Common Misconceptions About New Nurses

Written by Natalie Sarmiento

Entering the nursing profession can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. With a field that is in high demand for Australians – and one that has a higher intake than most other professions – it is often difficult to avoid the opinions and misconceptions of the public regarding nursing in Australia. It’s unfortunate because these myths can often influence people and their decisions to enter the nursing field. Today we will be going over some common misconceptions and help debunk some of these myths for you: 

  1. Struggles With Decision Making & Critical Thinking
  2. Struggles With Decision Making & Critical Thinking
  3. Nurses Are Only Females 
  4. All Nurses Are Placed In Hospitals 
  5. Becoming A Nurse Is Easy 
  6. Long Hours Are A Commonality 
  7. A Nurse Is A Doctor’s Assistant 
  8. Your Next Steps 

Photo by Los Muertos Crew on Pexels

Struggles With Decision Making & Critical Thinking 

The environment that you are put in is one that is constantly moving, and so adaptability is a key factor in the role and one that all nurses are too familiar with. Being fast at making decisions will allow nurses to identify problems and diagnose their patients fast allowing them to select appropriate treatment. The same goes for critical thinking where nurses can distinguish claims from patients based on their knowledge, judgements and own opinions. It also means that nurses can confirm the accuracy of their information by fact checking and gathering evidence based on their own knowledge. 

Photo by Thirdman on Pexels

Nurses Are Only Females 

One of the most common misconceptions about nursing is that you have to be female. This is not true. It is no secret that females tend to gravitate towards a nursing role, with an estimated 87% of RN roles being occupied by females. With such an imbalance, it is more likely that male nurses will get priority for employment in the healthcare industry as the pool for males is much smaller compared to females. Once employed however, both female and male nurses will find the work very rewarding and will have equal opportunity to learn and experience growth in their careers. 

Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on Pexels

All Nurses Are Placed In Hospitals 

For many years now, Australia has faced a shortage of new nurses in all sectors. This not only includes hospitals but also aged care, residential, surgical, emergency, pediatric and cardiac to name a few. According to the Health Workforce in Australia, there may be a shortfall of more than 100,000 nurses with a nurse shortage of 123,000 to be predicted by 2030. With population growth in Australia and the demand for health services increasing, this could be an eventuality. Rest assured, if you are a new nurse and worried about job prospects, there is a wide pool of sectors and specialty areas that is sure to welcome you with open arms. 

Photo by Los Muertos Crew on Pexels

Becoming A Nurse Is Easy 

Anyone can become a nurse, but that doesn’t mean that it is an easy feat. Like any career choice, nursing has its challenges. It often comes with years of studying, with some students looking to take up more than the average study load if they choose to advance their career. The role itself can also be demanding in a physical, mental and emotional sense. It’s exhausting to be on your feet all day, and tending to patients can often take a toll on you both mentally & emotionally – which is why it is so important to take breaks and know how to care for yourself (see linked one of our previous blog posts for some self-care tips). That’s not to say that nursing is also very rewarding allowing you to make a difference in the lives of others.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Long Hours Are A Commonality 

You may have to pull in a double shift from time-to-time but nursing doesn’t mean that working long hours & night shifts is something that will occur all the time – especially if you are an agency nurse. The beauty of working in an agency means that you are a casual worker and you are able to pick and choose the amount of hours that you work. You aren’t expected to work long hours if it may clash with life events. Likewise, you are able to pick up more hours and longer shifts when your schedules free up and you might need a little extra work to fill your time. The possibilities of shifts are endless! 

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels

A Nurse Is A Doctor’s Assistant 

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about being a nurse and is completely false. Whilst nurses may work very closely with doctors and answer to attendings, they are not employed to work as an assistant. Being a nurse is very demanding and comes with its own challenges. Rather than assisting doctors, they work collaboratively with doctors and other members within the healthcare force. Arguably “nurses are the heart of healthcare” (Donna Wilk Cardillo) and work very patiently and tenderly to care for patients. They are essential in the health industry, often working on the front lines to provide. 

Photo by Павел Сорокин on Pexels

Your Next Steps 

Whether you are about to enter the nursing workforce, or you’ve been a part of the industry for a long time now, we hope we’ve busted some of these myths and made you more confident about the career choices that you have and will continue to make. 

With roles on offer in a variety of facilities and a field that is in high demand across Australia, there is no doubt that becoming a nurse is one that is both challenging & rewarding and it’s important to know that all the work that is done within this industry is greatly appreciated. 

Disclaimer: The advice provided in this article is general in nature. For more information relating to your individual circumstances, please speak to your healthcare provider. 

Looking for nursing agency work? Apply today by completing our online application form or by emailing your CV and cover letter to [email protected]. If we’ve piqued your interest but you’re still undecided, take a look at our FAQs or visit our pages on Facebook and Instagram.

Related Posts

Leading With Heart: Angela Thwaites’ Inspiring Journey of Empowerment and Excellence

This past International Women’s Day, we shine a spotlight on one of the remarkable women in our Lumia Care family: Angela Thwaites, the visionary behind Healthcare HQ. Angela’s journey from a high-acuity specialist nurse to the founder of a leading nursing agency showcases a unique blend of compassion, innovation, and leadership that has significantly impacted the healthcare recruitment industry.

Read More »

Local Business Awards:

2018 & 2020 Finalist

Proud members of: