Becoming a nurse is one of the most secure and rewarding career paths in all of America thanks to how more citizens have access to health insurance and how the average population is continuing to age, meaning more people require medical assistance.
With that in mind, becoming a nurse and partaking in nursing school is becoming a more enticing prospect for young people and students, however despite this demand, learning to become a nurse and undertaking a nursing degree is one of the most difficult endeavors a student can do. It challenges you academically, with many courses requiring an impressive GPA and even degrees before entering, but it also challenges you mentally as it can be a course that presents many challenges. There is significant reward to finishing nursing school and obtaining a degree or certification, but the journey to get there can be grueling, overwhelming, and difficult.
If you’re thinking about going to nursing school, here are some of the things no one tells you about (to make sure you’re better informed):
All-Nighters Are A Regular Occurrence
There will be times during a medical degree that you will find yourself up at ridiculous hours of the night just to get your studying done. This is because a lot of medical degrees require nearly 50 credits and up to 500 clinical hours to finish the degree. This means that a lot of courses can take a lot longer to finish, with most nurses spending four whole years earning their undergraduates. To try and fast track their degrees, and also due to how demanding the course is, students will be compelled to take multiple difficult classes all at once, which can lead to some of the most stressful mid-terms and finals being taken at the same time.
To avoid studying when you should be sleeping, students need to be disciplined and ignore the temptation to socialize more than they should, and they need to follow a good study routine and schedule. Pulling all-nighters regularly isn’t good for your long-term health, both physical and mental, so it’s important to try and get a good amount of sleep as this will help you retain memory and stay focused. Be sure to plan what classes you take and alternate the tough classes throughout the year so that you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
You’ll Spend Out of your Own Pocket
As well as how expensive it is to get onto a medical nursing course and degree, whether it’s an MSN to DNP, or at campus or online, it’s still highly likely that students will have a lot of additional costs to subsidize their education that other degrees simply don’t demand. As well as the expected costs of tuition and housing, there’s also other additional costs that include exam fees, buying a myriad of textbooks to study from, as well as their own medical supplies.
You may also have to invest in your own pair of nursing scrubs and lab uniforms once you start your clinical experience. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, as these items you’re buying can be viewed as investments for your future and can be brought with you during your medical journey. Not to mention that getting this equipment and looking the part can help you be more successful and catch the eye of employers. It’s best to invest in the highest quality equipment and uniform that you can afford as it means these items will be more likely to last and stay with you well into the future.
There have been numerous studies that show that nurses in training feel burnout at a more frequent rate than those studying for other career paths. Due to this, it’s no surprise that nursing students felt the highest level of stress in the United States and are using negative coping methods to help deal with it.
The fear of burnout and stress can put a lot of potential candidates off, but it’s important to not let it scare you and instead prepare for it. The best way to do this is to create schedules and find good ways to deal with stress such as exercise or social activity. Make sure to always put away some time for yourself so that you can decompress, and when things get really tough, remind yourself of the end goal and how good it’s going to be when you’re a qualified nurse. Nurses enjoy a lot of benefits when compared with other career paths, such as increased job stability, personal satisfaction and career mobility that lead to higher salaries. All that is well worth a little bit of stress and fatigue.