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There are countless reasons to be a nurse and choose nursing as a career. Every day, nurses do so much for so many people. Nurse are constantly helping patients, comforting loved ones, training new students. Other times they are interacting with staff inside and outside the hospital. Being in the caring profession is rewarding. It can take you down many different paths and to different areas of practice and expertise.

Nurses Make a Difference

According to the RNAO (Registered Nursing Association of Ontario), one extra nurse in the hospital saves five lives in the hospital setting. Nurses make a difference in many different settings. A nurse will work in the hospital, community mental health clinic or working with the homeless in the community.

A nurse can help educate a new mother on breast feeding, or help a mental health client live independently. Nurses can make a difference in the holistic health of a person and treat the whole person. This is just one of many reasons to be a nurse.

Nurses Collaborate With Other Professions

As healthcare practice is shared: nurses work with other professions such as doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, social workers and even holistic health practitioners to empower patients to be healthier. This can be in an emergency, acute care or the community. Nurses collaborate with other professions and work well in teams by nature  . You can develop best practices with other professions to best support an individual or a family from many different points of view.

If you like problem solving and teamwork, nursing is your jam! For example, as a junior nurse, if you are unsure about a treatment plan, you will have support from nurses with years of experience. You can ask the pharmacist on a hospital ward about whether the patient has any medication interactions. You may link with a physiotherapist to decide if the patient needs support to live independently. Often, you also have the independence or autonomy to act on your own.

Career Mobility

Registered nurses can work in many different areas: in the community, in hospitals and even in the justice system to improve lives, save lives or ensure health equity/quality of life. Nurses can also work all over the world. In my first year of nursing, I helped rehabilitate patients who had strokes; I worked with post-operative surgical patients and also in community mental health. My practice took me to Malawi, Africa where I was able to volunteer with a global group of volunteers in a hospital. For me, multiple reasons to be a nurse has allowed me to help provide care and collaborate with an international team. It even allowed me to work in the technology field where we used mobile phones to help train African nurses to provide better care to pregnant women. This is one of my top reasons to be a nurse.

As you develop your body of knowledge, you can even work independently as a consultant or a business owner in a specific area of practice that interests you. You will speak the universal languages of vital signs and caring. Your passions and interests will take your career to different places.

Make a Great Salary

Nurses in the United States make a great salary and earn an average salary of $32.66 per hour or about $68,000 annually. As a nurse you can pick up short-call shifts or per diem (which means daily), where you are called on a cover a shift at a higher shift differential. Depending on your State, you are often paid more for statutory holidays as well. Nurses in California make the most annually at $94,120, nurses in Iowa make the least at $52,540.

You can also be accredited to take additional courses to have a specialty such as cardiac nursing and earn a higher hourly wage. Registered nurses can also study to become nurse practitioners or advanced practice nurses to have more responsibility and a wider scope of practice.

Emotionally Rewarding Career

Some remaining reasons to be a nurse, are that nursing is an emotionally rewarding career. If you have the empathy to be a nurse, you are giving and garner rewards from acts of service. As a nurse, you have the privilege to care for people when they are vulnerable. Being able to have an impact feels good. It is a challenging career at times both emotionally and physically, but the rewards are countless.

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