The Challenges of Becoming a Nurse

Waking Times

Any profession within the medical field is super challenging due to the complexity of the tasks they have to perform daily and the high-pressure situations that many of these professionals find themselves in. Although being a doctor has its risks and that any mistake while being a surgeon can prove fatal, nursing is perhaps one of the most challenging professions in medical care due in part to the variety of roles they’re fulfilling but also the emotional side many nurses have to contest with.

Nurses are on the front-line. They’re the staff members who have the most contact with patients as they monitor recovery, administer medicine, and a whole bunch of other things. Because of this greater interaction, nurses are often expected to provide emotional support. This can be tricky, especially when already flustered. Nurses have to be friendly and a comforting face to help people get through what can be a traumatic experience at the hospital. This requires a good deal of compassion and other skills that will be dug into a little deeper, making it a role that might not suit everyone.

However, this connection to the patients can make it one of the most rewarding jobs in medicine and in the United States’ entirety due to how a nurse can directly impact a person’s life and make it better. For people who want to help their community and desire to improve people’s lives, there are not many better roles out there than becoming a nurse, which can be done through online nursing programs. There’s also a variety of specialist nursing roles that further impact a person’s life, namely psychiatric nurses that can help people overcome mental health issues as well as residential nurses who not only help improve the quality of life for the older generation but also provide them with someone they can interact with.

As well as the personal benefits of becoming a nurse, there are also good financial incentives, too, such as increasing wages and job demand in the United States. Still, to get to a position where you can claim these jobs, you first need to work hard to gain the appropriate skills and qualifications and be warned there is a lot that needs to be done, including online nursing programs.

Skills Needed

Becoming a nurse is an incredibly demanding profession, so calls upon people that possess specific skills to ensure that they can get the job done. Skills such as knowing how to administer medicine to applying first aid are skills that can be taught in a variety of online nursing programs and are easily learned after some experience in clinical trials. Still, there’s also a huge emphasis on mental skills and characteristics that are a lot harder to instill into individuals. Here are some of the key skills nurses need to succeed in their roles and the mental attributes that can help them have a long and fruitful career.


Being a nurse can be extremely emotionally challenging due to the very upsetting and potentially traumatic situations nurses might find themselves in. Depending on the nurse’s specific role, they might find themselves in theaters, helping with intense operations, or they may have to deal with serious wounds, and it is not uncommon for them to deal with patients dying while under their care. These occurrences can get to a nurse who doesn’t have the right frame of mind or healthy coping mechanisms.

To cope with this, nurses need to develop good resiliency to handle their feelings healthily and professionally. Resilience can be taught after plenty of experience and something that an online nursing program will try to work on. One of the best ways a nurse can build up resiliency is by partaking in practical clinical trials and gaining experience as a student. For this reason, any degree, be it on-campus or online nursing programs, is extremely hands as they don’t want students to hide away in a classroom and not develop this key skill. Without good resiliency, then this role can easily break people down and unsettle them, making it a role that isn’t right for people who don’t possess this mental toughness.


As a nurse, no two days are the same. This is because there is a wide array of roles that a nurse needs to fulfill, and these can alter frequently. This means that people training to become one a nurse through online nursing programs need to be able to adapt to new situations, settings, and scenarios quickly. There are plenty of different things a nurse needs to be comfortable with to serve and help as many people as possible, meaning that it’s vital that a nurse can apply what they know to different scenarios to manage better changing environments.

Adaptability will also make nurses more likely to climb the career ladder and land more senior job roles and make them far more attractive to potential employers than nurses who don’t possess this skill. Adaptability can open more doors and allow nurses to follow different career paths.


Even if you happen to be the most knowledgeable, most brilliant nurse on the planet, you’ll struggle if you don’t have the right amount of compassion. The reason for this is that the whole purpose of the role is to help others and positively impact their lives, meaning that not only compassion but also empathy is needed to allow you to tolerate some of the more difficult patients and connect with them. When people are unwell, they and their families can understandably be more anxious and demanding, which you will have to deal with professionally.

A nurse can sometimes be subject to abuse, and if this is the case, it’s important that they don’t snap back and instead show a level of compassion that can go a long way toward helping an individual. Compassion is a good tool to help you, nurses, better understand the patient’s plight, and it can also motivate nurses to perform better and provide better care, which will make nurses even better at their job. Regardless of the job, if you’re invested in what you do, your work will be better, which is the same for nurses. 

