Is a rural nursing career for you? Healthcare facilities in rural areas are often seeking nurses, and many are willing to hire new graduates. The job comes with great rewards, but also many challenges. This quiz can help you decide if you are more of a country mouse or a city mouse in terms of your nursing career.
Where did you grow up?
A. Rural area or farm
B. Small-to-medium town surrounded by rural communities
C. Urban or suburban area
Where does your family live or want to live?
A. Village or rural community, and can’t imagine living anywhere else
B. Urban or suburban area, but would like to move someplace less crowded
C. Urban or suburban area and would prefer to stay there
What type of specialty in nursing are you interested in practicing?
A. All kinds — from pediatric to geriatric; chronic care to the ED
B. General at first, but maybe specialize after a few years
C. Specialize as soon as possible
You like the idea of practicing:
B. With some supervision initially, then independently
C. With lots of supervision and many colleagues for support
Your favorite non-work activities include:
A. Outdoor sports such as hiking, skiing, rafting, climbing
B. Mostly outdoor activities, but mixed with some indoor activities like shopping and movies
C. Indoor activities such as restaurants, nightclubs, museums, theater
How important is a good salary and benefits package?
A. Not a first priority, especially if the cost of living is lower
B. Not important for a starting position, but you want the opportunity to earn a good living eventually
C. Very important — with a family to support and loans to pay off, you need financial security
What is your ideal practice setting?
A. Small, where everyone knows everyone and the CEO’s office is down the hall
B. Small-to-medium, where people know each other but with room for professional growth
C. Large teaching facility, with all the latest technology
How flexible are you in terms of your work schedule?
A. Very flexible
B. Somewhat flexible
C. Not very flexible
The idea of being the only RN on a unit at night is:
A. Scary, but intriguing; with the right training you think you could eventually handle it
B. Overwhelming; you would need support for quite a while before taking it on
C. Utterly terrifying; not a situation you would ever want to be in
How would you prefer to further your nursing education?
A. Distance learning
B. A mixture of classroom and distance learning
C. Mostly classroom learning
If you answered mostly:
A career in rural nursing sounds like a good fit. Consider applying to rural facilities, emphasizing your flexibility, desire for independence and familiarity with rural settings.
Rural nursing is a possibility. Look for employers who offer preceptor and residency programs that provide strong support for new nurses.
Rural nursing, though wonderful for some, is probably not your cup of tea.
Cathryn Domrose is a staff writer.
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