The healthcare industry is growing exponentially with time. Technological advancements have affected every sector in the first world, and the medical discipline is no exception. Nursing has established a respected position for themselves among modern-day professions. Deservingly, the WHO has declared 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.”
But these careers do have certain misconceptions attached that have no factual foundations. So, let’s bust some of these myths about nursing.
Eight myths about nursing that are false
- This career doesn’t have a future
According to one prevalent myth, nurses don’t enjoy a diversity of career choices. Nothing can be far from the truth than a denial of hundreds of alternative opportunities nurses have today. As a nurse, you can always pursue a certificate to switch to a different specialty within the medical discipline. RNs have the opportunity to seek other careers and even work in non-clinical environments. Not all nurses deal with patients. You can choose employment with minimal contact with patients. Nothing restricts a nurse from finding leadership positions in the nursing industry. You can also become an educator or gain expertise in health informatics to contribute to this field’s advancement.
- It doesn’t pay much
Are nurses underpaid? That’s debatable. Can you not make much money as a nurse? Well, the answer’s negative. An RN initially makes more than $70,000 every year, and experienced ones can earn over $100,000! A nurse’s annual income also depends on her/his location. A New York nurse may receive $80-90 thousand, but a San Francisco one gets paid more than $130,000 every year. Then we have specific careers within this discipline where nurses get paid more than traditional RNs. Which is the highest-paying job in nursing? Nurse anesthetists made $170,000+ two years ago. You need to pass the NBCRNA exam to become one, though.
- You can’t excel without returning to school
Do nurses have to leave their jobs to rejoin college if they wish for career advancement? Untrue! Though nobody can prevent you from quitting your job to continue formal education. But this digital era allows nurses to seek academic excellence without endangering their current employments. Modern-day nurses can pursue online MSN to DNP programs to access the forefront of the medical industry. Right now, BSN is the minimum educational requirement for registered nurses. But acquiring a higher degree opens up different career pathways for healthcare professionals. So, RNs can now empower their careers without sacrificing their sources of income.
- Nurses have to work excessively
Another cinema-driven misconception makes people imagine nurses work crazy hours and can’t rest for a moment. Undoubtedly, the nursing profession requires your cooperation with patients and physicians. But these responsibilities don’t compel the nursing staff to work excessively. Nurses who work 8-10 hours daily have a 40 hours per week schedule. But nurses can choose to work 12 hours every day, and then their schedule requires 36 hours per week. It means you get most of the week off since you’re working 2 hours more. This schedule can become more flexible if nurses choose the right career. So, you can spend more time with your family while working “crazy” hours!
- Nursing’s a woman’s career
We currently live in a gendered world where some qualities are associated with masculinity and others with feminity. Nursing has also become an unfortunate victim of this division. Male nurses have often been the butt of the joke that they’re involved in a womanly profession. Yes, the nursing profession is predominantly female. But it isn’t a woman-exclusive career. BLS reports that around 87.4% of RNs identify as women. And the number of male nurses is increasing as we speak. These male RNs are as competent and effective as their female counterparts. So, if you’re a man who wishes to pursue a nursing career, don’t let negative perceptions demotivate you.
- Nursing is a menial job
Yet, a different assumption makes nursing look like an effortless profession. This myth states that “nursing is just grunt work,” and these professionals don’t perform anything worthwhile. Contrary to this misconception, nurses don’t just give vaccines or administer drugs. Factually speaking, lesser-educated individuals handle these functions. RNs mostly deal with all kinds of responsibilities, including mundane and nerve-wracking. They console dying patients, break the news to the relatives, and console the bereaved ones. This challenging career also involves situations in which a person’s life depends on the nurse’s alertness. A nursing career demands skilled people.
- Nurses are assistants for doctors
People watching House or Grey’s Anatomy often perceive nurses as doctors’ gophers who’re supposed to do their bidding. Nurses do assist physicians, but they aren’t doctors’ assistants. They have responsibilities independent of a doctor’s. Also, a doctor isn’t necessarily a nurse’s boss in hospitals. In usual cases, a nurse is answerable to a nurse manager or another nurse who has a higher leadership position. Nurses are hired to cater to patients, and they don’t have the on-duty physician as the person-in-charge. Highly-qualified and licensed nurse practitioners also diagnose patients and treat their maladies. Furthermore, they do advocate for patients and the education of the diseased.
- Nurses exclusively work in hospitals
Do nurses work in hospitals and clinics? Generally speaking, that’s true. But many nurses also work in non-clinical settings as well. BLS recorded that 3.1 million nurses served the country back in 2019. Around 60% of them did find employment in state, local, or private hospitals. But 20% of nurses worked with ambulatory healthcare services. Then we had 7% of them serving residential care facilities. And not every single nurse is dedicated to working directly with patients. We’ve already talked about different career possibilities for nurses. They can find work engaged in customer service or managing/supervising a facility’s nursing staff as well.
Many professions have different stigmas attributed to them that prove baseless after a careful examination. No, nursing isn’t a female-only profession. Traditional nurses don’t have to work more than 40 hours every week. Yes, this career does have a future, and it also pays you handsomely. However, certain beliefs about this profession are factual. For instance, the United States will face a shortage of nurses in this decade. Many nurses are standing on the verge of retirement, so the national healthcare system will require more youngsters to join the workforce. Moreover, the pandemic has brought a reawakened interest in this noble career where decreasing human suffering your main objective.