While there are many different subsets of the medical industry, many people who are interested in health care choose to pursue nursing careers.1 Nursing can be a very rewarding occupation, but it’s important to make sure that you will enjoy the job before you sign up for a practical nursing program or a registered nursing program. How can you tell if nursing school is right for you?
Are you compassionate?
Nurses spend much of their time working directly with patients who are ill or injured, so having the ability to be compassionate and empathize or sympathize with their situation is paramount. Being compassionate means not only listening to patients, but also showing them that you truly care about what they’re going through. Just be careful not to get too emotionally involved.2
Are you responsible?
Throughout your nursing career, you will be responsible for many different things, from administering medication to assessing and treating patients’ medical conditions. It’s important that you are able to perform these duties with great detail and accuracy at all times, because failing to notice something important may have negative consequences. If you are very responsible and thrive under pressure, nursing may be right for you.3
Are you observant?
As a nurse, you will need to make visual observations of your patients and be able to interpret them to provide better care. You will also have to provide careful documentation of those findings that is extremely detailed and accurate.4
Are you patient?
Sometimes stressful situations arise in the field of health care, and when that happens it’s important to be confident in your ability to be patient and understanding under pressure. When things get hectic or a patient becomes upset, your patience will help you be a better nurse.5
1 University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, ‘Fun Facts,’ 2013 – http://www.nursing.upenn.edu/media/Just4Kids/Pages/FunFacts.aspx
2 Jacksonville University School of Nursing, ‘Qualities that Make a Good Nurse,’ 2013 – http://www.jacksonvilleu.com/nursing-degree-resources/qualities-of-a-good-nurse/
3 Jacksonville University School of Nursing, ‘Qualities that Make a Good Nurse,’ 2013 – http://www.jacksonvilleu.com/nursing-degree-resources/qualities-of-a-good-nurse/
4 Western Kentucky University School of Nursing, ‘Do you have what it takes to be a nurse?,’ 2013 – http://www.wku.edu/nursing/documents/what_it_takes.pdf
5 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Registered Nurses,’ March 29, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm#tab-4