Why Become a Nurse: 10 Reasons to Consider a Nursing Career

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Why become a nurse? There are a wide range of benefits to nursing, such as making a positive impact on people’s lives, leadership opportunities, a variety of specialties and job stability. Nursing is full of rewards that will fuel your passion and determination to make a difference.

nurse with child

Why become a nurse? A career as a nurse is a rewarding path where nurses have the flexibility to specialize their career to fit their needs and interests. As an integral part of patient care, nurses are in-demand and experiencing job security, high earning potential and career advancement opportunities.

Earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) will set you on track to become a registered nurse. Pacific Lutheran University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program prepares transfer students and students who have earned a bachelor’s degree to become competent, licensed nurses.

If you’re still considering whether the nursing path is right for you, below are 10 reasons why you should become a nurse.

1. Nurses Make a Meaningful Impact

One of the most powerful rewards of nursing is knowing that you make a tangible impact on people’s lives. Nurses are instrumental in restoring people’s health and leading them to live healthier lives, but their effect extends far beyond the patient to their family, friends and community.

Most of a patient’s time in a hospital is spent with nurses. A 2018 clinical research study on the estimated time healthcare workers spend with patients in an intensive care unit found that patients spent 86.14% of their time with nurses over ten days. Nurses are at the forefront of patient care and are often the ones who make a lasting impression.

2. Nurses are In Demand

Nurses are in demand and on track to remain so. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for nurses is expected to grow by 6% between 2021 and 2031 due to retirement or transferring to another line of work.

It is anticipated that an average of 203,200 job openings will be projected each year, easing the way for newly licensed nurses to find employment. Combined with today’s nursing shortage, nurses are in high demand.

PLU nursing students talking in simulation lab

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, two factors contributing to the nursing shortage are an aging population and nursing school enrollment needing to meet the current demand.

3. Nurses Experience Job Stability

Nursing requires compassion and empathy in addition to their knowledge and skill set, making nursing one of the few careers that cannot be automated. Combined with the national nursing shortage and increased demand, nurses can expect higher job stability than many other occupations.

This is especially true for nurses who have earned their BSN. A BSN opens more opportunities for nurses. It increases their ability to find employment after graduating because it is highly sought after by healthcare facilities.

nurse looking at monitor above patient's bed

Are you unsure which path to take toward a nursing career? Here are eight reasons that can help you reach your goals.

4. Nurses Can Choose a Specialty

One of the benefits of nursing is the great potential for specializing. The field is constantly expanding along with medical and technological advancement, creating plenty of opportunities for nurses to find a specialty they find interesting and fulfilling.

Some examples of specialist nurses include but are not limited to, those listed below.

  • Cardiac nurses assist with heart procedures and surgeries, such as bypass and pacemaker surgery.
  • Critical care nurses administer emergency care to patients with severe injuries and critical illnesses.
  • Geriatric nurses specialize in providing care to older patients, from assisting with basic needs to providing advanced treatments.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses administer care to newborn infants with various conditions, such as dangerous infections and premature congenital disabilities.

If you choose to pursue a specialty, you must complete all the necessary licensures and certifications. Usually, this will require that you continue your education after receiving your BSN.

5. Nurses Have High Earning Potential

While specific salaries depend on the location, healthcare facility, specialty and education, nurses have high earning potential. According to the BLS data from September 2022, nurses earn, on average, $77,600 per year or $37.31 per hour.

The BLS also notes that Washington state's annual mean nursing salary is $101,670. As nurses advance their careers, their earning potential will increase, providing them with a comfortable living over the long term.

6. There Are Leadership Opportunities

Nurses with leadership skills can seek out leadership opportunities to grow their careers. With options that include becoming a clinical nurse manager, a director of nursing, a chief nursing officer or a healthcare administrator, nurses can advance their careers and experience higher earning potential.

Most nurse leadership positions require a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS), so keep in mind that you will need further education to explore specific leadership roles.

7. Nurses Work in a Collaborative Environment

PLU nursing students in sim lab working with lab equipment

Nurses have a strong sense of camaraderie because they work with other healthcare staff. Everyone must collaborate to provide the highest quality patient care.

If you are social and like to work with others, you will enjoy nursing’s collaborative nature. Nurses deal with a specialized type of work that people in other professions might not understand, so nurses build strong bonds with each other.

8. Nurses Work in a Variety of Settings

Nurses don’t only work in hospitals. You can have a fulfilling career away from the bedside.

For example, flight nurses work with patients who require critical care during transport, and school nurses work with children in schools to provide first-aid, administer medications and assess children’s condition to determine whether they need higher-level treatment.

Other alternative specialties exist for nurses looking to work away from the bedside. However, many of these alternative specialties require additional licensure and certification.

9. Nurses Have Schedule Flexibility

Schedule flexibility in nursing is one of the career’s many benefits. Nurses can choose from full-time, part-time and on-call positions, allowing them to select the schedule that best suits their needs.

Long-term healthcare facilities typically require nurses to work 12-hour shifts three days or nights per week. This gives nurses schedule flexibility that is not available in other occupations. However, nurses can find eight-hour day, five-days-a-week employment if they desire.

10. Every Day is Different

Nurses work with patients of various ages and conditions, so every day is different. Each day calls upon other parts of a nurse’s skillset and demands unique problem-solving skills. If you are bogged down by monotony, then a career as a nurse may be right for you.

Your nursing specialty also influences the variety of work, which ranges from specific nursing duties to patient interaction. Emergency rooms are fast-paced as nurses move from patient to patient, setting a broken bone one moment and performing a tracheotomy the next. Conversely, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses spend more time with individual patients, building relationships while administering care.

Nursing students working together in sim lab

Ready to take the plunge and earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing? Read more about what nursing school is like.

Earn Your BSN with Pacific Lutheran University

Why become a nurse? The rewards of nursing range from making a tangible impact on people’s lives to high earning potential. If you have a bachelor’s degree or at least 60 non-nursing college credits, you can earn your BSN in as few as 16 months with Pacific Lutheran University’s accelerated nursing program.

Students are trained to become knowledgeable and skilled nurses through a combination of online courses, clinical placements and on-ground nursing simulation labs. Contact an admissions representative today to find out more information.