Is Nursing The Right Career Choice for You?

February 24, 2015

Nursing newborns on the neonatal ward! Nursing is not a career choice that anyone can afford to make without being absolutely sure that it is the right one. This is not just a routine 9 to 5 job where you spend your work hours sitting at an office desk, then wrap up work at the end of the day and go home. This is a job where you will work long shifts and be on your feet for several hours on end and that’s only part of it. At work you will encounter a wide demographic of patients suffering from a variety of ailments. If you do not have the passion or the attributes necessary for the job, this may not be the right choice for you. 


There’s no doubt about it – nursing is a career only for those who want to do meaningful work that makes a difference to people’s lives. If you are thinking of a career in nursing, it is a good idea to ask yourself a few questions and also spend some time nurse shadowing at home or at a medical placement abroad to determine if this really is the right career path for you.

Note: These thoughts and reflections are applicable to mainstream nursing where you will be dealing with patients directly. It is worth knowing though that there are a few nursing specialties that involve working behind the scenes with minimal or no patient contact, so that is an option you can explore too.

– Do you like working with people day in and day out?
– Can you handle being on your feet for hours on end?
– Are you a good communicator?
– Can you work together as part of a multi-disciplinary team?
– Are you non-judgemental and will you provide the same level of care to all patients without bias?
– Can you handle dealing with bodily fluids?
– Are you ready to commit to continued education to keep up with advancements in your specialty?
– Are you compassionate and empathetic?

Do you think you meet some of the requirements but not all? If you are still unsure about whether nursing is the right career choice for you, here are a few things you can do to determine if you are on the right path.

Spend time Volunteering

Volunteering is one of the best ways to explore your interests and your passions.  Look for diverse volunteering opportunities so you can get some experience in different aspects of the job. Spend time caring for children in an orphanage. Also spend time with the aged in a care home. Working with different age groups will help you get a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses.

Spend Time Shadowing A Nurse Or At A Nursing Placement In A Developing Country

 Both of these experiences will give you the opportunity to get a firsthand look at what being a nurse really is like. The difference is, while shadowing you will be a mere spectator and will not get much hands-on experience whereas during a placement in a developing country you will get to work with other medical professionals. In these countries, the number of people needing medical attention far outweighs the number of physicians and nurses available and an extra pair of hands is always welcome. Spending time at a placement like this will leave no doubt in your mind about whether or not this is something you can do for the rest of your life.