Benefits of a Nursing Career: 8 Reasons to Make the Change to Nursing

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Some of the top benefits of a nursing career include job stability and earning potential, a range of career paths within the field, and geographic flexibility. Learn more nursing benefits and see whether Mercer University’s ABSN track might be the best way for you to access a nursing career.

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Nursing is a noble and rewarding profession, offering numerous benefits and opportunities for personal and professional growth. As the demand for healthcare professionals continues to rise, many people are considering a career change to nursing or are exploring nursing as their first career choice.

With options like Mercer University’s Second Degree Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track, you can work through a fast-paced curriculum and earn a BSN in as few as 12 months. Designed for individuals with a non-nursing bachelor's degree, our ABSN track can reduce the time and financial investment required to transition into a new career.

There are many advantages to bringing prior work experience and skills to nursing for individuals considering a career change. Transferable skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking, make nurses valuable assets to their patients and organizations. But what are the biggest advantages of nursing as a career, and why should you consider nursing as a second career?

Top Nursing Career Benefits

A nursing career carries numerous benefits and is an attractive choice in today’s job market. Nursing stands apart in categories like job security, career flexibility, and opportunities for advancement. Learn more as we elaborate on 8 of the top benefits of a nursing career.

1. High Demand and Job Stability

The healthcare industry is experiencing significant demand for nursing professionals due to a number of factors, including an aging population with increased life expectancy, advancements in medical technology, and the rising prevalence of chronic diseases. Additionally, many nurses are approaching retirement age, with a third of the current nursing workforce reaching retirement age in the next 10 to 15 years. As a result, there is a growing demand for nursing roles to meet these healthcare needs and sustain the number of nurses in the workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for registered nurses will grow 6% by 2031, adding an estimated 195,400 new nurses to the field.

nursing student with stethoscope

The healthcare industry is relatively secure from economic downturns, meaning nursing can be more stable than other professions. The consistent demand for registered nurses, combined with opportunities for growth and advancement, ensures that nurses have a secure and rewarding career path.

2. Competitive Salary and Benefits

Nurses work hard to provide compassionate and effective patient care and earn a competitive salary above the national average for all occupations. According to the BLS, as of 2021, the median annual wage for registered nurses was $77,600. In addition, higher earnings are possible in alternative nursing career paths with bedside experience, additional education, and specialization. For example, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and several other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) earn higher salaries due to their advanced education and specialized roles.

Median pay increases when you consider location, with nurses in the top five income states earning over $100,000 per year. Furthermore, many nursing positions offer competitive benefits packages, including health insurance, paid time off, and retirement savings, making it an attractive career choice financially.

3. Geographic Flexibility

One of the advantages of a nursing career is the ability to work in various settings and locations. Nurses are needed in urban and rural areas, and job opportunities abound. This geographic flexibility allows nurses to choose where to live and work and explore new places through travel nursing opportunities.

The growing demand for nurses extends to different sectors within the healthcare industry. Nurses are needed in various settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, schools, and patient's homes. This variety of job settings and general demand for nurses means that those who pursue nursing as a second career will likely find rewarding positions nationwide.

Military nurse giving patient a vaccine shot

Discover 12 alternative nursing career paths you can pursue outside the hospital.

For students who attend Mercer’s ABSN track in Atlanta, clinical rotations at top healthcare facilities throughout Metro Atlanta provide the opportunity to network and establish relationships with top healthcare teams, which can be another path to employment as an RN.

4. Opportunities for Professional Growth

Nursing is a dynamic profession with numerous opportunities for continuing education and professional development. Nurses can expand their knowledge and skills through workshops, conferences, and continuing education courses, leading to career advancement. Additionally, a BSN degree will open the pathway to pursue advanced nursing degrees like a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) to specialize in a particular area and become an advanced practice registered nurse.

Not all nursing specializations require an advanced nursing degree. The areas you can pursue as a nurse include critical care, pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, mental health, and more. Pursuing a specialization allows nurses to focus on a specific patient population or healthcare issue and can increase their career prospects and earning potential.

Nursing offers numerous opportunities for career advancement, including leadership and management roles. Experienced nurses can progress into positions such as charge nurse, nurse manager, or administration, overseeing the delivery of patient care and managing nursing teams.

5. Variety in Workflow

Nursing is a profession that offers a diverse range of tasks and responsibilities. From administering medications and monitoring vital signs to providing emotional support and patient education, the daily duties of a nurse are anything but monotonous. This variety, combined with exposure to different medical specialties and environments, keeps nursing professionals engaged and constantly learning new skills.

The versatility of nursing means that no two days are alike. Nurses can work with numerous patient populations and healthcare providers, allowing them to develop a well-rounded skillset and knowledge base. This diversity in daily tasks keeps nurses motivated and passionate about their work and can appeal to people who desire new challenges.

student smiling at camera in mock hospital room

6. Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Nurses are essential members of the healthcare team, collaborating with physicians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals to provide high-quality patient care. Interdisciplinary collaboration allows nurses to gain valuable insight into various aspects of patient care and learn from the expertise of their colleagues.

Working as part of a diverse healthcare team helps nurses develop strong communication and teamwork skills, fostering a collaborative approach to patient care. This collaborative environment enhances patient outcomes and contributes to a nurse's professional growth and job satisfaction.

7. Advocacy and Impact on Public Health

Nursing is a career that is both challenging and rewarding, and it offers the opportunity to make a real difference in the world. Nurses play a crucial role in advocating for their patients, ensuring they receive the best possible care and have their needs addressed. This advocacy extends beyond the individual patient level, as nurses also contribute to public health by promoting preventive care and educating communities about health issues.

By engaging in public health initiatives and advocating for policies that improve patient care, nurses can make a lasting impact on the overall health and well-being of their communities. This advocacy work benefits the public and provides nurses with a sense of purpose and accomplishment, knowing they are making a difference on a larger scale.

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Learn more about the ABSN track, and see whether it might be the best option for you.

8. Positive Work-Life Balance

While nursing can be a challenging profession, it also offers a work-life balance for many nurses. Flexible scheduling options at many organizations, such as part-time, full-time, or travel positions, allow nurses to choose the work schedule and format that best suits their lifestyle and personal commitments.

Additionally, nursing professionals often find opportunities for career advancement that align with their desired work-life balance. For example, some nurses may pursue roles in nursing education, case management, or research, which typically offer more predictable schedules and fewer on-call hours.

Mercer ABSN student holding backpack by lockers

Ready to Make a Career Change to Nursing?

There are many compelling reasons to consider a career in nursing, whether as a student or someone considering changing careers. With its diverse range of benefits and opportunities, nursing offers both personal and professional satisfaction for those who embark on this fulfilling path.

Ready to learn more about how to become a nurse and access all of the benefits of a nursing career? Connect with a Mercer enrollment counselor to learn more about our 12-month ABSN track and see if it is the best option for you.