Is Nursing for Me? Top 7 Signs That Indicate Your Future is in Nursing

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You may be wondering, “Is nursing for me? Is nursing a good career?” Some of the top signs that nursing could be right for you include: You are a compassionate, caring individual; you can multitask without missing a detail; and you are a lifelong learner.

woman on couch using laptop

“Is nursing for me? Is nursing a good career? Do I have what it takes to care for others in a high-demand environment?”

These are all excellent questions to consider as you think about your future. If you feel called to serve others, the health care field might be right for you. And if you have prior non-nursing education, you may qualify to use your credits as a springboard for an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program.

At Pacific Lutheran University, one of our friendly admission counselors will help you learn more about our online-based nursing program and admission requirements. With the full-time ABSN program, earning your nursing degree in as few as 16 months is possible. Then, all you will need is your nursing license before you can begin caring for patients and making a positive difference in the lives of others. Below, we will explore how to know if nursing is for you.

Is Nursing Right for Me? Consider These Top Signs

“Is nursing a good career?” Only you can determine if nursing is the right career choice. When considering how to know if nursing is for you, it is important to reflect upon your personal characteristics. As you browse the following information, ask yourself whether these top signs apply to you.

1. You genuinely care about others and desire to serve.

One of the reasons individuals choose a career in health care is because they desire a life dedicated to serving others. Being a nurse can be a highly meaningful and personally fulfilling career. As a registered nurse (RN), you could help others heal.

Hospitalized patients are often going through one of the most difficult times in their lives. They may have sustained traumatic injuries in an accident or are struggling to cope with a poorly managed chronic illness. Patients are hospitalized for an endless variety of reasons, yet they all share one thing in common: They need exceptional medical care delivered by compassionate, empathetic nurses. You could be that ray of sunshine that truly makes a difference in a patient’s life.

nurse standing and smiling in room

Learn all about the benefits of transitioning to nursing as a second career in this blog post.

2. You are emotionally resilient and can handle difficult work.

Although nursing can indeed be meaningful and personally fulfilling, it is often quite challenging. Not all your patients will survive. Not all will get through surgeries without complications. Not all patients will be grateful for your care or pleasant to interact with. Nursing can indeed be stressful work. However, if you consider yourself emotionally resilient and able to tackle challenges with good humor, health care may be the right path for you.

3. You are a devoted lifelong learner.

You will learn plenty during the ABSN program at Pacific Lutheran, yet even after you graduate, you will never be done learning. In nursing, there is no such thing as a typical day. Every shift will bring new challenges, situations and opportunities for personal growth.

PLU nursing students looking at lab equipment

Furthermore, the nursing profession benefits daily from ongoing contributions to the body of knowledge. New scientific studies are published, new medical technology is introduced and new treatments and guidelines are proposed. An effective nurse is an eager lifelong learner who remains committed to staying on top of the latest developments in the field.

4. You can multitask and never miss a detail.

Nurses must be skilled multitaskers, as they typically need to juggle the care of multiple patients at once and do more than one task at the same time. For example, a nurse may communicate with a patient about their diagnosis while simultaneously tending to the IV line or reviewing their medication dosages. A nurse might also work on charting a patient’s information while collaborating with a colleague and monitoring the internal communication system.

Nurses must also have strong attention to detail. Despite the frequent need to multitask while caring for patients and charting information, nurses cannot afford to miss a single detail or make an error. For example, entering just one wrong number into a patient’s chart might mean that the patient receives a dangerous or ineffective dose of medication.

5. You like the idea of being able to pursue a specialization.

When considering “Is nursing for me?” it is important to evaluate your characteristics and personality and the health care field itself. In other words, ask yourself, “Is my personality suited to nursing?” and “Does the health care field meet my needs?”

One appealing aspect of a nursing career is the possibility to choose from a broad range of specializations. There are several ways in which an RN can specialize. For example, you can specialize according to the type of facility, as follows:

  • Inpatient hospital
  • Outpatient clinic
  • Physical rehab facility
  • Aesthetic surgery facility
  • Long-term care facility

You could even choose alternative settings, such as schools, retirement communities or cruise ships, as RNs are needed in all these places.

You can also specialize by patient population. For instance, you might specialize in pediatrics, adult-gerontology or women’s health. Or you could choose a specialty that aligns with a particular condition or bodily system. Consider working in a urology clinic, for example, or becoming an oncology nurse supporting cancer patients. There are many possibilities to choose from.

PLU nursing students talking in simulation lab

6. You are interested in an in-demand career.

Is nursing a good career? Many people evaluate whether a career is good or not by whether it is in demand and whether it tends to offer a competitive salary. The nursing profession checks both boxes.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth rate for RNs is expected to be 6% from 2021 to 2031. Although this job growth rate is as fast as the average for all professions, it represents significant growth considering there is already a substantial population of nurses in the U.S. At a 6% growth rate, employers are expected to hire about 203,200 new nurses annually through 2031. In addition, the median annual salary of RNs as of 2021 was $77,600, according to the BLS.

The BLS data looks even more favorable for nurses with advanced academic and professional qualifications. These nurses, known as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), include nurse midwives, nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists. The BLS expects their job growth rate to be 40% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than average. This indicates that employers expect to hire about 30,200 new APRNs each year through 2031. As of 2021, the median annual salary for APRNs was $123,780.

smiling nurse with backpack walking up stairs

Ready to start preparing for nursing school? Get some handy tips here!

7. You enjoy the flexibility to choose from a range of work environments.

As previously mentioned, another way to determine the answer to the question, “Is nursing right for me?” is to consider whether any possible work settings appeal to you. You could specialize in a particular area associated with a certain setting. For instance, if you become a pediatric nurse, you might work at a children’s hospital.

All types of hospitals and health care facilities hire nurses to care for hospitalized patients. However, nurses can work across a variety of settings, including the following:

  • Camps for children
  • Sports organizations
  • Theme parks
  • Luxury yachts
  • Aircraft (flight nurse)
  • Insurance companies
  • Fitness and wellness centers

Some health care professionals even work in Hollywood as consultants. For example, they may work on medical-themed TV shows, ensuring that the details of the script and the settings seem authentic.

If you have answered the question, “Is nursing right for me?” affirmatively, you can pursue your calling in the health care field at Pacific Lutheran University. At Pacific Lutheran, it is possible to earn your nursing degree in as few as 16 months if you meet the credit requirements for prior non-nursing education. Contact an admission counselor today to discuss our ABSN program and find out if a nursing degree is the right choice for you.