Most college students enter secondary school with an idea of what they want to study, and most college students probably have an idea of what career they would life to pursue after graduation. It can be difficult to commit to a path, in college, which will ultimately determine how much money they earn, the hours they will work, and how much stress is included with the demands of their job. However, it is important for all college students to consider how happy their career will make them, and if they will be happy with their choice. According to Nicholas Lore, author of Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success, there are an estimated thirty percent of individuals are not happy with their career, “they go to work because forced by circumstanced to do so; actively dislikes significant parts of job; daily routine marked by struggle” (44). Nursing and elementary education are two fields of study that can lead to a career as a registered nurse or an elementary school teacher. These two careers are very much pursued by a wide-range of students. Although the occupations are very different, there are similarities that connect the two careers.
Registered nurses and elementary school teachers both work with the public, so in order to succeed and be happy with these occupations one should possess good social and communication skills. Registered nurses must know how to comfort those who are not well, and elementary school teachers must also provide comfort to students. If an individual does not have good communication and social skills, then he or she will probably not be happy with these occupations.
A difference between a registered nurse and an elementary school teacher is the schedules and hours that are required. Most of the time elementary school teachers have the summers off and have the same vacation days their students have, which is an ample amount of vacation time every year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated, “Many kindergarten and elementary school teachers work the traditional 10-month school year.” Elementary school teachers also work during the day, and most elementary school teachers are off of work by mid-afternoon. A registered nurse must work a much more demanding schedule than an elementary school teacher. It is true that registered nurses can obtain work at public and private schools or doctors’ offices, but more than likely registered nurses will have to work some of their career at a hospital. Hospitals never close, so it is possible that a registered nurse could have to work holidays, third shift schedules, or be on call to come to work if needed by the hospital.
Another difference between the two occupations is the amount of pay that is earned annually. A registered nurse makes a considerable amount more than an elementary school teacher. A registered nurse is also likely to find a job easier than an elementary school teacher because the demand for registered nurses is high and will continue to increase. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for registered nurses will grow faster than most through 2019.” Unfortunately, there has been a job shortage for elementary school teachers in certain parts of the country. A registered nurse has the advantage of earning more income and having job security, and an elementary school teacher does not get paid very much and may have a difficult time finding a job after graduation.
A registered nurse and an elementary school teacher both have advantages and disadvantages, and both occupations contrast each other very much. Although money and job security are great advantages to a career, it should not be the factors that drive one toward that career path. It is important that individuals decide to do what makes them happy. A registered nurse and a teacher are both very rewarding careers; both careers enable an individual to help others, which is a rewarding.
Lore, Nichalos. Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Success. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1998. Print.
"Your Nursing Career: A Look at the Facts." American Association of Colleges of Nursing. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2014
"Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau
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