Debunking Myths And Misconceptions In Nursing

Nursing

Information-sharing has several obvious benefits. But when people begin to spread ill-informed misconceptions, that’s when the problem starts. And as noble a profession as nursing is, there are still several popular myths associated with it in this day and age that make people reluctant to join the ranks.

True- nursing is challenging. It is plagued by issues such as understaffing, employee burnout, and mistreatment. Yet, some of these issues are an indirect consequence of not enough people joining because of the myths associated with the misconceptions related to the job. Hence, let’s change that. Listed below are a few myths related to nursing that are bogus and far from the truth.

Becoming a nurse is hard

Ok, it may not be as easy as cutting a cake, but it’s definitely not as challenging as people think it is. We cannot hide from the fact that there is a worldwide shortage of nursing professionals. Fewer people are taking up nursing as a career choice, leaving healthcare facilities short-staffed. Like becoming a doctor, many people think that nursing too takes a lot of time and is an arduous process. However, this is far from the truth.

The truth is that nurses have to study for 2 to 4 years before they can begin practicing, which is not the case when becoming a doctor. The latter takes four years of undergrad, followed by several more in med school, residency, etc. And with higher education, certification, and experience, they can quickly move into managerial and leadership positions. Moreover, distance learning opportunities such as online MSN FNP and MHNP programs enable them to fast-track their careers and begin working as independent Nurse Practitioners who, like doctors, have some diagnostic powers. And this brings us to the next myth.

All nurses want to become doctors eventually

If they would, would they just enroll in a med school? The idea that individuals become nurses just because it is a shortcut to becoming doctors is entirely untrue. However, most aspiring candidates choose such a career path because they want to become nurses, not doctors. After all, why would someone spend so much effort and time on various nursing certifications and degrees only to give up and do something different? 

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Whatever the case may be, these two careers, nurses and doctors, are not linked, other than the fact they have to deal with patients and medicine. The work and life of a nurse are not the same as that of a practicing doctor. Plus, the nursing profession doesn’t provide you with a stepping stone to become a doctor in the future. So this myth doesn’t make much sense other than the idea that some nurses might open up their own private practice after acquiring a practitioner’s license. 

A nurse can only work inside a hospital

Nurses typically work inside hospitals and clinics. However, don’t be surprised to see a nurse with sick people present in schools, corporations, and rehab facilities. In fact, after completing their education and obtaining licensure, a nurse can work inside a workplace that provides healthcare to patients. Not to mention numerous specialized hospital-based career opportunities are opening up for nurses as time goes on. These include; oncology nurses, neonatal nurses, ER nurses, nurse care managers, Clinical nurse specialists, and much more. 

That said, hospitals aren’t the only place nurses can work. You can find them aboard ships, homes, private practice, schools, universities, colleges, and anywhere where people need care. 

Only women become nurses

Are you saying that you’ve never seen a male nurse in this day and age? NEVER? This myth is both dumb and misogynistic. Ask anybody about the nursing profession, and they will tell you that women dominate it. While this is true, that doesn’t mean only women take up the nursing profession. That is not the case at all.

True, the first nurses were women, but that’s because men would be the ones fighting wars. However, after the 1970s, the number of men enrolling in nursing degree programs has increased three times. While that is a good thing, the fact remains that it will take some time to even out the numbers. However, the gap isn’t that significant anymore.

Looking at things from a patient’s perspective, this is excellent news. After all, patients can take advantage of a diverse nursing workforce with whom they can feel comfortable. In simple words, there will always be a nurse just like you waiting to help you with your healthcare needs. The more a patient likes their nurse, the easier it will be to communicate and seek treatment.

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There is no opportunity for career advancements

We’ve already touched on this above, but let’s elaborate further. Some candidates are immensely ambitious, and they want to climb to the career mountaintop in whatever industry they work. While these candidates might not choose to become nurses, people who say that the nursing profession doesn’t provide you with career advancement opportunities don’t know what they’re talking about. Just like any other job out there, nursing has its fair share of career advancement opportunities. So, this means that ambitious candidates who want to rise through the ranks should consider nursing a career choice. 

That said, you will need to learn continuously to leverage career advancement opportunities. However, if you don’t intend to advance your career further, being up-to-date with nursing techniques and healthcare knowledge will still be beneficial. Therefore, further learning and training are vital and separates from being a mediocre or an excellent nurse. 

Nurses are always working crazy hours

Nurses work through the holidays, the weekends, and the night, and their shift timings are typically grueling and long. While we cannot dispel this idea completely, nurses don’t work 24 hours a day for 365 days a year! With a lot of load come plenty of working hours as well. But, of course, you can always choose to work whenever you want and for how many hours you want to work. 

You can go with the night shift or day shift, depending on your preferences. For instance, if the night shift you choose doesn’t appeal to you, you can always switch to the morning shift. So, don’t fear becoming a nurse if you think that you will have to work 24 hours every day.

Conclusion

A nursing career is not for everyone. However, it is down to an individual’s determination and dedication levels if they want to survive the challenging work environment of the nursing industry. With the information provided above, you can undoubtedly remove some common misconceptions from your mind and give the nursing profession a try if that is something that you always wanted to do!

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