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Nursing as a career: My top 5 reasons
Have you ever thought about doing nursing? Wondering what it is all about and why people choose it as a career? Well, there are many reasons why doing nursing as a career can be extremely rewarding and lead to an incredible lifestyle. I decided on nursing because I knew I wanted to help people. Since I was young, I knew I loved anything medical and wanted to help people at their most vulnerable. I actually had no direct intention of becoming a nurse. Instead, I fell onto the pathway of nursing and haven’t looked back. Once I stepped foot in a hospital as a nurse, I knew that this was what I was put on this earth to do.
So here are some things that made nursing an amazing and attractive career to me:
1. Being able to help people at their most vulnerable:
Being able to be that support person for someone when they are possibly in one of the scariest moments of their life is very special. Providing comfort, support, and reassurance can make those individuals’ experiences completely different, and one they reflect on positively. It is also pretty cool to be able to learn and communicate with people of all different walks of life, with diverse backgrounds and diverse life experiences and I have learnt a lot about life and how to live it, from my patients.
2. Learning different fields of work:
Within nursing, there are SO many specialities, but unlike medicine or other medical fields, we have the ability to move around and explore more than one area. Of course, some areas are more difficult to break into, but it just takes that one team to take you on board and train you to try something new. For example, if you wanted to move from the ward to Emergency, you have the ability to do that once you have had a certain level of experience and created and established those fundamental nursing basics that can be used across all fields of nursing. This means that there is so much room for growth and development within nursing and not only can you move in between fields but you can move into other roles within the same field, such as clinical nurses, clinical educators, management and so much more. There is also the capacity to continue studying and specialise in a particular field by doing a graduate certificate all the way up to a master’s or even undertaking your Nurse Practitioner training. You can also get into the educational side and do a training and assessment course, meaning you could teach students at TAFE or university as well! It is also important to know that even in rural and remote spaces and working within agency, there is still room for growth and upskilling. Suppose you are willing to dedicate time and effort to a facility. In that case, they are likely to put that same time and effort into supporting you to upskill and increase your ability to contribute to their team. The nursing community is very supportive and we all ultimately want to provide the best and most supportive care to our patients and clients.
3. You can travel and work anywhere around the world:
Now, this one just sells itself! There are SO many opportunities to travel with nursing. You can travel within Australia with our HCA rural and remote team; you can travel overseas and move to other countries (obviously, processes are in place and things you have to tick off and complete to do so – but it is still possible!). From the UK to Canada to the United Arab Emirates, the opportunities are endless and if you want a job where you can travel the world, it really is the best. And if you don’t live in Australia, you can also potentially move here and work! Our international team is specialised in helping internationals move to Australia and live the Australian dream, so if that sounds like it interests you, reach out to us and find out more 😊
4. Flexibility and incentives:
Nursing has a range of shifts including day shifts, night shifts, afternoon shifts and more! Although when you are working full time, you are expected to work shift work and share the load of the night shift evenly, it can be used to some people’s benefit. Many parents, for example, love being able to do shift work as it means they have more flexibility throughout their days. With agency in particular, there is even more flexibility, with the capacity (in some roles) to completely decide your own shifts, when you work and when you don’t! With HCA, you enter your availability within an app, and you work the shifts you want to work. Of course, some flexibility for availability is needed but ultimately you design your life. As a rural and remote nurse, I had the capacity to take 3 weeks off when I want to have a holiday or just want a break and don’t have to ask for any annual leave! If you do however work for a facility, you get greater annual leave due to being a nurse! Shift work means more annual leave, with most nurses accumulating 6 weeks of annual leave per year based on a full-time shift working roster. As well as this, if you are working for a government facility such as a public hospital, the other leave entitlements are incredible, such as maternity leave. In some states, salary sacrifice can also reduce your tax and help you earn more!
5. You have really cool and gnarly facts and stories to tell your friends:
Although your family and friends might not want to hear your gory stories, you will have many of them! And there is nothing better than sharing these stories with those around you. Nursing tearoom talk is like no other and you really can debrief about so many events in a supportive and understanding environment. Being a nurse can be tough and sometimes it is hard to find people that relate to it as some things we experience can be pretty out there, so leaning on your nursing and medical colleagues is super important. But bringing out a crazy or funny story or two over Christmas or family dinner is pretty fun!
Nursing as a career – Things to remember:
Now don’t get me wrong, nursing has its challenges, like any other career, but ensuring you keep on top of your personal and mental well-being is one of the most critical things. Every day as a nurse you are dealing and working with other people’s emotions, pain, and family interactions and if you don’t have effective coping mechanisms in place you can absorb that stress and emotion and it can affect you personally leading to burnout or compassion fatigue. Having a great supportive network of friends, family, and colleagues can help in those moments you need to debrief. It is also essential to always communicate that you want to debrief with someone in the team if something impacts you or if you feel like it needs to be discussed further. It is also important to remember to take time for yourself, to fully disconnect from work and reflect on how you are feeling, the events that may have transpired and how to move forward from there. Journaling can be very helpful for this too! In order to be able to look after your patients well, you also need to look after yourself!
If you have been thinking about taking the plunge into nursing, do it now! You won’t regret it.
And if you have been wanting to do agency nursing and want to join us for all the fun, send your CV here: https://bit.ly/3NEYY8C