Pros And Cons About Nursing And What Do You Do As A Registered Nurse


A person works as a nurse
A person works as a nurse

Is being a registered nurse stressful? The shortest answer is yes. Are there only disadvantages of being a registered nurse? Not at ALL. The pros and cons of being a nurse practitioner are a long talk; we will dive right into that! 

Nurses, their Role, and Things Nurses Do

We have seen nurses in clinics, hospitals, news, media, sitcoms, and many other situations or settings. In theory, everyone knows who a nurse is and associates this profession with an image of a person in clean light blue clothes. But what are nurses in reality? What is the spectrum of things nurses do?..

What does Registered Nurse mean? (Definition)

First and foremost, a nurse is a proven healthcare professional who works with individual patients, whole families, and communities to attain/maintain/recover their health. This person has been successful while studying at a recognized nursing school. This person must also pass many tests and meet the strictest requirements outlined by a country/state/province/etc. 

What does a nurse do? (Tasks)

What do you do as a registered nurse? Regarding the things nurses do, such a practitioner must: 

  • Asses patients’ conditions, states, and needs
  • Create records of symptoms and documents with medical histories
  • Record observations of patients, their conditions, emotional states, reactions to treatment, etc. 
  • Administer medication for those who need help
  • Maintain medical equipment in good state 
  • Help with diagnostics, tests, and medical test results
  • Organize and coordinate patient care
  • Teach patients and their relatives about how to minimize risks, sustain good health, and ensure that an illness does not progress
  • Educate others (patients, communities, and the public overall) about health conditions, how they can affect a human, etc. 
  • Create plans and explain what a person must do after treatment in a hospital if they can now go home
  • Monitor and enhance patients’ psychological state during treatment. 

RN specialties 

The previous section is a registered nursing practitioner’s general list of tasks. Depending on what a nurse specializes in, this list can be shorter or longer. Some nurses are care-oriented (aka patient-facing), while others can be research-oriented or managerial. 

Some of the most common care-oriented nursing practitioners are: 

  • An addiction nurse: Focuses on treating people who have unhealthy habits with alcohol and other substances. 
  • Cardiovascular n.: Works with patients that suffer from heart diseases or have undergone heart surgery. 
  • Critical care n.: Work with patients that have acute health problems and need constant surveillance. 
  • Nephrology n.: Focuses on people with kidney problems, like kidney-related metabolic dysfunctions, kidney stones, hydronephrosis, hypertension, recoveries after kidney surgeries, etc. 
  • Genetics n.: Works with patients with various genetic syndromes, such as Angelman, Apert, Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Down, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, etc. 
  • Neonatal n.: Will help newborns who come to this world with a challenge in health. 
  • Geriatric n.: Will work with older patients.
  • Rehabilitation n.… well, self-explanatory. 
  • Ambulatory n.: Focuses on pain management and guarantees high-quality patient education, usually outside their institution. 
  • Psychiatric n.: Specially-trained medical workers who provide care for people with behavioral problems and mental challenges. 

Regarding research-oriented professionals, these are mostly case management n. who focus on coordinating long-term treatment plans. 

Many-many other nurse types exist, but they all are the same when it comes to getting the challenging…

Qualifications for a nurse

Nurse students
Education in a recognized institution is a must for nurses!

All RNs — ALL, no exceptions — must hold a degree. It can either be…

  • ADN: Associate Degree in Nursing, meaning a specialist has core knowledge and has already developed clinical skills in a hospital/clinic environment. 
  • BSN: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, meaning this person has knowledge and practice in technology for patient care, clinical and medical research, health promotion, and other important things within the healthcare system. 

Both courses include lectures and practice in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, nutrition, pregnancy & labor management (sometimes), psychology, biology, microbiology, and many other disciplines. Still, the two paths you can choose have some serious differences: 

ADN BSN 
👍 Affordability 
👍 Shorter program
👍 More work opportunities 
👍 Employer priority 

Note! Some bridge programs can help you get a BSN after you complete ADN. 

Completing an RN program leads you right to the stage when you face the…

Requirements for registered nurses in career

Of course, your employer will ask to see your diploma, and it must be ADN or BSN only, as you must bring proof that you have successfully survived nursing schooling. Exaggerations aside, you must really show that you have completed a program and got practice. 

Degree + good NCLEX test results 

Nursing students sit and prepare for the major test together
NCLEX is the final test you will sit before becoming a certified professional

A degree and factually finishing a program are not everything you will have to undergo. The next step is the NCLEX exam (NCLEX-RN, to be more precise with the terms), which stands for National Council Licensing Examination. That is a rather long, complex, and comprehensive test that usually has seventy-five questions.

Since April 2023, future nurses must undergo a Next Generation NCLEX, an advanced test complexified due to advancements in the healthcare industry and higher demands on specialists and their decision-making skills. 

Strong communication skills 

A young nurse reassures a patient
Being open-minded and having the ability to gain someone’s trust are must-haves for an RN

Around 95% of RNs have to work with patients face-to-face. Remember that all people are different and might not be as responsible as you (as a nurse) need them to be. Facing disrespectful patients, hard-to-control people, and anti-vaxxers will be your weekly challenge, if not daily, which is one of the major drawbacks of nursing. 

What a nurse does is communicates with them authoritatively and sometimes assertively, no matter the challenge. You cannot say no and say you will not tolerate this attitude. You must only stay calm, nod, analyze the response, and use the maximum of your oratory skills to explain that there are no mind control microchips in vaccines. 

