Most of us understand how vital nurses are to the modern healthcare field. In fact, Americans consider nursing to be the most honest, trusted, and ethically-sound profession in the United States today, according to a recent survey. It is no wonder why. Nurses are passionate, hard-working, supportive professionals who are always ready to lend a hand. They work diligently in efforts to improve the health of others. They are highly respected by their patients and their medical teams alike.
If you are here, you may be considering a nursing degree. But before you take the dive into this in-demand field, you really want to delve into the reasons behind your drive. Why study nursing? Is a nursing degree truly worth it? What are the reasons to pursue a nursing career?
These are all essential questions to ask. As a leading nursing school in Connecticut, Goodwin College has compiled the top five reasons why studying nursing is such a significant choice for aspiring healthcare professionals today.
- A college degree is required to become a nurse.
Perhaps the most practical reason to study nursing at a postsecondary level is the fact that it is required. If you want to become a registered nurse today, you must first pursue a Bachelor of Science (BSN) or associate degree in nursing (ADN). You must then become licensed in your state of work.
Most BSN programs take about four years to complete, while ADN programs can take two or three. At Goodwin College in Connecticut, however, we offer accelerated nursing coursework that allows students to complete their associate degree in 20 months part-time. You can also go on to complete your Bachelor’s degree (online, on-campus, or in hybrid format) in 16 months part-time.
A postsecondary nursing education will undoubtedly serve as your gateway to a long-term, successful career in healthcare. In any nursing program you choose, you will have the opportunity to study sciences like anatomy, physiology, microbiology, psychology, chemistry, and sociology. You will also be offered hands-on, in-field experience through supervised clinical training.
- Nursing school teaches a range of clinical, technical, and interpersonal skills that can be applied to any facet of healthcare.
Registered nurses have a multi-dimensional job, working on a medical team and directly with patients, performing lab work and researching treatment methods, consulting families and setting up long-term patient care plans. For this reason, nurses must possess a multitude of skills to manage their day-to-day duties. Nursing degree programs aim to foster and develop these skills – interpersonal, technical, and clinical – in students, so that they are best prepared for a real-world career:
- Communication skills: Nurses must know how to collaborate with doctors, other nurses, and medical staff in order to provide the best possible patient care. They must also know how to communicate effectively with patients and explain instructions (such as how to take a medication) clearly. They must also have the ability to speak compassionately and empathetically with patients and their families who feel vulnerable or afraid.
- Critical-thinking skills: Nurses must know how to think, act, and solve problems under pressure. They must know how to assess the health conditions and progress of their patients, as well as how to take corrective action when it is needed.
- Organizational skills: Nurses work with multiple patients with many differing health needs. They must know how to manage several patients and conditions at once, ensuring that patients are tended to appropriately, getting the correct treatments and medicines at the right time.
- Technical skills: On a daily basis, nurses are working with advanced medical equipment, as well as systems that hold patient information. They must, therefore, possess the technical training and skills needed to monitor and manage these various technologies.
- Clinical skills: Nurses are clinicians – they administer medications and treatments, perform diagnostic tests and procedures, operate medical equipment, and observe patients and health conditions regularly as part of their jobs. They must know how to do everything that pertains to the clinical aspects of their career, from taking blood to analyzing it in the lab, from performing vital sign tests and EKGs to monitoring critical conditions. These skills are most often learned through hands-on, practical training in clinical career settings (such as local hospitals) during nursing school.
So, why study nursing? Going to nursing school is one of the most beneficial steps you can take towards your medical career. The skills you learn here will take your experience to a whole new level and truly prepare you for this dedicated and thriving field. Not only this, but the skills learned in nursing school are also universal—as you explore your career options upon graduation, you will find that takeaways like problem-solving, critical-thinking, and ethics will give you an advantage in several sectors of healthcare.
- Nursing has a great career outlook and job security.
Employment of registered nurses in growing rapidly. If you are looking to get into the field of nursing, now is the time to do so. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 44,000 nursing jobs will open up each year until 2024 – a much faster growth rate than the average of all other occupations. In Connecticut alone, 994 jobs a year are anticipated to become available to aspiring nurses like you.
A bright job outlook means great job security for registered nurses in the coming years. Because even amidst job recessions and a slowly recovering economy, there will always be a need for quality healthcare. There will always be a need for nursing professionals (especially so with the aging baby boomer population and new developments in healthcare research).
- There is a diversity of career options, in the states and overseas, in a variety of different healthcare settings.
When you think nursing, you likely think of scrubs, stethoscopes, and a hospital or clinical practice. But one of the greatest aspects of nursing is that there are many other job options available to graduates holding a degree. From forensic to travel nursing, holistic to pediatric nursing, case management to medical journalism, the types of nursing career paths are endless. All you need is a nursing degree.
- Nursing is a rewarding career focused on helping others.
Most of all, and perhaps the number one reason why one should study nursing, is that it is a rewarding and satisfying field. Nurses are trusted and respected professionals. Their day-to-day is focused on helping others, on improving the health and wellbeing of others, on saving lives or making them just a little bit better. This is why so many nurses love what they do. The hard work, pressure, and occasional long hours are worth it when they see their patients grow and get better, when they see the difference they have made in someone’s life.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.