So You Want To Become a Registered Nurse (RN)?

There’s nothing more challenging than choosing a new career when you’re not familiar with all the ins and outs. That’s why it is encouraged to comprehend all the facts before jumping into something new. It helps eliminate fear and get you well prepared, psychologically. Becoming an RN is no different. You might think you know what an RN does, based on real-life interactions at the hospital or a doctor’s office or better yet, based on reality TV shows.

But what goes on behind the scenes only a handful are aware of it. Of course, it’s hard to say if you’re not exactly familiar with what an RN does. Luckily, this article will examine what being a nurse is all about. It will provide advice and lessons [that you need not learn the hard way]. By the way, scores of RNs wish they’d known some of the pointers listed here prior to choosing the career.

You need to know that …

#1: You’ll get attached to patients (sooner or later)

Not that it’s a bad thing but not knowing when to let go is. You’ll meet patients of different kinds and of different age groups daily, and the chances are high that one or two patients will tug on your heartstrings. It happens. After all, you are human. Patients will be in your care because they are either ill, or they are dying. Although you’d want to help in all ways to save their lives, it’s crucial to realize that you can’t [always] save everyone.

Therefore learn when to let go. Know when it’s time for their family and you to say your goodbyes. Know when not to get too attached to patients. It’s not easy, but that’s what nursing is all about. Letting go shouldn’t be taken to mean that you are abandoning the patients or forgetting entirely about them. It means you’re just being faithful to the call, and true to the oath and commitment of being a compassionate nurse.

#2: You’ll need to be a good listener

To become an excellent nurse you have to learn to issue orders unflinchingly to patients and ensure they understand medications or treatment plans. On the other hand, you’ll need also to learn to be a good listener. It’s the best way to learn how to take care of a patient. Of course, patients also appreciate when they’re feeling heard. And by listening you’ll learn a lot about a patient’s overall health. Paying close attention comes in handy, too, when you’re a nurse.

#3: Your skills will take you places

Many are aware of what nurses do (or don’t). However, very few people know they’re not limited to only caring for patients or working in hospitals. They can also pursue other viable job options to improve their lifestyle after retirement thanks to learning new skills such as recruiting, tutoring or even teaching. The earlier you realize your skills will take you places the better for your later years. New skills that you’ll learn while earning your nursing credentials will determine if you’ll move on to the healthcare world. Some of the skills are transferable skills.

#4: It’s not always about the money

Your salary should not be the primary motivation for becoming a nurse but passion for helping others regain back their health should. If you go into the nursing profession with an aim of getting rich, you’ll be in it for the wrong reasons. Of course, no one would like to offer their services for free, but don’t make money a priority. When you are passionate about your work [and desire to see patients regain full health], the career becomes more rewarding and rather pleasing.

#5: Nursing school is no cakewalk

You’ve possibly heard [and read] how being a nurse is a daunting job. The struggles and extra long hours you will face while working in a hospital. But the real story is getting into nursing school. It’s no cakewalk. It’s tedious, daunting and time consuming. It will stretch your limits in ways you’ve never known possible. Best of all, once you’re through, your life will change in ways you won’t anticipate. You’ll appreciate a lot in life including meeting new people each day.

#6: You’ll most likely feel unprepared

Nursing school might prepare you for real-life nursing, but the truth of the matter is you’ll never be fully prepared for the experience that awaits you. Unexpected situations will occur. Most of them will be magnified in life-and-death situations. You, therefore, have to be well informed about everything that might endanger a patient’s life. Nursing requires extra care as you’ll be dealing with people’s lives. So don’t be ashamed to ask for help from colleagues when you feel unprepared.