Nursing offers a number of advantages over other potential careers. The nature of work, in any one of the many and varied nursing specialists that exist, is as challenging as it is rewarding. Whether nurses are working directly with patients to deliver bedside care, or are working behind the scenes applying their knowledge elsewhere, nursing is about helping other people. As such, it is a career path that many parents would be happy to see their children embark upon, and a dream that is worth nurturing and encouraging.
Encouraging your child to pursue their dreams is a natural instinct, but many parents worry about inadvertently putting pressure on their child and causing them to feel that they have to pursue something which they may ultimately lose interest in. It is therefore important that we tread a fine line between encouraging our children and leaving them room to maneuver should they change their minds.
Elementary School Children
Younger children probably only have a very basic view of what a nurse does. Many children assume either that nurses are assistants to doctors, or that the role is for those who aren’t good enough to qualify as a full doctor.
Neither of these perceptions is quite accurate as the role of a nurse is different to that of a doctor. It isn’t a case of one being better than the other, the different roles attract different types of people and children shouldn’t be led to think that nursing is inferior or less important.
In part, because of the way that nurses are often portrayed in television shows and movies, and also because the field traditionally favors women, many children are under the impression that being a doctor is a mans job and being a nurse a woman’s job. It is important that children understand that both genders can perform either role.
Middle School Children
For slightly older children, you can begin to go into more detail about what nursing entails. If you can demonstrate to your child how some of the subjects that they are currently learning about at school could be applied to nursing, then this will help to make the subject more relevant to them.
You might want to introduce children at this age to the concept of qualifications and give them some basic information on how they might one day obtain one. There are many different levels of nursing, with progression requiring the completion of a more advanced course each time. The end goal is the DNP or FNP program. You should also explain that in today’s world it is possible to study nursing online. Online Doctor of Nursing programs tend to be much more flexible and affordable.
High School and Older
Once children reach high school age, it is worth making them aware of the specifics of a nurse’s job and why the functions they perform are important, not only in the clinical setting but to society more generally. Children who have retained their passion for nursing until this age are likely to maintain their enthusiasm and so their desire to become a nurse should be taken seriously.
Nursing is a career path that offers fantastic job security and ample room for progression; it is a potential career that should be encouraged in enthusiastic children.