Self-control during crisis 

Alas, many people have heartbreaking conditions, and nursing practitioners cannot let themselves give up, as they must be supporting columns for a priceless house that is about to collapse. Furthermore, speckless emotional self-control is obligatory since you must have a clear head whenever another challenge shakes the team. 

Being highly organized 25/8 + having close attention to details 

Most things nurses do require being alert every second. So, your workspace must be clean, organized, and convenient. Moreover, you must ensure that everything you touch and every room you enter is clean, organized, and convenient. Any object you need must teleport to your hand instantly, and you must find all things your patients require as soon as possible. 

Board certification (optional yet advisable)

If you want your career to advance and can use a nicer salary, you can try to become board certified. Every RN has the right to apply for that after two years of practice in this field. Like with NCLEX, you will have to sit a test. Board nurses are always welcomed by top institutions. 

Pros of Being a Nurse

A happy nurse with her older patient in a senior house
There are some great benefits of nursing!

So far, it seems like we have only mentioned the challenges and drawbacks of nursing. Nevertheless, many registered nurse benefits exist! So, in the question of the pros and cons of being a nurse, we will now focus on the positives! 

10/10 security 

Security benefits in nursing are often the #1 reason why people choose nursing. Sick time? Paid. Vacations and holidays? Always well-paid. Wellness programs? Free for you. Health and life insurance? Do not even worry about these.

The benefits of a registered nurse in this sector also include 

  • Paid childcare 
  • Paid family leaves 
  • Retirement benefits for registered nurses
  • And any medical-related tuition reimbursement. 

A rewarding career 

Things nurses do are challenging! No wonder an RN deserves more money. Becoming a board-certified specialist can earn you even more money. 

Note that different states reward RNs… well, differently. For instance, your annual wage in California will be $133,340, meaning you make $64.10/hour. Some other states — Hawaii, Oregon, Massachusetts, Alaska, Washington, and NY — also offer wages that result in over $100K annually. The “cheapest” annual salaries are in South Dakota ($64,500), Arkansas ($66,530), and Alabama ($66,910), but you can still enjoy all the benefits of a nursing career.

Always in demand 

Regardless of what humanity faces, you will always be a much-needed professional, which is another strong benefit among the pros of being a nurse practitioner. This might be the most important of all the registered nurse benefits because you will never be out of job options.

A work environment that you can choose

Another great positive among the benefits in nursing is that you can pick your environment. No, we are not talking about the fact that you have the right to choose a hospital. The fact is that you can become a professional in 

  • State, local, or private hospitals 
  • Ambulatory healthcare services
  • Residential health facilities 
  • Government 
  • Educational institutions. 

Plus, you can also be a traveling nurse! Yeah, registered nurse benefits include that you can move and provide medical assistance in any state/country you want. The reason for that is rather sad (worker shortage), but who says you cannot enjoy a cup of ice latte near the Eiffel Tower after another shift?

People see you as a noble and respectable person 

Let us not discard some of the emotional benefits of being a registered nurse. You become an angel, a savior, a sworn protector, etc. No, for real, that makes sense. Being a registered nurse is a respectable choice. 

Disadvantages of Being a Nurse

A downhearted nurse sits in a patient's room
Many challenges await…

The drawbacks of nursing include…

  • Long working hours: 12-hour shifts are among the top disadvantages of being a registered nurse.
  • “I will SUE THIS *&^%@! HOSPITAL AND YOUR UGLY #$$”: Lawsuit threats (and sometimes cases) are even a worse disadvantage of being a nurse than the previous one.
  • Tough-time patients: Many patients will merely disrespect your attempts to make their lives longer and healthier. Still, you can only remain calm and deal with them. 
  • Stress daily, hourly, and minutely: Is being a registered nurse stressful? No comments. 
  • Physical health deterioration: Those long shifts will not make you stronger; prepare for back pain and aches here and there. 
  • You are in a cloud of germs and viruses: Remember the benefits of nursing regarding paid sick days? You will need them. 
  • Still undervalued: You will often hear “Thank you, doctor!” and “Thank God!”. “Thank you, nurse” will come from the rarest people. The psychological feeling you are not enough and that your work is less valuable is another bad thing among the many drawbacks of nursing. 
  • You will work during the holidays and weekends: The advantages and disadvantages of being a nurse always come hand-in-hand! Paid holidays might not be holidays after all! At least, the reward will be better for such shifts. 

Also, remember that NCLEX got tougher in 2023

And if you think that these are all the disadvantages of being a registered nurse, I will have to ask you to reduce your expectations to zero. Add some drama between employees and patients’ death to this equation. 

Final Words 

We have only gone through some nurse practitioner pros and cons. The pros and cons of being a nurse practitioner are a much wider spectrum. Still, you will better feel all the positives and negatives after starting your practice. 

But the pros and cons of registered nursing are not everything I want to mention. Before we part ways, let me give you some final advice: 

  • It is okay not to cry when a patient leaves this world; being emotionally distant does not make you a heartless monster. 
  • Sometimes, it is best to agree with someone who says nonsense, especially when they “appreciate” destructive conspiracy theories about healthcare. At least try listening to them; feeding them attention will give you more of their hard-to-earn trust. 
  • Accept your mistakes, and do not try to blame them on someone else.
  • Critical thinking is a course you MUST learn as an RN. 
  • Never let your quarrels with other nurses boost your irrationality. You must work together even when you hate each other. 

I hope you will only experience the benefits of a nursing career. But please, prepare for the challenge. Best of luck! 

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