When you decide to embark on a career in medicine, you embark on one of the longest and toughest journeys you could possibly choose. Life as a nurse is one of the most rewarding, but also most challenging courses a career in medicine can take, and making this kind of commitment should require a lot of forethought, training, and careful planning. You’ must consider a variety of issues and situations you’ll have to handle as a nurse, and decide whether or not it sounds like a job that you would truly be comfortable handling.

To begin with, nursing requires a precise knowledge of the human body, as well as a very up-close and personal experience with it. You’ll have to interact with all sorts of people, and handle all sorts of bodily problems they’re experiencing. To put it lightly, being a nurse requires a love of people. All people. To put it frankly, being a nurse requires dealing with some highly unpleasant personal experience. And not always at the result of something like a personality conflict. The duties of a nurse can be all-out harrowing, but the rewards that come with the work you’ll ultimately be doing are well worth the price of admission.

Nursing also involves a heavy degree of responsibility. Each night you go to work, just like anybody else. The difference for a nurse, however, is that going to work involves caring for, and in many instances, hopefully saving the lives of your fellow human beings. That’s a lot of responsibility, and a nurse must be prepared for the cases in which our best isn’t good enough. Nurses have the responsibility of keeping us healthy and doing their best to fix us when we become badly broken, but there are some damages beyond fixing. As a nurse, you’ll come face-to-face with this idea in its rawest form, and will have to be able to keep going another day every time you do.

Can you communicate very well? Nursing requires incredibly effective communication skills. You’ll have to communicate with a variety of individuals in a variety of states, and some of them won’t communicate with you willingly or cooperatively. The patience of a nurse is astronomically well-developed, so one of the qualifications for a career in nursing is a very well-stocked reserve of extra patience. (After all, the old saying goes, “Why don’t you be like a doctor and have some patience?”)

Even though nursing comes with its fair share of daunting challenges, it can’t be stressed enough how high the rewards are. Everyone starts at the bottom, but all it takes is a strong will and determination to earn a masters in nursing. Having the intelligence is one thing, but perseverance is another. If you can push through, however, the work you’ll do as a nurse is some of the most important work you could possibly be doing, and the way you’ll feel when you see the gratitude in a healthy patient’s eyes will make sure you know you’ve made the right choice.