Why Become A Nurse?

Why become a nurse? There are many reasons. Some decide to go into nursing for the excellent compensation and flexibility. Others prefer the job security and variety nursing can offer. There are likely as many reasons as there are nurses themselves.

Compensation and Job Security

For starters, compensation for nurses is undeniably excellent. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) average $42,000 a year, while full-time registered nurses (RNs) are usually paid $62,000 annually. Demand for nurses is at an all-time high, and is only expected to go up, which means nursing salaries should also be rising in the near future.

Nursing jobs are also very secure. The U.S. is expected to experience a shortage of nurses well into 2016, and potentially longer. Increased demand means that hospitals will go to greater lengths to keep nurses employed. Additionally, nurses are required on-site all over the country. This means that nursing jobs cannot be outsourced overseas.

Variety of Experiences and Settings

Nursing also offers a wide range of experiences. Far from being relegated solely to hospital work, nurses are employed in a wide variety of positions. Some find work in schools, tending to sick children. Others are employed by the military. Some even work for medical technology companies, offering their services as consultants. Within hospitals, nurses can choose from a wide range of specialties, from the ER to pediatrics, and everything in between.


For those with families, or looking to start families, nursing offers a lot of flexibility. Since hospitals generally don’t close just because the sun is down, there are almost always opportunities for night nurses. Some hospitals even offer temporary employment contracts as short as eight weeks.

Travel Opportunities

Since nurses are in short supply around the globe, there are many opportunities for those looking to travel. Traveling nurse contracts typically range from eight weeks to one year. Most travel nursing agencies also provide compensation for travel expenses, as well as housing.

Meaningful Work

For some, nursing is more of a calling than a job. Many are drawn to it because it offers them a chance to help people on a day-to-day basis. To these people, doing meaningful work every day, and seeing how it makes a difference in the lives of others far outweighs the other benefits of nursing.

Relatively Quick Entry

Compared to those employed in other fields with similar compensation, the training for nurses is short. Most LPN programs take from twelve to eighteen months to complete. RN programs usually last two years. Many schools also offer LPN-to-RN bridge programs that take about a year to complete.

Ultimately, nursing is an incredibly rewarding profession that many have chosen for a wide variety of reasons, and no single list can them all. The decision to become a nurse is a personal one that everyone must make for their own reasons, whether they be financial, personal, or anything in between.