If you’ve started submitting applications to nursing schools or told people that you want to be a nurse, you’re probably hearing the question, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” a lot.
To be honest, it’s a fair question, and each person has their own reasons for wanting to become a nurse. If you’re reading this blog post and wondering if a nursing career is for you, here are the 15 top reasons to choose a career in nursing.
Becoming a nurse is a great career choice with many advantages, including plenty of opportunities for growth and development. Here are the top 15 reasons why you should consider a career in nursing:
1. High Demand for Nurses
Nursing is an increasingly relevant and sought-after career path in today’s world. With the aging population, there’s an increasing demand for nursing professionals due to the increased need for both medical and assisted living services.
On top of this, a shortage of physicians has also increased the demand for primary care providers putting nurse practitioners in much higher demand as well.
2. Ability to Start Working Fast
Nursing is an amazing career choice for many reasons, one of them being that you don’t necessarily need an extensive education in order to get started.
Becoming a CNA or LPN only requires a 1-2 year associate’s degree and the starting pay is decent too.
Even if your goal is to become an RN, there are now accelerated BSN programs available at most universities that offer nurses the opportunity to obtain their Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) quickly so they can begin their careers.
And most of these programs can be completed online (except for some lab and/or clinical components).
3. Great Pay and Benefits
Another awesome advantage of being a nurse is that most nurses earn a really good salary and have excellent benefits. Although nursing salaries vary widely from state to state, the average registered nurse salary in 2021 was $82,750, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Licensed practical nurses earn an average salary of $67,211 a year in 2023, according to Glassdoor.com.
Nurses also receive a number of benefits that can’t be found in other occupations, such as access to excellent health insurance options, retirement savings plans, flexible hours or shifts, paid vacation time, and even educational assistance programs that can help make continuing your education more affordable.
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4. Incentives to Work in Many Different Areas
Besides a great salary and benefits, nurses are also offered special incentives such as higher pay, relocation assistance, hefty sign-on bonuses, and nursing tuition reimbursement to work in high-need areas.
And there are many places offering these incentives for nurses, from busy urban medical centers to under-served rural and remote communities.
5. Job Security
When it comes to job security, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a job that is more secure and in higher demand.
Currently, there is a nursing shortage, and this shortage is expected to increase over the next decade due to the aging population of Baby Boomers and a growing need for healthcare services related to chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
6. Professional Respect
An important part of having a great career is knowing that you’re respected for your skills and the work you do. And when it comes to respect and trust, there is no one more trusted than nurses.
For the last 20 years, Gallup has found that the public ranks nurses the highest in terms of their honesty and ethics of any occupation or profession, even higher than physicians. Nursing is an incredible career choice due to the tremendous respect you receive from patients, family, peers, and other medical professionals.
7. Growing Opportunity for Flexible Scheduling
Another important factor when it comes to having a great job and career is a flexible schedule. In fact, a whopping 9 out of 10 employees surveyed said offering flexible scheduling is one of the most important things employers can do to retain employees. And 47.8% said a flexible schedule is even more important than salary.
With an ever-growing demand for healthcare professionals, employers are placing greater emphasis on accommodating remote workers or those who are interested in part-time work.
In addition to regular hospital or clinic settings, nurses can now take advantage of more per-diem nursing opportunities that fit into their busy lives as well.
This opens up the field to those who don’t have the necessary time to commit to a full-time nursing position while still allowing them to contribute meaningful work.
8. Opportunity for Student Loan Forgiveness
Going to school costs a lot of money, even if you go the community college route. Tuition, books, transportation, nursing uniforms and equipment, accommodation, meals, healthcare expenses—the list goes on of the expenses a student has. However, the good news is, many nurses may be eligible for student loan forgiveness programs for nurses.
9. Job Options Across Various Fields
Unlike many other professional fields, nursing offers a huge amount of variety in terms of the type of work you can do and the types of settings you can work in.
If you’d like to work with kids, you can be a school nurse, a pediatric nurse, or work in a PICU with sick children.
Prefer to work with people of all ages for even more variety? Then you can work in a community clinic, emergency department, or as a home care nurse.
And if you have the travel bug and want more adventure, you can be a travel nurse and work almost anywhere you can imagine from large cities to extremely remote locations once you gain some initial nursing experience.
10. Opportunities for Career Advancement
If you’re wondering about opportunities for career advancement, nursing is an excellent career choice for that as well.
As a nurse, there are many ways to work your way up the career ladder through advanced education in master’s in nursing and dnp programs.
These programs prepare you to specialize as a nurse—which means a nice boost in salary (usually into the 6-figure category)—and often more autonomy.
And the good news is, there’s high demand for nurse practitioners in a number of different specialties. There are also career paths for nurses who want to pursue healthcare or nursing management, nursing informatics, research or teaching as well.
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11. Ability to Make a Difference
If you want a career where you can help people and change their lives, nursing definitely fits the bill. In fact, nursing is an incredibly rewarding career choice because you have the privilege of supporting people when they need your help the most.
As an example, a nurse may help bring a life into the world for new parents or assist someone in managing a chronic condition who would otherwise be lost without a nurse’s teaching and expertise.
In the eyes of those they help, nurses truly are everyday heroes.
12. Transferable Skill Set
The nursing profession is highly marketable and transferable. So those entering the field can expect their experience and training to be valuable from job to job.
For example, the fundamental medical knowledge and expertise that goes hand-in-hand with being a nurse applies no matter where you go or work.
Although certain local regulations, technology, and even cultural norms may have slight variations, having a background as a nurse will still apply no matter where you go.
13. Opportunity for Entrepreneurship
The dream of owning your own business is also a real possibility when you become a nurse. Whether it’s starting your own private practice as a nurse practitioner or consultant, publishing medical research, freelance writing, launching a medical-based app or blog, or developing a new medical product, nurses can capitalize on their expertise and hard work by starting their own company.
Ownership over your career and the ability to create lasting change makes nursing an extremely attractive option for those seeking more than a traditional employment position.
14. Opportunity for Autonomy and Independence
One of the best aspects of nursing as a career is that it encourages autonomy and independence, allowing you to make many decisions on your own.
This is because nurses are given various levels of responsibility depending on their experience and skill level. As a result, this makes nursing an ideal job for those looking for autonomy and independence while still having access to support from their peers, supervisors, and managers.
15. Highly Satisfying Career
Last but not least, nursing is an extremely satisfying career. Despite how difficult the recent pandemic was for nurses, a 2021 career satisfaction survey of 10,788 nurses (including LPNs, RNs, and NPs) found that more than 90% of the nurses surveyed said they were “glad they chose” to be a nurse.
As you can see, there are many great reasons to choose a career in nursing. So what are you waiting for? Jump online and start applying today!