Last Updated on March 9, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
What is a Registered Nurse?
A registered nurse, by definition, is an indoctrinated nurse who has met the conditions defined by a state to obtain a nursing license.
From assessing a patient’s conditions and running various diagnostic tests to training less skilled nurses and providing emotional support to family members, registered nurses have a wide range of duties to fulfill, collaboratively and independently.
History of Nursing
The nursing profession has been around since the beginning of time, evolving with the changing circumstances of the world to become one of the most important professions in the modern-day healthcare system. Though its presence, as a profession, dates back to the Roman Empire, it was in the 1850s that nurses put their mark in history as an important occupation.
Florence Nightingale, with her group of nurses, tended to the injured soldiers in the Crimean War and rearranged the barracks to improve sanitation. Her efforts highlighted the importance of educated nurses in the society and eventually, with the establishment of nursing schools, the profession of a trained nurse grew to have the reputation that it does today.
7 Advantages of Being a Registered Nurse
Every career has its set of differences and nursing is no different. A career option for the strong-willed, caring and empathetic; let us take a look at its advantages and disadvantages.
1. Job Security
In today’s world, job security is hard to find. Alongside the rapidly increasing population, the demand for registered nurses around the globe is increasing exponentially. It is speculated there will be 800,000 vacancies for the nursing position by 2030, making it one of the fastest-growing employment sectors in the industry.
2. Higher Wages
Though the pay varies according to the experience of the individual and the type of organization, registered nurses do receive significantly higher pay.
They also receive overtime pay for all the extra shifts that they take up to ensure that every patient is looked after.
3. They Receive Greater Gifts
As a nurse, helping and taking care of others will be in your nature. Spending their days helping and comforting distressed people makes them realize how grateful they should be for every moment. Nurses water the flower of humanity with the kind deeds that they do every single day.
4. Working Environment
As per their preferred working environment, registered nurses can choose to work in various places ranging from clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, home-health to even teaching at colleges and universities. Private companies also hire nurses for the safety of their workers. Schools and colleges keep an in-house nurse to prevent unfortunate accidents.
Even when working in hospitals, nurses can choose to work with adults, children, in the OT or the ER.
5. Career Advancement Opportunities
With all the knowledge that they have gained as a registered nurse, they can choose to continue their education to specialize in a particular field. Also, they have the option of choosing from over 200 fields to specialize in.
With enough experience and certification, they can become eligible to get into administrative roles as head nurses or advanced practice nurses.
6. Trusted Profession
Nurses truly deserve all our respect for their hard work and will-power. According to statistics, they are rightfully voted #1 when it comes to working ethics and responsibility. This adds to the pride that comes with being a nurse.
7. Other Benefits
Apart from all the above-listed advantages, registered nurses may also receive various other benefits depending on their workplace. These include paid leave, sick leave, maternity leave, health insurance, etc.
6 Disadvantages of Being a Registered Nurse
1. Physical Demands
Most people in the nursing profession, especially those in hospitals, are required to be on foot all day, running from one patient to another. This results in body pain, mostly foot and back problems, and exhaustion.
2. Emotional Stress
Comforting patients and their families after revealing bad news and handling all the emotional phases of the patient often get a nurse entangled in his/her feelings. Also, being the person taking care of the patient, every death takes an emotional toll on the nurse.
Maintaining their composure, especially while dealing with life and death situations is quite difficult and adding to all this stress, nurses are required to deal with difficult families and patients.
3. Exposure to Diseases
Being exposed to germs and viruses all day unquestionably increases the chances of catching a disease, regardless of all the protective measures that they follow. Unfortunate events leading to extreme forms of exposure, like getting a splash of bodily fluid in the eye can cause a great deal of harm.
4. Being Undervalued
Even after being the most trusted profession, patients and their families often tend to disregard the nurse when it comes to critical matters. The care and support that the nurses provide are simply overlooked by many because they are ‘just a nurse’.
5. Working During the Holidays
Festival for others is still a workday for you. As personnel in the medical sector, nurses are expected to be available at any given day to tend to the patients and in case of emergency. This includes being at work during the holidays too.
Mainly in hospital settings where there are nurse shortages, nurses are required to work longer than their usual hours until a replacement nurse is found to take care of the patient. Although they are paid overtime for their extra hours, it is, at times, not worth it for the fatigue that sets in.
The shift work pattern followed in most hospitals is to regulate the nurses available at all times of the day. For nurses working the night shifts, things may get quite difficult.
The necessity of a nurse increases day by day and it is the determined individuals who walk this path with their heads held high that truly gain the values of being human. Being a patient’s most trusted advocate and their emotional support during their rough times adds to their importance in society. Their selflessness is truly reflected in their work ethic as they work day and night to ensure that the patients receive the best care possible. It is all the qualities that nurses hold within themselves that make them the heart and soul of the modern health care system.