Treat and assist in patient care alongside medical practitioners. Nurses are often responsible for administering patients’ medication and treatment. You’ll also help patients who are unable to assist themselves.
Record treatment and monitor medical equipment. If a patient is receiving treatment, you are responsible for noting any changes in the patient and reporting this to the doctor. You’ll also need to keep tabs on the equipment that is monitoring the patient’s condition and possibly collaborate on a treatment plan with the doctor.
Act as a liaison between the patient and the doctor. Nurses are often the main contact for patients during the recovery process, especially in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Nurses will share information with others on their team and the doctor. Nurses also help explain doctors’ instructions to patients.
Offer support to patients and their families. After the death of a loved one, a terrible accident or the diagnosis of a terminal illness, a patient and their family might look to you for support. They might look for you for answers about treatment and recovery, or just vent about their problems. As a nurse, it’s important to listen and be available to patients and their families.
Here are a few reasons why nursing is a sought-after career:
1. High demand
There is a projected 12% growth in nursing jobs from 2018 to 2028, much higher than the average in other occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1 The BLS2 says a couple of reasons for the spike in demand is an increased emphasis on preventive medicine and assistance for chronic illnesses. Also, the baby boomer generation has a much longer life span which requires additional healthcare services, including long-term medical assistance.
2. There are a lot of job options
Nurses can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, clinics and physicians’ offices. They also work in schools, at businesses and in the military.
Nurses can also select their specialty. For example, neonatal nurses take care of newborns while cardiovascular nurses assist patients who are suffering from chronic heart disease and/or have undergone heart surgery.
Nurses may have a flexible work schedule. Options range from a traditional 9 to 5 workday to a week with three 12-hour shifts.
3. You are always learning
There isn’t a “normal day” in nursing. Every day brings about challenges and changes, such as new treatment options. Patients do not respond to treatment in the same manner at the same rate. You will need to adapt your treatment style to match the patient’s needs and understand not everyone will heal in the same way.
4. Nurses make a real difference
Unlike some jobs where you are in a cubicle all day, nurses get to work one-on-one with patients. Nurses make a big impact, whether by administering medicine or treatment, serving as a mediator between the doctor and the patient or offering support to a worried patient and their families. Nursing is one of the few careers in which you can see the impact that your career has on somebody’s life. An interaction with a nurse can be the biggest difference between a positive visit to the doctor or hospital or a negative visit.
Making a difference is also rewarding for you. According to the 2017 Survey of Nurses conducted by the AMN, 83% of all nurses are satisfied with their career choice and 66% said they would encourage others to become nurses. As demanding as the career can be, few positions have an impact like nursing has on society.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.