Six Barriers Nurses Face Throughout Their Career

by Lalithaa

What careers come to your mind when someone asks you about the noblest profession? People either say educators or healthcare workers. Both are prestigious professions as they serve humanity. Nurses are the spine of healthcare organizations; without their support, medical facilities collapse. Most people hold nurses in high regard as they have memories of how nurses had helped them when they were vulnerable. Nurses work shoulder to shoulder with doctors and help them in providing necessary treatment. They also give patients emotional support and lend a shoulder to cry. Most nurses exhibit a gentle aura and carry smiles 24/7. Nonetheless, their job is challenging as they have to juggle multiple tasks. 

The nursing sector has evolved over the years, but challenges in nursing existed even before. Modern-day nurses have technical tools and use technological equipment. Still, they face numerous barriers in performing their jobs.  Although the nursing sector faces many obstacles, it is one of the popular career fields. Many people find their calling in nursing as they want to work in a profession that enables them to serve humanity. Many nurse practitioners dedicate their whole lives to their job; still, they encounter many challenges. 

Some of the barriers nurses face throughout their career are as follows:

  • Workplace Dangers

Nurses work with sharp tools and delicate pieces of equipment. They need to demonstrate vigilance while handling them to avoid hurting themselves or patients. Moreover, nurses deal with all kinds of patients. They need to ensure that they do not get contagious diseases from them. Medical organizations should ensure that nurses go through a proper training program to learn the handling of medical equipment. 

Another primary concern is that nurses often encounter patients who are violent and can assault them. In unfortunate cases, when patients pass away, their families react violently, putting nurses’ safety in danger. 

  • Excruciating Working Hours

The most prominent concern for almost all nurses from all over the world is long working hours. Nurses are generally the overworked professionals who often have to put in double treble shifts straight. Nurses have to constantly run here and there, tackle multiple tasks while standing on one foot. Long working hours lead to stress, demotivation, and other physical health problems that affect their performance. In severe cases, it results in medical negligence that can exacerbate patients’ conditions or, in the worst case, cause them to die. Nurses have started complaining, and many health experts realize that overworking on nurses’ end impacts their efficiency. Sometimes it results in demotivating them to continue their studies. But here’s a piece of good news! In a technically advanced world, individuals can opt for virtual learning. They can register in msn to dnp online program and learn appropriate ways of handling medical tools and equipment and tactics of dealing with patients.

  • Bullying

Bullying and harassment are not limited to nurses, as many professionals report such cases. Still, they are widespread in the nursing sector. Nurses are generally emphatic, and they deal with people gently. The sad part is, sometimes,  physical or verbal abuse comes from other healthcare professionals, making nurses feel suffocated. In most cases, junior nurses are the ones who face bullying as, unfortunately, veteran nurses are not welcoming and understanding. Sometimes they have also endured bullying in their junior years. When they become seniors, unconsciously, they behave the same way. Bullying is not a new barrier that affects nurses, as they have reported many cases in the past too. An appropriate system needs to be in place that can ensure nurses’ safety.

  • Lack of Self-care

Nurses are overworked, and they do not generally get enough time to invest in themselves. Many nurses advise patients to follow a healthy lifestyle, incorporate exercise and have a proper sleeping schedule. Still, their schedule does not allow them to follow the same. Lack of self-care affects their mental health and adds to their anxiety and stress. Nurses need to understand that nobody can pour from an empty cup, and to provide patients with the best care, they need to improve self-care. 

  • Inadequate Staffing

Most healthcare facilities deal with the shortage of nurses. The constant rise in medical issues and the emergence of new diseases are putting a strain on nurses. In other professions, being short-staffed affects organizations’ efficiency, leading to poor performance. However, when it comes to nursing, it can become a matter of life and death. Overworked nurses fail to deliver as per expectations resulting in poor patient outcomes. Experts predict that healthcare issues will further rise. Medical facilities should hire more nurses to ease the burden and ensure quality care.

  • Professional Burnout

There are several issues in the nursing industry. One of the significant barriers that nurses face throughout their careers is stress and professional burnout.  Nurses’ job is far from a piece of cake. They encounter people from all walks of life and their days are very dramatic. Nurses witness patients in their vulnerable conditions and sometimes see people right after they have experienced accidents. The incidents’ take a toll on their mental health and add to their stress. Prolonged stress causes professional burnout, which renders nurses depersonalized and unmotivated. In addition, many nurses work straight for long hours, and their routine affects their sleep cycle. They do not get sufficient time to indulge in leisure activities, resulting in depression and anxiety. Nurses should get proper breaks and take care of their diet to perform proficiently in their jobs. 


Nurses are crucial to the medical industry. They deal with an essential aspect of human lives; health and strive to give their best to patients. Nurses’ jobs are demanding, and they face multiple challenges in their day-to-day life. Cancellation of shifts or doing straight double treble shifts is common among nurses, impacting their performance and mental health. With continuous advancements in technology and emerging new diseases, nurses often find it hard to learn new ways constantly. Many nurses work their whole lives in nursing and yet report that they confront the same problems at the end of their careers as they had at the beginning.

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