Why rural nursing?


Hello everyone!

I just discovered and joined this forum. I am an older nursing student who is getting her LPN and then will continue to her RN (so I can work at LPN wages instead of Nurses Aide wages :uhoh3: while finishing up!) I am really excited about FINALLy being able to do what I have wanted to do for a long time. The kids are grown and grandkids are thriving so now it is time for me!

As I a way to get to know who everyone is AND as a way to help me with a small research paper I am doing - would any of you be willing to tell me why you chose to be a nurse in a rural area (especially if you are at a rural hospital)? Have you worked in an urban setting? What are the pros and cons of rural nursing vs. urban nursing?

I must admit to some ulterior motives for this research topic as I am trying to decide where I want to practice also. I live in a rural area however have several urban hospitals within a 50-60 mile radius.

Thanks for your help......



Well, the number one reason that I work in a rural setting is that is where we live. My husband is a logger. And I don't want to drive 70+ miles one way to work in the "big city".

There are many postives about working in a small hospital - at our hospital we have CNA's and ward clerks and RN's and occasionally an LVN. I understand in bigger hospitals, CNA's and ward clerks are being taken away.

Flexibility is another reason - I get to work med/surg, OB, Post-Partum, Surgery and ER. Our patients can range from newborns to the elderly. I like the diversity.

Also, after growing up in So. Cal and living there as an adult - I wanted a slower-paced lifestyle. I like living in the mountains.

It all just depends on what you want. I could never just work OB all the time - but having a laboring mom every once in awhile is a nice change.

Best wishes.



4 Posts

Hey again everyone - thanks for the one response I have. I have a feeling most people will agree with you. However, I hope people will post their response anyway, even if in agreement. I need to be able to show numbers of responses and %'s so hope y'all can help out.

I am so excited about being able to finally get my college degree and this paper is really helping me make some decisions.

I'll bet most people work in rural areas because that is where their spouse lives and works.

Good luck with your paper and I hope some more people post here for ya!



321 Posts

There are definite advantages and disadvantages to working in a rural facility. I work in a 60 bed facility with a 4 bed ED. I live about two miles from work. I have also driven 60 miles one way to work at a larger facility and couldn't handle the drive after a while so I came to work here. I love it here and we are all like family. If one hurts, we all hurt(which can be bad) One of the biggest drawbacks to working in a rural hospital are that there is usually not a whole lot of room for advancement. Most of the nurses are here until they die or retire(whichever comes first). The next is that if someone comes in to the ED, you usually know them and that can sometimes be bad, especially if there isn't a good outcome. Overall, though, I guess the main reason I stay here is because you never know what is coming through the door and you have limited resources. This can be scary, but it really tests your skills and makes you think on your feet.


4 Posts

Hey everyone:

I just wanted to report back on the results of my rural nursing research paper. I got a 100% on it and came out of the class with a 4.0 GPA.

Thanks for everyone's help!


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