Nursing is one of the most respected and well-known professions in the world, but the public knowledge of this growing career still holds some misconceptions.
It’s about time we step up and debunk these myths about nursing once and for all.
Here are the 7 common misconceptions that we often hear about.
7 Myths about Nursing
Myth #1: Nursing Is A Low-Skilled Profession; Anyone Can Be A Nurse Right?
Truth: Nursing is a highly skilled profession that is not easily attainable by anyone
First of all to even qualify to study nursing, one must have studied science and achieved a minimum grade requirement for that subject.
Why? Nurses need to have a basic grasp of science concepts before they can take on complex core sciences in their education – namely health sciences, nursing sciences and behavioural sciences.
And because nurses are required to work closely with other healthcare professionals, they need to be knowledgeable in their field before they can come up with the best nursing care plan for their patients.
Their other tasks which include assessing patients’ response and providing support to doctors also requires them to possess great clinical skills in their nursing profession.
Myth #2: Nurses Can Only Do Nursing Jobs Forever
Truth: The prospects for nurses are wide ranging.
You can climb the ranks from junior to senior nurse, specialise in different areas of care or even apply your nursing skills in non-healthcare industries!
1. You Can Progress Up the Career Ladder
Believe it or not, nurses don’t only clean up patients and perform basic medical care.
As a junior nurse, you will have to start with the basics of patient care but this doesn’t mean that your career prospect is limited to just that.
As you progress and start to specialise, you’ll be able to take on more responsibility which include being in charge of the wards and helping doctors in recommending proper treatment.
Nurses can also progress up the ladder from junior to supervisor level with the experience that they have accumulated over the years.
By then, you will be tasked to guide other nurses under your wing.
And if you want to take on even more responsibilities, you can rise to higher influential ranks as Chief Nurse!
2. You Can Specialise in Many Nursing Fields
Yes, not all nurses are the same!
Upon qualifying as a Registered Nurse, you can choose to continue as a general nurse or start to specialise in various nursing disciplines.
Good news is that the more technical and in demand your chosen field, the more your earning potential can be.
The different fields a nurse can specialise in include critical care nursing, medical surgical nursing, anesthetist nursing, psychiatric nursing, pediatric nursing and many more.
3. Nurses Can Branch-Out to Non-Healthcare Fields
There are many fields which seek out the knowledge that nurses have.
For example, you can work as a medical claims officer or advisor for insurance companies or a nurse educator in education institutions.
Want more career options?
You can be more involved in operational roles such as hospital management or even start your own confinement centre or elderly care business!
Career opportunities for nurses are abundant.
To keep increasing your value, the most important thing is to continue learning, build experience and progress your nursing education!
Myth #3: Nursing is a Woman’s Job
It’s true that women have dominated the nursing field since the start of the profession.
However, what draws people to the nursing profession is the inner desire to serve and impact patients’ lives on a daily basis.
This aspiration is not just exclusive to women; it’s universal.
Men too can choose to serve others if that’s what they want.
In fact, men have certain physical advantages which may be required to care and support some patients or in physically demanding emergency situations.
According to the US Census Bureau Report, “Men in Nursing Occupations”, there were 9.6% of male nurses in 2011, as compared to just 2.7% in 1970.
The number of male nurses are increasing over the years and will only continue to rise in the future.
Read about the benefits of being a male nurse here.
Myth #4: There Are Too Many Nurses Around and No One Wants to Hire Them
The demand for nurses today are higher than ever. Nursing jobs are estimated to grow 15% to 2026 from 2016.
Today, there are approximately 3 million employed nurses in the United States and 439,300 positions are expected to be open by 2024.
Countries like Australia and Canada have high demands for nurses and are willing to pay high salaries for expat nurses.
As of 2017, the average annual salary for a registered nurse in Canada is C$59,783 (RM179,819.98), whereas in Australia, nurses can potentially earn up to AU$61,000 (RM186,782.71) annually.
Even in Malaysia, there are many well established and reputable hospitals such as Sunway Medical Hospital which nurses will find a good learning foundation and rewarding career.
Myth #5: Nursing Studies is All Theory
If you think nursing school is all about attending classes and completing assignments then you’re wrong.
Nursing school is not like any other college/university experience.
Rarely will you be sitting in a lecture hall listening to your lecturers talk for hours at a time. Instead, there will be lots of practical classes for you to attend.
On top of that, you will be placed at various hospitals for clinical rotation throughout the duration of your studies.
It’s important for you to become an active participant in your learning process to hone the relevant clinical skills and knowledge.
Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get into action!
Myth #6: Nurses Deal With Poop And Pee All Day
Truth: The role of a nurse is diverse and doesn’t only deal with bodily fluids. We thought it’s worth mentioning this again!
They also do more than just cleaning bandages or changing bedpans.
Nurses assess their patients’ health status and focus on helping them to meet their emotional, social and physical needs.
1. Give Quality Patient Care
Nurses build trust and positive interactions with patients by listening to their needs and providing care when patients are in pain and at their most vulnerable state.
They show compassion and help to take away patients’ fear by addressing their concerns.
2. Provide Emotional Support
Nurses empathise with patients by practicing psychosocial care, which is mostly used in oncology and long-term patient care.
It involves looking after a patient’s mental and emotional state so that it’s easier for patients to cope with major life changes such as age-related illnesses and cancer.
3. Work Closely With Doctors And Medical Assistants
Nurses very often need to interact and collaborate with other nurses, doctors, medical staffs, and administrators to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
They take an active role in evaluating the safety of a treatment plan before implementing it and assess the patients’ responses to the plan.
Myth #7: My Job As A Nurse Starts From 9-5
In reality, nurses usually work 10-hours a day or more per shift, though this varies.
Oftentimes nurses need to work overtime, whether voluntarily or not. And some are required to take on night shifts.
It Is a Calling
Despite long and unusual hours, nursing is still a profession chosen by many because it is not just a job that pays; it is also a noble calling.
Great nurses have the passion to help and serve others in need, and a deep internal desire to work in a profession which they view as meaningful and valuable.
It goes without saying that nurses need to be both strong mentally and physically to adapt to urgent situations that involve life and death.
Convinced that nursing is your calling?
Apply for a FULL nursing scholarship at one of Malaysia’s top leading healthcare facilities here.