Questions and Myths Regarding Your Nursing CareerDecember 05, 2014 by William Frierson
Whether you are a nursing student or a new grad, you probably have many questions surrounding your future as a nurse. Let’s look at a few of the more common questions and myths that keep coming up.
Why do I keep reading about a nursing shortage when I know nurses are having trouble finding jobs?
There has been talk of a nursing shortage for years, but it hasn’t fully kicked in – yet. That’s partly because many baby boomer nurses – group that comprises the largest segment of the nursing population – have delayed their retirement for a variety of reasons. As they continue to age and shift out of the workforce, the nursing shortage will become more apparent.
Baby boomers in general make up 25 percent of the U.S. population, and as they grow older and develop health problems they will have a huge impact on the nursing field. Another factor is the impact of the Affordable Care Act. With an ever increasing influx of people now receiving medical insurance benefits and entering the healthcare system – many of them with multiple chronic conditions – the need for nurses will only increase.
Even without these considerations, some new grads are having difficulty finding jobs. As in any profession, the best thing you can do is to make sure that your resume and cover letter is as strong as possible to set you apart from other candidates. You should also prepare thoroughly for interviews to make the best impression. You can find many resources online for this type of information, as well as online nursing discussion sites that offer many helpful tips on the nursing job-search process.
The best nursing jobs are in the hospital at the bedside.
While hospitals are still the largest employers of nurses, there are many nursing jobs and specialties where nurses practice away from the bedside and outside the walls of the hospital. This is one of the most attractive aspects of the nursing profession, because there is such a wide variety of nursing positions and settings in which to practice. Also, a nurse is free to have many jobs during a nursing career, shifting from one area of specialty to another, which can be done with or without advanced nursing education. Search the Internet for a list and description of the many nursing specialties available. Go to nursing discussion sites and network with nurses in specialties in which you have an interest. With proper research you can find a specialty that matches your interests. In nursing, the possibilities are endless.
Nurses are just doctors’ helpers.
While it is true that nurses assist doctors while caring for patients, nurses are far more than “doctors’ helpers.” Take the registered nurse in the hospital setting, for example. The doctors write the orders and the nurses carry them out. However, it is up to the nurse to assess and even question orders that he or she does not feel appropriate, and to initiate an order that he or she feels is necessary. It is the nurse who provides knowledgeable and compassionate care for the patient 24/7, constantly checking the needs of patient and evaluating the effectiveness of the treatments provided. Many lives have been saved because of the watchful eyes and quick actions of nurses. As the patient advocate, care provider, patient educator and much more, the nurse is an integral part of any medical team, and the heart of healthcare.
BRIAN SHORT, Founder and CEO allnurses.com
Brian Short is a Registered Nurse, self-taught website designer, entrepreneur, and passionate online community developer. In 1996, when the internet was in its infancy, Brian started what would later become allnurses.com, the largest online nursing community on the web. He was far ahead of his time in recognizing the internet as a virtual meeting place where nurses can share and connect with others.
While attending nursing school, Brian was amazed with the internet but found it difficult to locate nursing related information online. As a hobby, Brian decided to begin organizing the professional nursing content he found so other nurses could benefit from his work. That hobby turned into a passion and shortly after graduating from nursing school he created the precursor to allnurses.com – a text-based discussion forum and e-newsletter. Two years after that, he left full time nursing to concentrate more energy on the site with the mission of providing a forum to improve members’ lives and careers through sharing and learning. Today, allnurses.com has more than 850,000 active members who contribute more than 300 new topics daily.
Brian currently lives outside of Minneapolis with his wife, Karen, and three children.
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