Like most professions, nursing has its benefits and its challenges. Before committing to earning a degree in nursing, it’s important to consider both and decide whether it’s the right profession for you.

These advantages and disadvantages are experienced by both registered nurses and nurse practitioners. For those who decide to move ahead with their education in nursing, the degree programs at Houston Christian University can give them the skills and knowledge they need to meet challenges in ways that go beyond what they learn in the classroom.

The Benefits of Nursing

Nursing is one of the nation’s largest professions. There were more than three million registered nurses in the United States in 2018, in part because of the many benefits of a nursing career.

Caring for Others

One of the main reasons people choose a nursing career is the opportunity to care for others. In some situations, a nurse can mean the difference between life and death for a patient and many nurses see their job as more of a calling. Certainly, no job offers the same kind of satisfaction for those who wish to help others.

Great Pay

Because demand is high, nurses command a good salary. Keep in mind that pay can vary depending on where you live and your specific job. In Texas, registered nurses made a median annual salary of $72,890 in May 2018, according to the latest numbers available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Strong Job Growth

The number of nurses is expected to grow 12% by 2028, according to BLS projections. In Texas, that rate is 24.1%, according to Projections Central. An anticipated nursing shortage in Texas also has led to a higher demand for nurses who hold a BSN or MSN in Nursing.

Diverse Work Environments

Nurses pursue careers in many different settings. These include hospitals, ambulatory care, community centers, outpatient clinics, and long-term care homes. Some also choose to work as travel nurses, taking full-time, short-term jobs at different locations around the country.

Multiple Career Paths

Many nurses start by earning a two-year degree before moving on to an RN-to-BSN program. BSN nurses can choose to go further with their education, earning graduate degrees to become a pediatric nurse practitioner or a family nurse practitioner.

The Challenges of Nursing

Nurses face many difficulties in their profession. Some of the most frequently mentioned challenges including the following.

  • Physically demanding. Many of the duties of a nurse require lifting, bending and staying on your feet for many hours.
  • Emotionally draining. Dealing with people who are ill, as well as their family members, can lead to highly emotional situations.
  • Stress. When you are dealing with life and death situations, stress is something you will experience.
  • Tough work schedules. At some point as a nurse, you will certainly work weekends and holidays.

How An Online Program Prepares Nurses For Challenges

At Houston Christian University, the online and hybrid nursing programs help prepare nurses to handle the challenges of their profession. The program focuses on teaching nursing skills and knowledge but also educates students on the best practices for applying what is learned in school to situations they face on the job.

That’s why clinical hours are so important. Most students who enter the BSN or MSN programs are working nurses. However, Houston Christian University offers new experiences for students through partnerships with healthcare hospitals and clinics.

The university partners with the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. Through that partnership, Houston Christian University can offer students clinical experience. Students also work with nursing professors and professional nursing coaches, getting one-on-one instruction from those with professional experience.

A faith-based degree can also help nurses deal with the ups and downs of nursing, including stress. Houston Christian University students enjoy a close community who support one another in faith, academics and attaining career goals.

Nursing is not without its challenges. But the benefits are many. Earning a degree from Houston Christian University can help students prepare for those challenges and better position themselves to enjoy the rewards.