What You Can Do to Inspire Others to Become Nurses

Inspire potential new RNs to join the next generation of nurses

By Lee Soren, contributor

With an aging U.S. population and an increasing shortage of nurses, it's more important than ever to find ways to encourage students and career-seekers of all ages to consider the nursing profession. If you're an RN who loves what you do, here are five ways you can inspire potential new nurses to enter this rewarding field.

1. Share your experience

Students searching for career options are often inspired by people they know. Sometimes, they're drawn by personal stories and tales of life on the job. Other times, they're inspired by their own experiences with nurses as a patient or as the family member of a patient.

By sharing your experience and making yourself available to answer questions, you can help potential nursing students understand the ins and outs of this challenging and rewarding profession. More importantly, you can give a face to nursing by talking about the highlights and rewarding moments of your career. Just be sure to keep your stories HIPAA-compliant.

2. Deliver the facts

The nursing profession has a lot going for it, and one of the best ways you can inspire someone to consider this career path is by delivering facts such as the ones below.

  • Nursing pays well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs made a respectable $71,730 average annual salary in 2018, and salaries can go even higher for travel nurses and for RNs who become certified in a specialty such as cardiac cath lab nursing.
  • Nurses can expect strong career growth. Students looking for job security may appreciate the sunny job outlook for nurses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs to grow at a rate of 12% over the next 10 years, which is more than double the average growth rate of occupations overall.
  • Nurses enjoy a multitude of employment options. Nursing isn't a one-note career. RNs can get certified in a wide array of exciting specialties, including telemetry nursing, gerontology and pediatrics. Adventurous professionals may also consider a lucrative career as a travel nurse, which lets them explore the country while building their resume. Nurses may also opt to work as consultants in other areas such as the legal profession and the criminal justice system.

3. Illuminate the rewards

Having a rewarding career is high on the list of many job seekers, so don't be shy about illuminating the rewards of the nursing profession. By sharing these high points, plus others that have personal meaning to you, you're sure to inspire potential new nurses.

  • Nurses save lives. Some career-seekers are looking to enter a profession where they can make a difference, so it's important to let them know that nurses save lives and that saving a life can come in many forms. 
  • Although most people know that RNs are on the front lines of medical emergencies, making life-or-death decisions, some people don't realize that nurses save lives in more subtle ways. Whether they identify a missed symptom, notice an allergy or recognize an error in a medical order, nurses often save lives before anyone else even realizes a patient is in danger.

  • Nurses are respected. According to a 2019 Gallup Poll, nursing is considered one of the most ethical, honest professions out there. The poll has garnered similar results for nearly two decades.
  • Nurses are needed. Sometimes nurses are there, standing beside patients when family members can't be, offering support, comfort and compassion. They may advocate for patients who can't advocate for themselves and often serve as a liaison between families and physicians, providing aftercare instructions and functioning as a sounding board.

4. Remember what inspires you

Above all, when you're talking to someone considering a nursing career, remember the things that inspire you. Maybe it's the high-energy rush of tending to a busy ward, or maybe it's the daily satisfaction of seeing a patient heading home after a long hospital stay. If you're talking about what motivates you, your passion is sure to shine through in a way that's bound to be inspirational.

5. Be honest

Although it's great to inspire someone to join a profession you love, a career in nursing isn't for everyone. It comes with long hours, overnight shifts, difficult decisions and sometimes heartbreaking losses. Students considering a career as an RN should understand the challenges they'll face as a nurse so they can make an informed decision and know if nursing is truly the right choice for them.

If you want to inspire people from all areas, travel nursing may be the ideal vehicle. 

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