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What are the pros and cons of being a registered nurse?

By - Mar. 13, 2023

The pros include helping others, lots of career options, variation in work, you are good to pay, and job security, while to cons are long work hours, the emotional and physical stress of the job, and being exposed to bodily fluids and potential pathogens.

Working as a registered nurse is a great career path for someone who enjoys helping people, is not grossed out easily, and thrives in a fast-paced work environment where every day is different.

A registered nurse has the potential to save lives. The care and attention nurses give their patients allow them to be up close and aware of any changes that might be life-threatening for their patients. This is particularly true for nurses working in specialties with patients who are dealing with and recovering from serious trauma or illness.

Registered nurses are paid well. The national median average for a registered nurse in the US is $75,330 a year. It is also a field that is in high demand, especially as more and more baby boomers are retiring and dealing with aging-related sicknesses. As a nurse, there is also the option to specialize and opportunities for career advancement.

It's no secret that the shift schedules for nurses can be taxing. While not every healthcare facility subscribes to a 12-hour shift schedule, it is still pretty common. Going nonstop for those 12 hours, with limited time breaks can be strenuous work. However, some love the 12-hour nursing shift because it means only having to work three days a week.

A typical 10 to 12-hour shift on your feet as a nurse can be both mentally and physically stressful. The job requires constant attention to detail, serving others, and sometimes hustling for hours without much downtime. For some, a little stress can be a motivator, making the work days go by fast and full of purpose. For others, this stress can be debilitating and trickle over into other areas of life.

The less glamorous side of nursing is dealing with bodily fluids. Even if you don't mind seeing blood or smelling some of the other unpleasant things nurses deal with, it's still not pleasant when said fluids come into contact with your body.

It is not uncommon for a registered nurse to have body fluid exposures that can come in the form of needle-stick injuries or splashes of body fluids on the eyes, nose, or mouth. These exposures pose a health risk.

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