May 11, 2010 | | Comments 1
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In honor of Nurses Week: 10 Reasons to Become a Nurse

I would like to introduce Jennifer Johnson, who will be a guest blogger on the topic of nurse practitioner schools among other hot topics in nursing. Welcome Jennifer to the Leaders’ Lounge!

Here is a list of 10 reasons to become a nurse:

  1. To meet a critical need. There is a great need for qualified nursing professionals to fill vacant positions at healthcare facilities across the country. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the nursing shortage is only expected to increase.
  2. To ease pain and suffering. Nursing is the sort of profession where one’s daily responsibilities directly contribute to helping patients improve their condition. Rarely a day goes by where a nurse is not making someone’s life better and taking steps to improve someone’s health. Whether you’re a military nurse caring for wounded soldiers in the field or an oncology nurse preparing a patient for chemotherapy, your work makes a difference. For this reason, many nurses find their work very rewarding.
  3. Nurses are in-demand and will be for years to come. A good RN doesn’t stay unemployed for long in the U.S., and it’s likely to stay that way well into the future
  4. To teach patients how to live a healthier lifestyle. Patient education is a huge part of being a nurse. Not only do nurses educate patients on how to appropriately manage their diseases and conditions, but they also encourage them to make lifestyle changes that can contribute greatly to the patient’s overall health.
  5. Nurses can specialize. If you have a passion to work with a particular population group, such as newborns, children, or the elderly, you will have the opportunity to work specifically with those patients. Over time, nurses gain the skills necessary to become certified in a specific area and can seek out work in areas that are of particular interest to them.
  6. RNs can become advanced practice nurses. With additional education, nurses can earn more money, have a great deal more autonomy, and a greater scope of practice, including prescriptive authority. After completing a master’s-level training program, a registered nurse can become a nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife, nurse anesthetist or clinical nurse specialist.
  7. To effectively train the next generation of nurses. With the appropriate level of education, experienced nurses have the opportunity to become nurse educators, teaching nursing students in a college or hospital setting. You can then pass along your knowledge into the next generation of nurses.
  8. To become a valued member of a healthcare team. Being a nurse is not a behind-the-scenes type of job. In fact, in most healthcare facilities, nurses are the ones most often on center stage. Nurses are an absolutely indispensable part of healthcare teams and their work does not go unnoticed.
  9. To have an opportunity for advancement and cross training. Experienced nurses with demonstrated leadership skills may become charge nurses or even nurse managers, helping to supervise the daily goings-on of various floors and to develop strategic plans to improve patient outcomes. These supervisory and managerial positions usually garner higher pay, too. The average floor nurse is also often cross trained in various hospital departments, such as the ICU, CCU, ER or neonatal unit. This helps broaden a nurse’s skill set.
  10. Nurses earn respectable wages. The average annual salary for a RN was $62,450 as of May 2008.

What are other ways someone may want to become a nurse? How do you encourages nurses in your facility to continue on their journey of helping patients?

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About the Author: Jennifer Johnson, will be a new guest blogger and will write on the topics of Nurse Practitioner Schools. She welcomes your comments at her email Id:

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  1. I am concerned about your reasons for becoming a nurse simply because it is guaranteed employment. Attrition rates within colleges and the first year of employment approach 50% in some schools and hospital consortiums (The California Nurse Mentor Project: Every Nurse Deserves a Mentor, Mills & Mullins, Nurs Econ. 2008;26(5):310-315). A nursing degree does not guarantee employment—because of the acuity of patients and the lack of adequate clinical preparation, many hospitals decline hiring new graduates (

    Being a nurse is a tough, dirty job with incredible built-in satisfaction—you are making a difference every day. But to focus strictly on the job and the pay? I see those nurses in my unit and I’m actively working to move them on because their work ethic, patient safety issues, and attitudes negatively affect my nurses who have been called to be nurses.

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