San Diego Union Tribune

Let Go of Your Fear – Why It’s a Great Time to Go to Nursing School

One of the biggest growth areas right now, as we all know, is in the health industry. Here in San Diego, the need is especially high for skilled or specialty nurses. This includes emergency room, critical care and believe it or not, virtual and travel nurses.

If you are able to live in such a beautiful city, work for some of the most prestigious medical facilities in the nation and earn very respectable pay, then why are specialized nurses so hard to find? Be aware the entry level nursing field is flooded. So in order to succeed, advanced skills are required. This means if you choose nursing, you must continue your education.

The prospect of going to nursing school or returning to it, can awaken real fears. This is especially true if you’re going back to school after some time off or choosing a new career. I was never good at math or science, the sight of blood scared me when I was a kid. The fear of failure is there for every pursuit in life. It doesn’t make a difference if it is nursing, accounting, teaching, parenting, writing, or whatever. You are older and more mature now, and may want a change. Specialized nursing could be an exciting new career path for you.

Is it time to let your fears go? Have you always had an interest in healthcare and nursing? A nursing degree will open up so many doors for you throughout your career, earning an even higher income with specialized capabilities. Nursing school is a big decision and there are a lot of good reasons to become a nurse or upgrade your skills. It is an important decision, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Here are five common fears, and reasons why they shouldn’t hinder you from going to nursing school.

I’m too old.

You can’t control your age, and the years are going to pass regardless if you’re in school or not! So instead of spending that time thinking about your goals, why not take action? Age is just a number. It doesn’t define who you are, and it has no bearing on how you’ll perform when you go back to school or enter a new career. Students don’t succeed or fail based on their age; in fact, sometimes maturity can help!

I can’t afford it.

The majority of Americans don’t have money saved for college tuition. In fact, you would be struggle to find a person who does have the means to pay for school without any financial assistance at all. That doesn’t mean you can’t make it happen! Do your homework. Find out about tuition for different programs, and whether they offer financial aid and scholarships.

I’m not smart enough.

One of the most common fears students have is whether they’ll be able to pass their courses. What’s the worst that can happen? You fail a class? So what… you can always retake it or get a tutor (or speak to the professor) at the first signs of trouble. As with everything else in life, some people have to work a little harder, but that should not discourage anyone from following their preferred career path. Like they old saying goes “You get out what you put into it.”

I might not find a job after I graduate.

This fear is understandable. After all, there are no guarantees you’ll find your dream job just because you go back to school. While some markets are more competitive, skilled nurses are in high demand, and this demand is expected to continue to grow steadily. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists nursing as one of the occupations with the highest projected national job growth through 2022. If job stability and availability are concerns of yours, you can probably put those to rest if you are going to nursing school.

Balancing school, life and work

This can sometimes be the most difficult aspect of the decision to go back to nursing school. Students worry whether they will be able to work, how they will support themselves (and their family, if they have one) and still have enough time to study. Ask for help! If you have a child, ask your family members or friends to help. Talk to instructors or former students, to find recommendations for supporting yourself during your education and understand, this is a temporary phase.

Will I be a good nurse?

Well, really no one can really answer this question. The fact that you want to be a nurse, and a good one at that, almost certainly means that you have the passion and the drive to become one.

Remember, you are bigger than any fears that you might have. There is help out there to alleviate those fears and concerns. Nursing school, and especially specialized nursing may feel like an uphill battle, but is one you can conquer. You are also the future of the nursing profession. You can do it!