Feminist mothers often wince as they watch their little girls play nurse. “Why can’t she pretend to be a doctor?” they wonder. Well, if nursing is in your blood, don’t worry about disappointing Mama. The days of nurses as “bedpan pushers” are long over, if they ever really existed. Nurses today are proud healthcare professionals with a solid healthcare knowledge base and many career opportunities. No matter who you are, a nursing education will stand you in good stead.
A nursing education will allow you to write your own ticket professionally. You can work with babies or seniors, in the peace of a retirement community or the chaos of an emergency room. Since nurses are needed round the clock, you can pick a job that best suits your biological rhythms. You can work with patients all day, or administer a healthcare program from your office. You can work in one setting for years or tour the world as a traveling nurse. Very few other careers allow so much flexibility and so much room for personal preference.
You won’t go broke with a nursing education either. Money Magazine listed “registered nurse” as one of the fifty best jobs in America. Not only do most nurses make more than respectable salaries, they may also qualify to have part of their student loans forgiven if they work in low-income or underserved areas. This is an excellent financial benefit in and of itself.
But let’s be honest. You probably didn’t seek a nursing education for the money or the career opportunities. You probably wanted to help people, to touch—if not change—lives. A nursing education will certainly allow you to do that. Whether it’s coaxing a frightened mother through her first delivery or holding a dying man’s hand as he takes his last breath you will be granted the honor of helping people in their most vulnerable moments. No other benefit is greater than that.