a masked person ponders becoming a registered nurse due to the pandemic

Why Become a Nurse? A 2022 Perspective

The healthcare industry is growing perpetually. If you are looking to make a difference in the lives of others, and secure a job where you can grow, the nursing profession is a great field to pursue. Nursing is a rewarding, challenging, and impactful career path that involves working directly with patients to improve their health and well-being. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted millions of lives, you may feel called to nursing. Before diving in, however, you may be asking, “Why should I become a nurse now?”

Nursing is both rewarding and challenging. It is exciting and stressful. It is meaningful and heart wrenching at times. At the same time, it is one of the most gratifying fields you can pursue. In fact, almost 95% of Registered Nurses (RNs) would tell you they are glad they became a nurse. Many love the unique ability to help people in need, and many nurses find great pride in what they do.

Why become a nurse, exactly? Why have over three million people chosen to work in the nursing field? Well, ask yourself this:

  • Do you want to work with people?
  • Are you passionate about helping others in need?
  • Do you desire job security and a comfortable salary?
  • Are you seeking a career that’s exciting and fast-paced?
  • Do you wish for growth opportunities and high earning potential?
  • Do you have a passion for science, medicine, and/or patient care?
  • Do you want to be respected and valued in your career?
  • Do you want career with flexibility, in terms of hours and workplace?

These are some of the many reasons why nurses love what they do. As we break into 2022, however, there are even more reasons to keep top of mind. Below we outline the top reasons why nursing will continue to be a top career choice in the coming years.

A Wise Investment

The decision to become a nurse is a smart one, especially in today’s current healthcare climate. Between the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the many other chronic conditions affecting Americans – such as diabetes, heart disease, addiction, and cancer – our communities need compassionate and well-trained nurses now more than ever. In fact, employment of Registered Nurses (RNs) is expected to rise 9% over the next several years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This translates to nearly 195,000 job openings for nurses each year, on average, over the decade.

The salary for RNs is worth noting, as well. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for Registered Nurses was $75,330 in 2020. The highest 10% earned more than $116,230.

The Perks of a Healthcare Career in 2022

While healthcare employees have faced many challenges over the course of the past two years, there have been some benefits. The pandemic caused a rise in salaries for nurses, as demand for services soared. Specifically, the average annual salary for Registered Nurses has increased 4% to about $81,376 – and that figure does not include bonus pay like overtime.

Along with increased demand came increased clout. Many working RNs have used the situation to their advantage, securing more flexible work schedules, according to The Washington Post. This has helped combat the so-called burnout that nurses often struggle with, as the influx of patients to hospitals has been overwhelming the healthcare system.

One type of nursing career sector that has seen a big boom since 2020: Travel nursing. This specialty experienced 35% growth in job demand, with an additional 40% growth expected, according to an independent analyst of the healthcare workforce.

The pay for travel nurses is growing at a rapid rate, as well. For example, Aya Healthcare has sought out travel nurses with ICU experience, offering to pay up to $9,486 per week. Travel health companies like these also may offer a complete package of benefits, too, and even offer nurses bonuses to refer other nurses. Telehealth is another popular choice for nurses who want to limit exposure during a public health crisis, and is growing in demand.

To say there is job security in nursing right now is an understatement.

A Future Beyond a Pandemic

In addition to increasing job security and a wide selection of job settings, there are other benefits that a nursing career can offer you long-term.

We will not always be living in a pandemic. Many infectious disease experts around the world predict that, with time, SARS-COV-2 will evolve from a pandemic to an endemic, treated similarly to the flu. When enough of a population gains immunity from vaccination and natural infection, according to experts, there will eventually be less transmission and much less COVID-19-related hospitalization and death, even as the virus continues to circulate.

The easing back into “normal life” will be a relief for all – but none more than for those working in the healthcare industry. After two long years of battling the deadly virus, many nurses are longing for a break. While no one can predict when that break will come, and when the pandemic will evolve into an endemic, it is clear that better days are ahead. Those who are preparing for a career in nursing now have a bright future ahead, one that is full of opportunity, job security, and a rewarding work that involves helping patients every day they are on shift. This is exactly why so many nurses choose to do what they do. They love the:

  • Growing need for nurses in a variety of environments
  • Unsurmountable value and respect held for nurses as healthcare heroes
  • Ability to make a difference in the lives of others, who need it most
  • Countless job opportunities and workplaces available to nurses
  • Growth opportunities to advance education, job title, credentials, specializations, and more all within the nursing field

Rather than asking, “Why become a nurse?” Consider asking yourself: “Why not?”

If you are ready to jump into this meaningful career, you can contact Goodwin University to learn more. Goodwin offers various nursing degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s level. You may request information at that link, or call 800-889-3282 to learn more.