Is Nursing a Good Career Choice?
The short answer is yes for new nurses joining the field and current nurses. Nursing is still worth it and is a great career choice. It’s easy for us to look back and think, has nursing been the right choice? I’ll offer you some insight, everyone has those thoughts at some point in their career. Everyone eventually asks themselves the same question because the expectations don’t always meet the realities. What you thought you signed up for is there but with a lot of extras and long hard hours. No matter what field you enter you’re going to have to work hard to make something of it, there isn’t a perfect professional where you do everything you like. Nursing adds a very unique perspective to almost everything in life from relationships to finance. Below are some of the reasons I entered nursing and the benefits it brought me.
Financial Benefits of Nursing
Nursing can bring you anywhere from $65,000 to $110,000 depending on state and experience. To be honest, that doesn’t seem like a lot but at the same time, it does. When you compare it to the median middle-class household income in the US is about $70,000, it is a very good career choice. The higher pay lies in staff nursing as it is in the highest demand and most abundant position. The most money in nursing is travel nursing but that requires moving around from place to place which is a little more stressful and harder.
From a financial standpoint of you get your BSN or currently have it, you are in a good place in life. You are automatically positioned in the middle class right out of school and you have a really good cushion if you don’t make a series of bad choices. The financial beauty of nursing is you have a middle-class cushion, which means even if you don’t pursue anything else you will be well off but also if you do try something different and it doesn’t work out you can still fall back on nursing.
Overtime and shift differentials
What’s really nice about nursing is that you get paid based on shifts and also hourly. Some jobs do have salaries but it doesn’t always equate to the time you put in. For nursing, the time you put in is the time you get paid for, you can view it as a pro or con but I see it as the best for nurses to get paid.
That being said, you can maximize your pay if you are ok with working the night or evening shift. It is a little rough but if you get used to it, you can make a couple hundred dollars more a week. Weekends are also paid more which is nice because you have to work every other.
Overtime is always an option in nursing because in most places it it offered every day of the week This is nice because you can pick up whenever you want. If you want to make some more money you can pick up an extra day every month. In your typical job this would be hard because most have a 40hr week where it’s 9-5, but nurses have the luxury of 3×12 which makes for a long shift but also a longer week. You have about 4 days off, if you are complaining about money there is no reason you cannot pick up 1 or 2 days a month.
One thing to watch out for is tax. You need to pay attention to how your income gets taxed because it might not be financially worth it to jump to the next tax bracket. Income tax levels can change every year so always keep an eye because it looks nice making more money but if a good chunk of that will be going to the taxman you’re better off spending time doing something else. As a nurse, you’re most likely going to get taxed at the 22% level and it would take you quite a bit of work to get to the 24% level and even more to get higher.
Nursing is a healthcare field people will be getting sick forever. One financial benefit of this is that no matter where the economy goes no matter how many banks fail you will always have a job. No matter what happens you can always make an income. People will always be going to the hospital, people will always die, and people will always be born. In emergent times like we’ve seen over the last couple of years your job is in even higher demand. The unfortunate but positive thing is that nurses make more during emergencies.
There are a handful of administrator roles in nursing, nursing educator, assistant manager, and Clinical nurse specialist are just a few. They do require a graduate degree which has 2+ years of added school but it is worth it if you are trying to move up into a nurse leadership position.
Nurse practitioners and Nurse anesthetists are also very popular fields to enter. They are the most-paid positions when it comes to being more hands-on in the clinical setting. With these careers, you are in over the $100,000 range when it comes to income.
Going to school for an extra 2 to 3 years is worth it because it can bring you anywhere from $20,000 to$100,000 more a year. I understand this isn’t for everyone and it is completely fine if you just want to get your BSN. Regardless of what you choose, just having the BSN sets you up for success.
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