The search phrase that most often leads people to my blog is “benefits of being a nurse.”  I once wrote a post with a similar title , but it was just about a particular situation with  my doctor.  It didn’t actually spell out what I think are the benefits to being a nurse.  It may just be time for that post.  After 11 years, I feel as though I have some idea what I’ve gotten myself into and what I like about it.  So here are what I consider to be the top 5 benefits to being a nurse…

5)  Location, location, location
All 50 states in the United States make it very easy to get a license.  Once you have your initial license in whatever state you originally take your state boards in, you can seek reciprocity in any other state.  Say you live in Washington state and want to move to Oregon.  All you have to do is check with the board of nursing in Oregon and fill out an application for reciprocity.  You will also have to send them some other forms, sometimes school transcripts, and some states wish you to be fingerprinted at the time of application, as well.  Just send the fees that the state requires along with all of the required application forms and the state BON where you wish to relocate will verify all of the information and verify that you currently don’t have any disciplinary action against your license.   When everything is in order, they send you a new license for that state.  As a nurse, it’s easy to relocate from state to state and find employment. 

4)  Flexible schedule
In virtually any hospital in the country there are a large variety of shifts and number of hours per pay period for a nurse to work.  8 hour shifts, 10 hour shifts, 12 hours shifts.  Days, evenings, nights.  And those could be anywhere from 20 to 80 hours per pay period (a 2 week pay period).  Or a clinic or school nursing works for those who want a more traditional schedule.  There are just a lot of choices available to find the schedule that fits you best.

3)  Variety
In nursing there are so many settings to work in.  A hospital, a clinic, a school.  And within those there are a lot of specialties to choose from.  Pediatrics, oncology, urology, neurology, and on and on.  There are a large variety of choices available to find the area you enjoy the most.  And then there are nursing positions to choose from.  Staff nurse, floor charge nurse, floor unit manager, educator, hospital wide nursing supervisor, research nurse, and on and on.  It’s all about choices and options.

2)  Challenge
I get bored easily.  It’s a fact.  And that’s one reason nursing is such a good fit for me.  There is never a dull moment, no matter what area you work in.  No day is ever quite the same.  Each day and each area and each nursing position has it’s own set of challenges.  And as you move from area to area, there are new skill sets and new information to learn.  Nursing is a profession that will continue to always provide a challenge. 

1)  Something to be proud of
I don’t mean this to demean any other profession or occupation, but nursing is a career you can take pride in.  It’s an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.  I consider myself lucky to feel that way.  I consider myself lucky to be a nurse.  I had an instructor in college tell the class “Being a nurse isn’t something you do, it’s something you are.  And years later, I know she was right.

You might notice I didn’t mention money/wages as a benefit to being a nurse.  That’s not to say the pay is bad.  I’ve always been able to support myself on what I earn just fine, even though I may never be wealthy by some people’s standards.  I just didn’t mention the pay because nursing is so much more than a paycheck to me, and there are so many more valuable benefits.