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Things You’ll Love and Hate Working as a Nurse or CNA

Things You’ll Love and Hate Working as a Nurse or CNA

Discussing the positive and negative sides of a medical career, people often concentrate on physicians overlooking other health professionals. While some of the pros and cons are the same for any medical worker, the work experience for nurses and CNAs has its unique features.


Many nursing specializations enjoy above-average earnings. claims a nurse can expect to be paid $69,270 per year, on average. The salary level typically varies from $47,000 to $91,000 depending on a variety of factors.

Moreover, some specializations are known for high salaries. According to Nurse Journal, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist earns around $143,739 per year, a Nurse Researcher makes around $81,500, a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner makes $101,602, while the annual salary of a Certified Nurse Midwife reaches $102,390. The list of highest-paying nursing specializations also includes Orthopedic Nurses ($101,034), Nurse Practitioners ($107,480), Pediatric Nurses ($58,914), Clinical Nurse Specialists ($87,184), Geriatric Nurses ($94,000), and Neonatal Nurses ($61,168). While an associate degree in nursing is enough for some of these specializations, others require a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

According to the Nursing.Org, the salary of a nursing assistant varies from $20,500 to over $32,940, depending on the state. Mean salary is $28,540. The highest-paying states include Nevada, Alaska ($32,940+), as well as Washington, New York, California, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut ($28,790). Most of the lowest-paying states are located in the Southeast region.

Time consumption

The sleepless nights, for which medical students are notorious, don’t finish after graduation. Shifts longer than 13 hours are the harsh reality of working in medicine, no matter whether you’re a CNA or a physician. 

Academic challenges

During their studies, nurses typically have an impressive course load, while the process of orientation at their workplace also involves much knowledge-acquiring. Even those for whom learning has always come naturally often struggle at medical school.


Working long hours isn’t the only reason why medical specialists often experience difficulties in maintaining the work-life balance. The price of even a minor mistake can be overwhelmingly high. You may have to witness sufferings and deaths, sometimes several times a day.

While nurses may disagree with the orders physicians give, they have to obey even if they are sure these orders will do harm to their patients. They may have to contemplate patients’ sufferings without being able to alleviate them. Things like this can mentally weigh on you and keep you awake in bed.

It can be unpleasant

While learning to perform a nail care procedure, for instance, isn’t difficult, in itself, many people could feel this type of contact isn’t psychologically comfortable for them. Such responsibilities can be unpleasant, but most people just get used to them.

Nursing lawsuits

In 2017, there were slightly below 8,500 paid medical malpractice claims for all healthcare practitioners in the US. Many of them are nursing lawsuits.

Personal satisfaction

Helping others and saving lives is part of what nurses and CNAs do or take part in on a daily basis. For many, this is what brings purpose to their own lives.

… And dissatisfaction

Suicide rates are higher than average among both physicians and those who work in healthcare support, including nursing assistants and home health aides.


As a nurse, you will be knowledgeable on the subject important for each and every person. Your advice, opinion, and help will be often sought after. 

While any career has its positive and negative sides, medicine is especially controversial. It’s both fascinating and disturbing. From the one hand, it comes with envious benefits. From the other, maintaining a healthy life-work balance can be a challenge.


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