While nursing is a highly rewarding career from both a personal and financial standpoint, not everyone is cut out for the profession. But if you think you have what it takes to become a nurse, there’s never been a better time to do so. Not only is nursing a fast-growing, high-demand occupation, the 16-month ABSN program at Loyola University Chicago makes it possible to accelerate into the profession.
Ready to see if you have what it takes to become a nurse by way of our ABSN program? Consider the nine questions we’ve listed below. Your responses will give you a good idea of whether a nursing career is to be, or not to be.
1. Do you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree?
Designed as a second-degree option, our ABSN program gives you credit for what you’ve already accomplished as an undergraduate. Whether you studied advertising, zoology, or anything in between, the program builds on your bachelor’s degree so you can graduate from nursing school in 16 months.
A Leader in Nursing Education
Highly regarded in Chicago and across the nation, the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing has long been known as a leader in educating baccalaureate-prepared nurses. In fact, Niehoff is home to the oldest BSN program in Illinois, with the first class admitted in 1935.
2. Can you keep pace with the rigorous curriculum?
It takes a lot of time, energy, and discipline to succeed in nursing school, especially if you’re going into it at an accelerated pace. It’s fair to say that being in an ABSN program is like holding down a full-time job. There will be weeks where you could easily devote 60 hours to your studies, which is why having the right support system in place is important to your success. So don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to help with some of your household tasks.
3. Do you like math?
If numbers make you cringe or you despise the FOIL method, you may want to rethink a career in nursing. After all, math is vital to the profession. For instance, nurses use basic algebra skills to accurately calculate doses and IV rates for patients. They must also know how to interpret numerical data to assess disease patterns in patients. Acceptance into our ABSN program hinges on your successful completion of math-heavy prerequisites that include chemistry and statistics.
4. Can you stomach science?
If you had a problem dissecting things in high school biology, you may want to consider a different career path. After all, nurses have exposure to blood and bodily fluids on a daily basis. But not only that, they rely on their knowledge of science to determine the best course of action when caring for a patient and to properly dispose of biomedical waste. Therefore, as a prospective ABSN student, you must successfully complete a series of science-based prerequisite courses, including anatomy, physiology, and microbiology before you can enroll in the program.
Nursing in Chicago
Of all the metropolitan areas in the country, Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights has one of the highest employment levels for registered nurses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses working in this metro area earn an annual mean wage of $76,640. Just don’t expect to earn this high of a salary as a newbie nurse.
5. Can you stay calm in chaotic situations?
When you’re a nurse, chaos just comes with the territory. To effectively carry out this important caregiver role, you must be able to remain calm, cool, and collected in intense situations where patient lives could be at stake. Plus, nursing school in itself is chaotic, so good planning and time management skills are a must.
6. Do you have empathy for others?
Not everyone is wired to show empathy toward others. But when caring for patients from all walks of life, it’s important that nurses not pass any judgments. Nurses who are able to look at a situation from the patient’s point of view and respond compassionately often achieve the best outcomes.
7. Can you be in control of your emotions?
While nurses are in the business of saving lives, they must be able to cope with the realities of human suffering and the loss of a patient. Therefore, you need to be someone who’s emotionally strong and not afraid to seek counseling and support to help prevent job burnout. Essentially, being a nurse means understanding that you can’t save everybody.
8. Do you have the necessary physical endurance?
Nursing is a line of work that requires good physical stamina. You must be able to stand for long periods of time as well as lift and transfer patients of all shapes and sizes. Even the best, most expensive pair of nursing shoes can’t prevent sore feet or lower back pain entirely.
9. Do you like being part of a team?
If you’re critical of collaboration, then nursing might throw you for a loop. Given the interprofessional nature of health care, nurses must be able to function effectively as part of a team that works in concert to achieve the best possible patient outcomes.
The Nature of Nursing
Most people go into the nursing profession because they want to help people, which is a noble thing to do. However, when confronted with the harsh realities of the job, some of these individuals soon realize it’s not the job they thought it would be. For this reason, no one should enter into the nursing profession lightly.
If you’re on the fence about accelerating into the nursing profession, it’s worth your time to contact one of our dedicated ABSN enrollment advisors. He or she can review your academic history, explain what it takes to be successful in our 16-month ABSN program, and go over all the steps of applying to the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola University Chicago.