Leave it to Hollywood to provide a distorted image of what a nurse does in school and on a daily basis in their career. Movies and TV shows often portray nurses as not being as challenged as doctors, only working in hospitals or clinics, and sometimes only doing the “grunt work.”
Are you curious what a real nurse does?
The truth is nurses have a lot of responsibilities and challenges. Here are some nursing facts revealed:
1.Not all nurses are women.
When some people think of nurses, they automatically think of women. However, men make up almost 6 percent of our nursing population nationwide. According to the American Society of Registered Nurses’ Journal of Nursing, male nurses often end up in leadership roles and in specialties like intensive care, emergency, and operating room nursing. The journal added, despite some assumptions, male nurses are professionals who care the same way as female nurses.
“Institutions (hospitals, clinics and colleges) are always looking for diversity and being a male nurse helps with this issue,” said James Tollefson, RN, Rasmussen College St. Cloud campus. “I have also found that managers will seek me out for my opinion on issues because I bring another perspective. “
2. Nursing job opportunities are extremely vast (and can fit all kinds of nursing degree backgrounds).
Many people pursuing a nursing degree might assume they’d be working in a hospital or clinic; however there are many more places than that for a nurse to work. Once a nursing student has earned his or her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, associate’s degree or diploma, and taken their respective National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), a whole new world will open up for them. A nurse may want to experience lots of travel and become a travel nurse. He or she may want to work in prisons as a nurse for inmates or work on cruise ships as a cruise ship nurse. No matter what kind of schooling they have, there are several different opportunities available for all kinds of nurses.
3. Nurses can have flexible schedules.
We’ve all heard that nurses have terrible schedules, working 12-hour shifts or every weekend, but that’s not necessarily the case. For many nurses, their schedules are flexible, and they choose which schedule works best for them. Some nurses like working overnight shifts and having the afternoons off. Some like to work weekends, so it frees up time during the week. Whichever schedule a nurse chooses, he or she is fortunate they chose a profession that is round-the-clock, so they have the option of a flexible schedule. Furthermore, a number of healthcare facilities discovered allowing nurses to have a flexible schedule can increase their retention rate and help with recruitment. It can also allow nurses to go back to school to earn a higher degree or offer part-time opportunities to an aging nursing staff.
4. You can become a nurse in as little as 12 months.
If you have a need for speed or would just like to get in and finish your degree in a year, the Practical Nursing Diploma program at Rasmussen College may just be your ticket. The program is currently approved by the Florida Board of Nursing, and those students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) before becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
5. Not all nursing jobs require patient care.
At some point in their career, a nurse may choose a non-clinical care position (or one that does not involve direct patient care). There are several reasons a nurse may take a non-clinical role, including mental stress, physical limitations or simply interested more on the side of nursing that involves little or no patient care. For example, nurses may get into healthcare recruiting, health information technology or become a nursing school instructor, healthcare executive or a patient advocate.
6. Nursing uniforms can vary.
Long gone are the days when nurses were required to be covered in white from head-to-toe. Now, nurses have tons of options when choosing their uniforms. Their scrubs can be a variety of colors and designs, as well as have funky stethoscope covers. In addition, some nursing careers, such as the ones listed in Fact No. 5, don’t require scrubs at all. Many of those careers require business casual or professional dress.
7. Nursing isn’t grunt work.
Although at times nurses’ jobs can be physically demanding, including being required to lift a bedpan or something heavy, nursing is often times extremely rewarding in between the challenges.
“Nursing is the greatest profession in healthcare today,” said Dr. Gail Dolan, Florida Regional Dean of the School of Nursing. “It is the caring for patients. Many changes in healthcare today have opened new and exciting opportunities for nurses of today and the future, [such as] technological advances in genetics, healthcare, and information management.”
8. Nurses appreciate appreciation.
There are millions of nurses worldwide, but many times people fail to notice the hard work or dedication a nurse puts into each and every patient they come across. Nurses are often unselfish. They take the time to nurture and care for those that cannot care for themselves.
“Nurses like appreciation, whether it be verbal or non-verbal,” said Dolan. “It is a part of interpersonal communication… [and it’s important because] most nurses interact with all kinds of people every day.”
Hopefully, these nursing facts have uncovered the truth about nursing and have helped you decide whether or not to pursue a degree or diploma in this field. Please let us know what nursing fact we may have missed in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.