7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Nurse

picture of a nurse thinking with her pen to her head
Written by
Jeremy Booher
January 18, 2023

Are you thinking about becoming a nurse? Perhaps you've already begun your venture down this career path. If so, here are seven things you should know before you become a registered nurse.

  1. The importance of taking care of oneself both physically and mentally: In the profession of being a  nurse, you will be constantly exposed to stressful situations and may encounter patients who are critically ill or in pain. Prioritize self-care in order to prevent burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This may include setting boundaries with your patients and colleagues, taking breaks when needed, and engaging in relaxing activities that help alleviate stress.
  2. The value of time management: Nursing is a fast-paced and demanding profession, and effective time management is crucial in order to provide high-quality care to your patients. This may include prioritizing tasks, delegating responsibilities when appropriate, and learning to work efficiently in a busy environment.
  3. The importance of good communication: Effective communication is vital in the healthcare setting, as misunderstandings can have serious consequences. As a nurse, you will need to be able to communicate effectively with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team. This includes listening actively, using clear and concise language, and adapting your communication style to the needs of your audience.
  4. The role of teamwork: Nursing is a team-oriented profession, and it is important to be able to work well with others in order to provide the best care possible. This includes seeking out the expertise and support of colleagues, collaborating with members of the healthcare team, and advocating for your patients when necessary.
  5. The need for adaptability: Nursing is a dynamic profession, and you may be called upon to adapt to changing patient needs, new technologies, and evolving best practices. It is important to be flexible and open to learning in order to stay current in your field and provide the best care possible.
  6. The importance of continuing education: Nurses are required to stay up to date on current research and developments in healthcare. This may involve pursuing continuing education opportunities, such as taking courses or earning additional certifications, in order to improve your skills and knowledge.
  7. The rewards of the profession: While nursing can be a challenging and demanding profession, it can also be extremely rewarding. You will have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of your patients and their families.

Should I Become a Nurse?

There are a few key factors to consider when deciding if a career in nursing is right for you. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you enjoy helping others and have a strong desire to make a positive impact on people's lives? Nursing involves caring for patients who may be facing physical or emotional challenges and requires a compassionate and empathetic approach.
  2. Are you able to handle stressful or high-pressure situations? Nursing can be a demanding profession, and you will need to be able to remain calm and focused in sometimes challenging environments.
  3. Do you have good communication skills and the ability to work well in a team? As a nurse, you will need to be able to communicate effectively with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team and be able to work collaboratively with others in order to provide the best care possible.
  4. Are you comfortable with technology and willing to learn new skills? Nursing involves using a variety of medical equipment and technologies, and you will need to be comfortable learning and using new tools and techniques.
  5. Do you have the physical stamina and ability to work long hours on your feet? Nursing can be physically demanding, and you will need to be able to stand for long periods of time and lift or move patients as needed.

Overall, a career in nursing can be rewarding and fulfilling for those who are compassionate, empathetic, and able to handle the demands of the profession. If you feel that you possess these qualities and are interested in pursuing a career in nursing, it may be a good fit for you.

How to Become a Nurse:

To become a nurse, you will need to complete the following steps on how to get your RN and other licenses.

Earn a nursing degree: In order to become a nurse, you will need to earn a nursing degree from an accredited nursing program. There are several different types of nursing degrees available, including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), and a Diploma in Nursing.

  1. Pass the NCLEX exam: After completing your nursing education, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in order to become licensed as a nurse. The NCLEX is a standardized exam that tests your knowledge and skills in the nursing field.
  2. Obtain a nursing license: Once you have passed the NCLEX exam, you will need to submit an application within the state you wish to practice. Each state has its own nursing board that is responsible for issuing and regulating nursing licenses.
  3. Why stop there? You can expand with additional education and certifications: While it is not required, many nurses choose to pursue additional education and certifications in order to specialize or advance their careers. Some options include earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), becoming a Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP), or obtaining a nursing certification in a specific area of practice.
  4. Find a job: Once you have completed your education and obtained a nursing license, you can start looking for jobs as a nurse. Nurses can find many types of jobs, including positions in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings. Furthermore, you can accept a staff job at a hospital or healthcare facility or contract out your services as a nurse as a freelance PRN worker.

Becoming a registered nurse will take self-determination and dedication; the rewarding feeling you get in helping people through life-threatening situations is tremendous, but with that, you have responsibilities and liabilities all on your shoulders. After achieving your education and licensure, finding jobs should be relatively easy due to the demand for this profession.

Jeremy Booher
Blog published on:
January 18, 2023

Meet Jeremy, a contributing copywriter, editor, and publisher at Nursa who specializes in topics around licensing, clinician salaries, and per diem job locations.

Sign Up with Nursa and Request PRN Jobs near You

Interested in healthcare shifts?

Apply for Jobs

Related Blog Posts

GO BEYOND A SINGLE JOB

Choose Multiple PRN Shifts on Your Schedule

Nursa isn't just about finding a job; it's about crafting your ideal work schedule by selecting shifts. Once you create a Nursa profile, you will experience the convenience of scheduling shifts in real-time.

Registered Nurse RN - Skilled Nursing $87.76 per hour
RN
Date
July 21, 2024
Hourly
$
88
Est. Total
$
1097
View Shift
13:00 - 01:30
Prestige at McMinnville
Registered Nurse RN - Skilled Nursing $87.76 per hour
RN
Date
July 28, 2024
Hourly
$
88
Est. Total
$
1097
View Shift
13:00 - 01:30
Prestige at McMinnville
Registered Nurse RN - Skilled Nursing $64.77 per hour
RN
Date
July 25, 2024
Hourly
$
65
Est. Total
$
1069
View Shift
13:00 - 05:30
Hillsboro Health and Rehabilitation Center

See More Shifts and Apply Now

Explore and find where you would like to work

Search ShiftsPer Diem Jobs
Briefcase purple icon

Pick Up a Job Today

Find per diem PRN job opportunities in your area. High paying CNA, LPN and RN and many more are now available now.

Join Nursa
Building Purple Icon

Post Your Jobs Today

Facilities who use Nursa fill 3 times as many open per diem shifts, on average, compared to trying to fill the shifts themselves.

Post Jobs
Nursa is no 1 mobile app for clinicians

Download the App Now

App store Button
Google Play button