“5 Myths about nurses, all to dispel prejudices“
Nurses are the key to quality medical care and save lives on a regular basis. Without nurses, it is unlikely that many of us would get the quality treatment at hospitals and clinics that we have come to expect. Yet there are many people minimize what nurses do or do not give them the same respect as doctors. Despite many attempts to crush stereotypes about the nursing profession, a number of myths continue to linger. Maybe you are interested in becoming a nurse but have heard some things that have given you some doubts. Do not let these common misconceptions about the profession stop you from exploring the possibilities of becoming a nurse. The healthcare system is expanding rapidly, creating myriad opportunities for specialization throughout the industry. Now that there are hundreds of specializations within the field, it is clear that the opportunities are abundant. With the right education and training, you can steer your nursing career in any direction you choose. In this blog, we will dispel some of the most common misconceptions about nursing.
1. Nursing is a female profession
It appears that nursing care is mainly for women, but it is not. The profession is now also very attractive to men because the technical side has been strengthened. Studies by Purdue University show that more men are entering the profession. New working methods are constantly emerging that require more technical profiles and create additional challenges, and this is very stimulating.
Though it may be true that in the old times, women have dominated the nursing field. However, what usually draws people to become a nurse is the inner desire to serve and impact people’s lives on a daily basis. This aspiration is not just exclusive to women but is rather universal. Men too can choose to serve others in healthcare organizations. A good example is the current pandemic, where both male and females have contributed together in caring for patients who have been infected by the virus. The battle against COVID-19 has been less about gender discrimination and more about being a caregiver.
2. Nursing education is easy
You should not underestimate the complexity of the nursing study program. It is a tough course of study because it combines theory and practice.
It takes a lot of practicing, dedication, skills and extensive knowledge acquired from nursing courses to get your nursing degree and pass the national nursing exam. After you are done with school it does not mean you stop learning. Nursing is a science, and science is constantly updating rules, regulations, procedures, and information so something you learn your first month of school may not even be correct by the end of your first semester. This profession requires continuous training, and therefore you will never stop learning new things.
These days the healthcare industry is getting more innovative, and technology is often implemented. This means that healthcare professionals need to be flexible and quick learners. As an example, no amount of study can prepare one for a situation such as the current pandemic. However, nurses have shown that they are resilient, adaptable, and fast learners even in any given situation.
3. Nurses are the “Doctor’s Slave”
Doctors often develop the medical plan of care, write orders and oversee a patient’s overall progress. However, it is the nurse who takes care and check on the patient hour after hour and day after day. These days, nurses have more responsibility than ever before. They get more autonomy and in cases where time is limited, experienced nurses get authority in decision making.
In the Netherlands, we work in a horizontal hierarchy. This means that we work as a team, and each one has his own well-defined tasks and responsibilities. Doctors expect nurses to be more autonomous and make decisions or recommendations for patient care. This allows the doctors to “check-in” on more patients, and nurses provide assessments to doctors on the changes in the patient condition.
4. Nursing has little chance for professional growth
It takes a whole team of professionals to tend to a nation’s healthcare needs, and nurses play a key role in keeping the healthcare system running. Like mentioned previously, there is great diversity within nursing. Nursing has many opportunities for growth as a large area of specialization courses along with post-graduate masters and courses are available in the Netherlands.
As a junior nurse, you will have to start with the basics of patient care but this does not mean that your career prospect is limited to just that. As you progress and start to specialize, you will be able to take on more responsibility which include being in charge of the wards and helping doctors in recommending proper treatment.Upon registering as a Registered Nurse, you can choose to continue as a general nurse or start to specialize in various nursing disciplines.
Nurses can also opt to branch out to other fields as well. For example, you can work as a medical claims officer or advisor for insurance companies or even take on a coaching role. Moreover, you can become involved in operational roles such as management or even move towards a consulting or HR role. Career opportunities for nurses are abundant.
5. As a nurse it is always easy to find work, anywhere
Whereas in the past everyone believed that nursing students would easily find jobs anywhere, the situation now is a little bit different. If someone wants to work in nursing homes or home care, then they are likely to find a job right away because there is a severe shortage of health workers. But in hospitals it is a bit more complicated because everyone wants to go in that direction.
Having a nursing degree and a second language mastered, will allow you to expand your professional opportunities outside your home country. Many foreign nurses have migrated to the Netherlands in the last years to gain professional and personal life experiences while continuing their specialization.
All in all, choosing a career in nursing is an excellent option for both men and women. It is ideal for those that have just graduated high school as well as those seeking a career switch later on in life. The field of nursing is expanding and there are different specializations which means that the demand for nurses is increasing as well. Especially in the Netherlands where there is an aging population. Therefore, right now is a good time to take the leap and dive into this challenging and rewarding profession.
Are you looking to work in Dutch healthcare?
Now that we have debunked some myths and mentioned the opportunities in the Netherlands, you may be a nurse that is looking to expand your horizon. Perhaps you are interested in working in the Netherlands? Let EMTG help you build your health care career in The Netherlands. It is simply the greatest country to live and work in as a nursing professional. Have a look at our jobs page to find out if there is a specialization that fits with your experience.
Dyess, S., Sherman, R., Pratt, B., Chiang-Hanisko, L., (January 14, 2016) “Growing Nurse Leaders: Their Perspectives on Nursing Leadership and Today’s Practice Environment” OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 21 No. 1.
Purdue University Global. “Nine Major Misconceptions About Nursing.” Purdue Global, Purdue University Global, 15 Jan. 2021, www.purdueglobal.edu/blog/nursing/misconceptions-about-nursing/.