Do You Have What it Takes To Be a Nurse?

By Staff

With the demand for nurses growing, nursing and healthcare services is likely to become one of the most sought after professions in the future.

Are you considering nursing as a career? Nurses work in a variety of locations and capacities. Besides hospitals, nurses can work at clinics, seniors' homes, kids' summer camps, and for private companies. There are emergency room nurses, intensive care nurses, palliative care nurses, pediatric care nurses, and many more.

If you are considering the field of nursing, here are a few things you should consider.

It's Hard Work:

Most nurses work shift work. And many work long hours. If you are looking for a job that is 9-5 with no weekends, this is probably not it. Working shift work requires a flexible lifestyle and a lot of support from your family.

Nursing also requires physical strength. You'll be doing things like moving and turning patients and carrying equipment. You must also be able to stand on your feet for a long time and be energetic.

Desire to Learn:

Before you can practice as a nurse, you need an education. Many colleges and universities offer these programs. Requirements vary so make sure you have what it takes. You must also pass a licensing test called the Canadian Registered Nurse Exam administered by the Canadian Nurses Association. If you are in Quebec, you must pass a test administered by l'Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec.

Nursing is a life-long learning experience. You must be committed to participating in professional development, of learning new ways of doing procedures, processes, and technologies. Healthcare is a field that is always changing.

Ability to Deal With Stress:

Hospitals and other health care facilities can be stressful environments. From dealing with emergency situations to palliative care (taking care of dying patients) it takes a special person able to handle the wide range of emotions. Critical situations require fast responses and the ability to think on your feet, while providing care to seriously ill or dying patients can be an emotional challenge.


Perhaps one of the most important skills you should have if you are considering nursing as a career is the ability to communicate effectively. Many aspects of nursing work count on communication, such as listening to and understanding a patient, working in a team environment with other nurses, and effectively addressing concerns of patients' family members. People skills are critical to doing your job properly. No one wants to have a nurse who treats them rudely or without empathy.

Caring for Others:

As with any other profession, you should really love what you do in order to be successful at it. If you have a genuine interest in caring for people, in supporting them in their health, and in encouraging their recovery, nursing might just be the ticket. You must have empathy and a desire to help in patient comfort. You may have tasks to do that are unpleasant, but if you have genuine care for the work you are doing, you will see it as a way of helping and increasing a patient's comfort.

Nurses work in a variety of environments so there are always a variety of challenges and possibilities. Many countries around the world are actively looking for nurses either in a volunteer environment or paid position so you can really work almost anywhere you want.

If you have the skills and you are willing to invest the time and effort into a lifelong career, nursing could provide you with a fulfilling challenging profession.

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