- 06 April 2020
- 10 min read
10 reasons to become a Registered Adult Nurse
General Practice Nurse, Claire Carmichael, gives a rundown of the top 10 reasons to become a registered nurse and why they are needed now more than ever.
Topics covered in this article
All that is currently shown on television is the negatives of nursing: How nurses and trusts continuously struggle, or how patients are being let down by the system.
I’m here to bring about some positivity and show you exactly why you should come into nursing.
I know nursing isn’t for everyone and not everyone can be a nurse.
But if this career is calling you, here’s why you should be in the most trusted profession in the UK (IPSOS MORI, 2019).
1. To help others
As a nurse you will be helping others.
Even the smallest of things you do for someone can make the greatest impact on their life.
I want to tell you a short story here about something that happened to me as a student nurse.
I had been caring for a patient with dementia, this person couldn’t remember where they were, who anyone was, but they would always say "I’m going to die soon to meet my husband again".
Their long-term memory was still there but sadly their short-term memory had gone.
I cared for this patient for around 8 weeks on placement and on my final day there, I went to help them one last time and they asked me "What’s your name dear? Oh wait… I know… It’s Claire" and that’s how I knew I had helped this person in a way.
Because I felt I had made that much of an impact they had remembered who I was.
I looked down, as I thought they had read it from my badge, but I hadn’t put my badge on that day as I had lost the magnetic back to it.
2. To be part of an honoured profession
This is always a huge debate across social media, ‘should nursing be a profession?'.
Many of my friends who have been qualified for years were diploma nurses and they are some of the most fantastic and knowledgeable nurses.
I have two different views to this; in my own personal opinion, I don’t think it needs a degree to an extent (many will disagree with this opinion).
Nonetheless, Dr Steggall wrote “For nursing, this means a greater skill set that enables independent working and meet the needs of all who access healthcare” (RCNi, 2015).
So, just to contradict my opinion, I feel nursing needed and still needs better recognition for the work nurses do and this is what the degree does for nursing as well as the more in-depth knowledge you will gain with it.
I am so honoured to be a nurse; it’s such an honour knowing I am now part of one of the most trusted professions in the UK: voted by 95% of British people (IPSOS MORI, 2019).
3. To make a difference to someone’s life
As I shared my story above, this is the feeling you will get most days.
There will absolutely be tough days, days where you feel very overwhelmed and even cry and some days you will just want to give it all up.
But there will always be that one small moment that reminds you why you do this.
You will be making a difference to every single person you meet.
Whether they voice it or not, you know in your heart you have done the best you can for your patients.
You know you have just saved a life or prevented deterioration or just made someone’s day by the way that you are.
I always say, I feel so selfish being a nurse because it makes me feel so good helping others and making that difference.
Patients are so grateful and say that you make a difference to their lives, but actually, they make a huge difference to your life too.
I wouldn’t change that feeling for the world. It’s amazing.
4. To work with a range of people
You will work alongside so many different people with different roles.
They will have such a different input to the patient to what you’re doing but you will all be aiming for the same goal – to help the patient.
You will find yourself working alongside (this list is not limited to); Doctors, specialist nurses, surgeons, healthcare assistants, housekeeping, porters, matrons, bed managers, IT, phlebotomists, radiographers, consultants, admin and reception teams, pharmacy, paramedics, social workers, safeguarding and other outreach teams.
Then you will have the patient along with all their family sometimes.
Every day will be so different, with different teams.
It’s great to see the different personalities and specialities and what each person can bring to a team, and you will be part of all of that.
5. To have more opportunities
A lot of people for some reason think that when you are a newly qualified nurse (NQN) you have to go and work in the hospital and on a ward.
This couldn’t be further from the truth; I am a month into my NQN role as a GP Nurse and I’m loving it.
There are so many diverse areas that you can work in as a nurse and it doesn’t have to be a ward.
For example (again not limited to); Sexual health nurse, school nurse, research, community nursing, GP nurse, care homes, hospice, Macmillan nurse, paramedic nurse, lecturing or teaching, digital technology and so much more.
The world is your nursing oyster and it’s amazing!
A lot of nurses I know, find a part time permanent role in one place and then use the rest of the hours to do bank shifts (extra shifts through agency work) elsewhere to keep a bit of variety in their nursing careers as well as flexibility.
6. To have a sense of purpose in life
I know I feel so much better in myself if I have a purpose in life.
Nursing brings you this.
Nursing isn’t for everyone, I know… However, if this is your calling, you are going to feel amazing when you come back from work knowing you’ve made that difference.
You will have meaning to your life and that’s to help others and do good in the world.
As part of Maslow's hierarchy of needs we must feel a sense of belonging, esteem and self-actualisation to be motivated in life and have a good overall well-being (Hopper, 2020).
This is part of 5 categories of needs that we all have and has been looked into by many psychologists too.
7. To enhance your leadership and management skills
As a nurse you will automatically become a leader, this will come naturally, whether it is for your colleagues or your patients and those multi-disciplinary teams around you.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) (2020) states; “Authentic leaders offer good role models consistent with values and vision for health care. They offer individualised consideration of staff, provide motivation and stimulate of creativity and innovation”.
You will also learn to manage your own time as well as your own patient caseloads.
Management is another key part of nursing and the World Health Organisation (n.d) states that “managers ensure that the available resources are well organised and applied to produce the best results".
8. To have a diverse career
As mentioned above, there are so many different roles you can do in nursing.
However, even when in one particular role, no two days are the same!
Every day you will have different patients, or the same patients but facing different scenarios that you will handle.
I love the variety that nursing brings and I always wake up thinking ‘I wonder what kind of day it will be today'.
As also mentioned above, you will have those tough days, but that’s where having a good team around you will pick you right back up.
9. To enhance all your skills
Throughout your degree or apprenticeship, you will gather so much knowledge – research based, anatomy and physiology to be able to treat your patients but in turn, you will also learn a whole load of nursing clinical skills too.
Not only this, but you will enhance those fundamentals of nursing; the 6Cs – Care, Compassion, Communication, Competence, Courage and Commitment.
I was a completely different person before I started my nursing degree; I was shy, unconfident, would never have thought about public speaking or vlogging!
The course has absolutely changed me for the better.
It’s given me so much more than I ever bargained for and I am so thankful for that.
I am the person and nurse I always wanted to be.
I now speak at conferences and events and I have my own YouTube channel!
Something I never thought I would ever be brave enough to do and I love it.
10. Because right now we need over 40,000 nurses
It’s not a secret, that the nursing profession is massively short of nurses right now - We need YOU!
I feel like this should be that old war time recruitment poster ‘we need you!’ It’s heart-breaking seeing nurses struggling right now.
There aren’t enough nurses to meet the demands of patients we have.
You could make such an amazing difference to that.
You could be that one nurse that a team out there needs.
You could be that person who makes a difference not just to the patient waiting times or treatment times, but to your colleagues around you.
You could be that one person that joins the team and turns a place around, whether that is by easing the pressure of patient appointments, initiating new initiatives, or even bringing in with you some morale that can change the whole way a workplace functions.
You could make an area go from falling on its knees to standing tall and proud at the amazing care patients receive.
What are you waiting for?