Problem Solving

Nurses face almost a constant barrage of problems during their shifts and need to have the right problem-solving skills to overcome these issues and find the best solutions. Mistakes in this field can cost a patient’s life, so nurses have to think logically and stay calm in every situation, as clouded judgment can have fatal consequences. A systematic approach is perhaps one of the best problem-solving skills a nurse could have. Still, creative thinking can also be useful and help them excel in looking after these at-risk individuals.


One of the most essential skills in the entire medical field is good communication. This is because these roles are usually within big teams, meaning there’s a lot of interaction and information that’s moving around constantly, so being able to relay this information in a precise and effective manner is extremely important. Being able to communicate with fellow staff is just one aspect of the job though, as nurses also need to have the confidence and authority to communicate with patients to teach them about their illness or follow up treatment and nurses may also have to teach and communicate skills to student’s who may be undertaking their clinical experience as part of online nursing programs.

Good communication skills also include the ability to listen well, which is important for nurses. It can allow them to assess patients’ comfort levels better and identify potential issues and problems. Communication is also perhaps more important for specialist nurses; pediatric nurses need to learn how to talk to children, so they understand what is going on, as well as the parents, mental health nurses need to have an array of communication tools at their disposal for different conditions that their patients might have so that they can treat them better.


Once a person has the appropriate skills, they need to supplement them with the appropriate academic knowledge to perform some of the complicated procedures and treatments that nurses have to do. A lot of academic routes a student nurse can go down to get into the field, ranging from bachelor to masters to even online nursing programs. There are a lot of qualifications out there; here are some of the most common.

Associate’s Degree In Nursing

To become an RN, which can be considered a standard nurse, students have to earn at least an Associate Degree in Nursing. To be eligible, the student needs to have obtained a GPA of at least 2.5, or a college GPA of 2.0 providing they have at least 12 college credits. Many institutions also prefer students to have good chemistry grades with lab experience while also demonstrating math competency.

Completing this course will then allow the nurses to take an exam to see if they can get a license to practice in their state. Without this qualification, nurses can’t take this exam and won’t be able to begin their nursing careers.

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

A bachelor’s degree, also known as a BSN, is a form of higher education that allows nurses to learn more about providing care in a medical environment. These can be studied through online nursing programs that give students opportunities to partake in clinical experiences to help them get more accustomed to the medical environment. These courses also provide more specialist modules to help students head towards their desired field, with common courses including human development and healthcare, infant care, chemistry, and nursing theory.

Master’s Degree in Nursing

To become a more advanced nurse, which is a nurse with more specialist skills such as a midwife, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners, students will have to obtain an MSN, which can be considered as one of the highest academic qualifications a nurse can achieve, apart from a doctorate. To be accepted for many of these courses, you already need to be a registered and licensed nurse and may also need to have a few years’ experience within a medical profession. As this is a degree designed for nurses who already have careers, one of the most popular options is to take this course online. When enrolled in online nursing programs, nurses can be more flexible and work the course around their busy schedule, making it a lot easier to manage as nurses can work on it at their own pace.

Is Nursing Worth the Challenge?

It’s clear now that due to the nature of the work, the skills needed, and the arduous educational qualifications nurses need to get licensed, nursing is a challenge. However, there are many good reasons why nursing is worth enduring the challenge.

One of the main reasons is financial. An RN can expect to get a base salary that averages at about $60,000 nationally, and this only increases with the more qualifications and skills a nurse gain. For example, a nurse practitioner, or a specialist nurse such as an anesthetist, can expect to earn well over $100,000 annually. What makes it even more appealing is that nursing is a role that’s growing in demand, meaning that there’s good job security as well as plenty of attainable roles out there.

This rise in-demand can be attributed to the rise in the national average age, which means that a higher proportion of people will require care for a nurse and that more people are entering the age range where they’re more at risk of common health problems and diseases. This also means that older nurses who have been working for years are getting closer to retirement age and need newer nurses to take over their positions.

Despite how grueling studying in person or online nursing programs can be, they’re definitely worth the challenge as they can provide great financial benefits and put you in a role that makes a difference, which can be very rewarding and make you feel good about yourself.

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