The nursing profession is extremely important in maintaining people’s health around the globe. They are closest to patients, take care of all their needs, and ensure that proper help is available to whoever needs it. According to the World’s Nursing 2020 report, nurses comprise 59% of the healthcare workforce. Currently, 28 million nurses are working in the entire world. Even in the presence of millions of nurses, the profession still faces an acute shortage of qualified nurses. The report also mentions that there will be a need for 10 million more nurses to meet every individual’s needs by 2030.
The nursing shortage implies that currently, working nurses are under strain due to a heavy workload. They have to work for more hours and are made to work more than required. An excessive workload leads to stress and burnout, resulting in disengagement, loss of interest and empathy, and cynicism. Mental and physical enervation is taking a toll on nurses; many report physical and mental health issues. This suggests that the nursing profession needs qualified staff ready to take up their healthcare roles to share the current nurses’ burden.
Fulfilling the Nursing Shortage
The need for nurses in such a big number is alarming, but it, at the same time, presents an opportunity for new nurses to enter this field. Often the biggest concern for graduates is to get a good working opportunity. Finding a good job won’t be much of a concern for nursing graduates. There are already more job opportunities than nurses available to fill them. It is high time that more nurses enroll in RN to BSN degrees or start with a diploma to make up for this shortage. The need for nurses was already in the acute stage, but the pandemic further exacerbated the situation—no better time than now to enroll in a nursing degree. Being a nurse won’t only fulfill the nursing shortage; many other benefits are associated with getting a nursing degree, making it worthwhile.
1.Rewarding and Meaningful Career Path
Nursing is one of the most stimulating careers out there. Witnessing the sufferings of others, crying people for their loved ones, and praying to get a few more moments to live seems distressing. This is probably the reason nurses experience compassion fatigue. But in the end, their resolve to work wins because of its rewarding nature. Working at the frontline, nurses are important for the proper functioning of hospitals.
Being able to eliminate the suffering of others and helping them live a healthy life instill meaningfulness in your career. The embedded sense of fulfillment is too overwhelming that it can eliminate the hurdles you face in your work. The emotional and physical comfort provided to patients and their families can be very comforting for nurses. The sense of meaningfulness in your work allows you to develop an empathetic relationship with your patients.
2.Job security and Reliability of the Profession
The need for nurses will likely be there till the end of time. So, it is very unlikely that you will go out of work or won’t find a job. Hospitals are always in search of qualified nurses to improve patient care standards. Many open positions are not fulfilled in many countries because of a shortage of educated nurse professionals that meet the criteria. Getting a higher education nursing degree means you have more than average chances of getting hired for such positions.
The job security accompanying this profession can be enticing, especially in an economic crisis where graduates struggle for jobs in other sectors. For that reason, it is not odd to consider nursing a safe and reliable profession that promises a continuous earning stream. Though there is the stress of working long shifts and mental and physical fatigue, one thing is clear you won’t lose your job for reasons such as sudden layoffs or downsizing.
3.Freedom to Work in Many Settings
What image do you summon in your mind when you think about healthcare? Is it a hospital with nurses and doctors running around and treating hundreds of patients? While there is nothing wrong with this image, it is a narrow representation of healthcare. There are many more health care settings beyond a hospital. There are private care clinics, health departments in educational institutions, doctor’s practices, community clinics, and outpatient facilities.
Educated nurses can work in any of these facilities. Some states even allow advanced degree nurses to start their independent practice that does not require the oversight of physicians. This way, if you have the right nursing degree, you can share the burden of the physicians too. The more skilled you are, the more attractive you become to employers.
Qualified nurses can advance their careers into different domains and transition from clinical roles into administrative duties. These management positions hold more authority and decision-making ability. As a nurse manager, you can make a bigger impact on the lives of others by making more impactful decisions. As they move up their growth trajectory, more qualified nurses can earn a better salary.
The stats mentioning the nursing shortage are alarming. In the face of constantly retiring nurses and an aging population, more nurses are needed on a war footing. Nurses qualified with the most current nursing knowledge can find themselves amid many job opportunities. Therefore, the earlier you enroll in a nursing degree, the better.