Last year when the world was struggling to grapple with the devastating impact of coronavirus, doctors and nurses emerged as our true saviors. Throughout the year (and counting still) nurses, along with medical experts continued to deliver round-the-clock care to patients.
Their exhausted and bruised faces, tired eyes, and fatigued bodies from wearing masks and protective gear all through their shifts were trending on social media, showing us how challenging the medical profession can be – while doctors cure patients, nurses care for them.
However, that’s just an ongoing issue that merely highlighted the position nurses hold in society. Nurses have been playing a crucial role in delivering care and treatment to people in need since time immemorial. They’re a pivotal part of the local community as they help shape and deliver result-oriented healthcare advice and treatment to the community members.
This is why nurses are always in high demand. Presently, nursing constitutes the largest occupational group in the healthcare industry, with nearly 59% of medical professionals working as nurses. As of 2020, India has around 3.07 million registered nursing professionals.
According to the latest stats, by 2025, the global healthcare staff market is projected to grow from USD 28,545.73 million (in 2020) to USD 38,879.13 million at a CAGR of 6.37%. The graph below highlights the estimated employment growth for different nursing profiles from 2018-2028:
These stats depict that nursing is a booming field in the healthcare industry and with time, the demand for nurses will increase manifold.
Nursing Responsibilities: What do Nurses Do?
Nurses bear the responsibility of delivering quality healthcare services to all people alike, irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, religious background, and socio-political inclinations. They aim to provide holistic care to all patients, catering to their physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual, and social needs. Nurses work alongside doctors, physicians, therapists, dieticians, etc., to develop care and treatment plans for patients. Their primary focus is to treat illnesses effectively to improve the quality of life of all individuals.
The nursing code and standard varies from country to country. However, all nurses worldwide follow four core principles and ethics of nursing practice:
- To always prioritize the well-being and care delivery of patients.
- To provide quality care and treatment at all times.
- To cooperate and coordinate with other medical experts for ensuring the speedy recovery and well-being of all patients.
- To always act with integrity and uphold the dignity of the nursing profession.
Typically, nurses differ from doctors and other specialist healthcare experts in their training, approach to patient care, and scope of practice. While most nurses offer generic care services, many others specialize in specific areas like palliative care, perioperative nursing, cardiac nursing, orthopedic nursing, obstetrical nursing, oncology nursing, nursing informatics, and telenursing, to name a few. Also, nurses practice with varying degrees of prescription authority and autonomy in care delivery.
Where Do Nurses Work?
Nurses practice and work in a wide range of healthcare settings, including schools and universities, hospitals, private nursing homes, old age homes, rehabilitation centers, physicians’ offices, diagnostic clinics, relief/medical camps, railway hospitals, and national defense bases (military/army/airforce/navy). They often work in shifts (day/night shifts).
Nurses may also act as expert advisors to health insurance companies and also offer advocacy to attorneys (reviewing patient records, testifying in court, etc.). Some nurses may also find employment opportunities in research institutions & laboratories and pharmaceutical companies.
Nursing Salary in India
According to Payscale, a Registered Nurse (RN) in India earns an average annual salary of ₹298,781 LPA.
A Registered Nurse (RN) having less than 1-year experience usually begins their career with a starting salary of ₹233,151 LPA, including bonuses and overtime pay. After gaining around 4 years of experience, Registered Nurses can earn a total compensation of ₹249,994 LPA. In their mid-career (5-9 years of experience), nurses make around ₹393,132 LPA. Experienced nurses having more than 15 years of industry experience earn ₹496,269 LPA.
Thus, like any other profession, nursing salary packages also increase with increasing experience. The more industry experience you gain, the more skilled nurse you become. However, it should be noted that there’s a significant difference between the grade pay of nurses in government and private hospitals – usually, government hospitals pay a higher salary package than private hospitals/nursing homes.
Here’s a table showing the salary package of different nursing professionals in India:
|Profile||Salary (per month)|
|Staff Nurse (GNM)||10,000-15,000|
|Nursing Professor (Teaching)||25,000-45,000|
|Asst. Nursing Superintendent||38,000-60,000|
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?
As a profession, nursing is a very meaningful career choice for individuals who wish to help people and make a difference. A nursing career comes with numerous opportunities, challenges, and rewards. Here are X reasons why you should consider taking up nursing as your profession:
1. You Get to Help People in Need
As a nurse, you will save lives every day. You will monitor patients’ health conditions and administer the right treatment and care to them while also offering emotional support to their families. You will also promote public health and educate people on how to take charge of their health and well-being. Most importantly, you will get plenty of chances to positively impact the lives of people from all walks of life.
2. Nursing Jobs are in Demand
With the world population, aged population, and demand for quality healthcare rising steeply, nurses will always continue to be in high demand. Also, the healthcare industry is rapidly expanding, creating more and more job opportunities for nursing professionals. Since their services are an indispensable part of our society, the nursing profession is here to stay.
3. There’s Plenty of Room to Grow
As we mentioned earlier, nurses can choose from a wide range of specialization tracks and job profiles. The career pathways are diverse. With experience, you will progress from becoming an n Enrolled Nurse to a Registered Nurse or a Nurse Practitioner and then finally to a Nurse Manager/Director. Plus, you will learn and acquire skills like primary care, basic infection control, basic medical asepsis, surgical asepsis, standard precautions, record-keeping, etc.
4. You will Gain Job Satisfaction While Earning a Decent Package
As per the AMN Healthcare’s 2017 survey, 83% of nurses are satisfied with their nursing career. After all, it’s a wonderful feeling when you can help someone get better and give them a better quality of life. Nurses are not only respected by the community as a whole but they are also paid decent salary packages for their services, as we discussed before.
5. You Can Pursue Nursing Education Online
Today, many reputed private institutes offer online nursing programs with valid certifications. These programs have a well-structured curriculum along with a good scope of practical assignments to help nursing students gain real-world skills and knowledge. The greatest advantage of taking up online nursing courses is that you incur much lesser course fees and you get to learn from the comfort of your own home while managing your personal commitments.
Best Online Nursing Courses in India
If you wish to pursue nursing as a career choice, take a look at these online nursing courses offered by upGrad x University of Essex Online:
MSc in Nursing
This is a 2-year master’s course in nursing designed to help you acquire relevant industry skills and knowledge to keep up with the growing demands of nurses in the healthcare industry. You can choose specialization modules according to your educational background and career goals. On course completion, you will be ready to take on entry-level nursing jobs.
PG Diploma in Nursing
This is a 16-month diploma program in nursing. The course modules are structured to help you deepen your field knowledge while also learning topics and concepts useful for nursing management. With this course, you can easily transition and upgrade to senior-level roles in the nursing field.
PG Certificate in Nursing
This is an 8-month short-term nursing course, perfect for candidates who want to develop nursing skills without committing too much time to upskilling. It will not only teach you important nursing concepts and techniques, but also help you ace critical thinking, attention to detail, time management, and other nursing skills. While keeping the core topics intact, you can customize your course module by choosing specific areas of interest.
All three courses promise to give candidates a certification of completion offered by the University of Essex Online. And since each of them is delivered completely online, you can upskill without leaving your current job or educational commitments!