3 reasons to become a nurse and why it may not be right for you

June 24, 2014

With demands on the healthcare system growing every year, the need for nurses is on the rise. Is becoming a nurse the right choice for you?

3 reasons to become a nurse and why it may not be right for you

There are lots of reasons to consider nursing as a profession, the most obvious of which is that you will be able to help sick individuals get better. However, helping others is just one of the reasons nursing can be a worthwhile career.

Reasons to become a nurse

In addition to helping others, nurses have numerous job benefits, including:

1. You can work anywhere you want
Every major city in the world, and most smaller cities, have at least one hospital or medical facility nearby, all of which need doctors and nurses. A licensed nurse can move almost anywhere he or she wants, confident in the knowledge that there will be demand for their services.

2. Flexible schedule
Hospitals and medical facilities need to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. While this means that nurses often work non-conventional hours, it also means there is a great deal of flexibility in the hours worked. This is great for planning other aspects of your life, including vacations and family time. It can be greatly problematic if you're hoping to plan your personal and family life around a more conventional Monday-Friday, nine-to-five type schedule.

3. Great pay
Nurses make fairly decent wages as well. While nurses typically won't make anywhere near the salary of a doctor, nurses also don't have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on graduate school, or spend years as a resident.

How to become a nurse

Nurses must go through a training and certification process before they are legally allowed to become registered nurses (RNs). While it used to be possible to become a certified nurse with only a high school diploma, almost all of the provinces have moved to (or are in the process of moving to) a Baccalaureate degree requirement. The only province that still allows high-school-educated nurses is Quebec.

Once you have your Baccalaureate degree, you must apply to an accredited nursing college assessment program. While every province has their own set of protocols, all require an examination that assesses your knowledge and understanding of the laws and ethics within the nursing profession. After passing the examination, you need to pass an approved nursing education program as well as the national nursing registration assessment.

After completing all of these steps, you'll be an RN. However, if you wish to specialize further, you can take extended classes to become a nurse practitioner, which allows greater responsibilities (and wages) to those who successfully completely the program.

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