,600, according to May 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Plus, you have the potential to earn more than that, depending on where you live, what specialty you enter, and your years of nursing experience.
4. Nurses Are in Demand
Before you enter a new career, you want to ensure you’ll have job stability for the duration. Thankfully nursing is in-demand and growing, with 6% more open positions expected by 2031 (as of 2021). Healthcare demands are increasing as the baby boomer generation ages. For example, the number of people requiring long-term care — currently 14 million — is expected to double by 2050. The expanding healthcare needs of our population are assurance that you’re entering an in-demand career.
5. Nurses Have Schedule Flexibility
The benefits of nursing include the ability to choose a schedule that aligns with your lifestyle. As a nurse, you’ll have several options depending on where you work. If you work in a hospital or nursing home setting, you’ll likely work three 12-hour shifts per week, leaving four days off each week. In the hospital, patients receive care around the clock, so you can work day or night shifts on weekdays or weekends. Alternatively, you could work in a clinic or outpatient treatment center if you prefer a traditional weekday schedule.
Explore 13 nursing specialties you can pursue after earning your BSN.
Cons of Nursing
Now that you know a few benefits of nursing, it’s important to have a balanced view of the pros and cons of nursing.
1. Nursing Can Be Stressful
As a nurse, you will likely deal with stress on the job. Nursing is physically demanding, and you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet. Nurses must also prepare for mental stress, as they manage many responsibilities. They’re often tasked with caring for multiple patients with complex health conditions, all while handling interruptions and unexpected changes. A nursing career can also come with emotional stress. Being surrounded by illness and injury every day can be challenging. You’ll need a strong support system and methods for decompressing after a demanding day.
2. Nurses Deal with Grief
Another challenge of the nursing field is dealing with the loss of patients. Depending on what specialty you enter, you may experience patient death, but in any area of nursing, you should be prepared for loss. As a nurse, you provide patients with the best care possible, but sometimes you lose patients despite your greatest efforts. Having a support system is key to ensuring you can recover from potential patient losses.
3. Nurses Are Exposed to Infections
Another challenge of nursing is being exposed to infections. You will use standard infection control measures, such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and practicing hand hygiene. These minimize your risk of exposure. At Felician, you’ll learn how to use PPE and prevent the spread of infections during ABSN labs and clinical rotations.
Is Being a Nurse Worth It?
Now that you’ve seen the pros and cons of nursing, you may wonder if being a nurse is worth it. Before you decide, think about your why for nursing. Why do you aspire to become a nurse? If you have a passion for patient care and want to make a positive impact on your community, the pros of nursing will outweigh the cons for you. Every job can cause stress, but if you’re dedicated to the nursing mission, you’ll enjoy the benefits of nursing, ranging from schedule flexibility to competitive salary to career growth.
Learn More About Nursing at Felician
Now that you know the nursing pros and cons, you can see how the benefits of nursing outweigh the challenges. If you’re ready to begin earning your nursing degree, Felician University’s 16-month Hybrid ABSN or 18-month On-Ground ABSN can help you fast-track the path to your degree.
Is nursing school hard? Here’s what to expect in the Accelerated BSN program at Felician.
The Hybrid ABSN program incorporates online learning with hands-on labs and clinical rotations, ensuring you receive a comprehensive education that prepares you for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Our hybrid program offers three start dates per year, and the on-ground program offers one start date per year, so you can begin quickly.
Contact our admissions counselors today to learn more about our accelerated nursing program in New Jersey.