Why Nursing Is a Great Career - On Board Virginia

Why Nursing Is a Great Career

Posted on May 31, 2023

With just over 3 million registered nurses nationwide as of May 2022, it’s clear that nursing lies at the heart of healthcare. Nurses provide crucial medical services that range from hands-on patient intake and monitoring to bedside support and communication. It takes a special kind of person to provide compassionate care and nurses do it every day. By now you might be wondering, “Is nursing a good career for me?” It’s a tough job, but many find nursing to be deeply rewarding!  

Read on to learn more about:

• How to become a nurse in Virginia

• Nursing is an in-demand career

• Providing compassionate care to patients is fulfilling

• What it means to be a nurse

There are countless reasons to become a nurse! Learn how you can get started on a path towards a rewarding career in nursing.

How to Become a Nurse in Virginia

The Virginia Board of Nursing (VBON) handles all nurse licensing in the state. They uphold nursing requirements and can guide you through the necessary steps, whether you’re looking to become an RN or are switching your license to a Virginia license.
Beyond that, the steps to becoming a registered nurse Virginia are straightforward.
You’ll need to:

• Graduate from an approved nursing program

• Apply for an RN license from VBON

• Register for and pass the NCLEX within 90 days of applying for your license

• Complete continuing education courses to renew your license every two years

Can’t decide which nursing program to attend?

Virginia has several top-ranking nursing programs, with four schools placing within the top 100 US Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs according to US News & World Report’s 2022–2023 report.

These include:

• University of Virginia (tied for #15)

• Virginia Commonwealth University (tied for #22)

• George Mason University (tied for #93)

• James Madison University (tied for #93)

A BSN takes four years to complete.

You can also complete a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). This is often a cost-effective option for those looking to get into the workforce. Some employers may require team members to complete a BSN within a certain amount of time following employment, and often provide tuition assistance to do so. RNs looking to earn their BSN to further career can apply for an RN to BSN hybrid program. Such programs are designed as pipelines into fulfilling nursing positions.

Nursing Is an In-Demand Career

Nursing is an in-demand career with professional and economic growth potential.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a national nursing shortage that has prompted leaders to refocus on investing in nursing schools, hospital training, and apprenticeship programs for nursing assistants.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) predicts a growing need for nurses as the US demographic changes.

On the one hand, an increasing number of older adults (defined as age 65 and older) will require more professionals to administer geriatric care.

On the other hand, nurses are facing similar changes. The average age of an RN is just over 50 years old according to a 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey. This may indicate a large retirement wave in the upcoming years, and there’s a critical need to replenish the workforce.

It’s clear that nurses are in high demand. Many find nursing to be a promising career with good salaries that scale with experience and education.

Registered nurses in Virginia can start at a $70,000 salary on average, depending on their industry and location. With continued formal training, RNs can grow deeper within their field to become:

• Nurse Educators

• Clinical Research Nurses

• Nurse Recruiters

• Nurse Leaders

• Hospital Managers & Administrators

• And more

As mentioned, getting your BSN and maintaining your continuing education courses will help solidify a fruitful nursing career!

Providing Compassionate Care to Patients Is Fulfilling

We’ve covered some of the official requirements in nursing as well as the growth potential. But beyond the hard skills, what does it take to be a nurse?

The most successful nurses know how to balance medical know-how with empathy. After all, nurses work directly with patients who are navigating difficult or stressful diagnoses or situations.

Not only can compassion help alleviate a patient’s anxiety about their health, but it also encourages more transparent communication between a nurse and their patient. This is critical when collecting information needed for accurate medical assessment.

Good bedside manners rely on:

• Respect for the patient, regardless of their background

• Validation for the patient’s feelings as they navigate their health

• An empathetic approach to relaying information

Compassionate care allows nurses to overcome language, cultural, and mental barriers to better understand patient needs and provide exceptional healthcare services. If you’re passionate about helping people, then nursing could be the career for you!

Check out Mesha Jone’s testimonial on why she loves being an RN in Virginia below:

Is being a nurse worth it? We like to think so! Nurses play a key role in providing quality healthcare services directly to patients. An in-demand career field and continuous opportunities for advancement and growth can make for an immensely rewarding profession. 

At On Board Virginia, we have the honor (and pleasure) of helping prospective nurses find their home in healthcare while falling in love with Virginia! Learn more about healthcare roles that suit you at jobs.onboardvirginia.com.