Nurse Vs Occupational Therapist (OT), Which Is Better? (Explained)

Are you trying to decide what to study or what career to pursue?

Are you debating whether to become a Nurse or an Occupational Therapist (OT)?

Choosing which one to study can be a difficult and daunting task.

As a result, this is why I’ve written this article.

So, Nurse Vs Occupational Therapist (OT), Which Is Better? 

Nursing is more demanding than Occupational Therapy (OT) since it involves dealing with sick and dying patients, working long hours, and working shifts. However, becoming a nurse provides greater pay and a wider range of career possibilities to improve earning potential.

Nursing is seen to be better than Occupational Therapy (OT) in that it pays greater earnings and provides more career choices. Occupational Therapy (OT) is thought to be better than Nursing since it involves less stress, pays well, and is in higher demand.

However, this question’s solution can be found in a person’s interests in one or both of the fields.

Both professions have the potential to lead to a rewarding career; nevertheless, your ability to adapt to the domain you pick is important.

Understanding the differences between the two disciplines is perhaps the most efficient approach to discovering and following your passions.

You may then pick the best choices for yourself, taking into account employment prospects, income, and, most importantly, your interests.

Now that we’ve answered the main question, let’s look at what it takes to be a Nurse vs. Occupational Therapist (OT)

So let’s talk about Occupational Therapist (OT)

Occupational therapists tell me that their job is low-stress and offers a good work-life balance. Spending their days aiding people with injuries, diseases, or disabilities by employing therapeutic activities to treat them is also quite gratifying.

Patients with lifelong impairments, such as cerebral palsy, frequently require assistance with daily chores.

Therapists demonstrate how to utilize adapted equipment such as leg braces, wheelchairs, and feeding assistance to patients.

These devices assist patients in doing a variety of daily chores, allowing them to operate more independently.

Some occupational therapists work in educational settings, including with children.

They assess handicapped children’s skills, adapt classroom equipment to accommodate disabled students, and assist students in participating in school activities.

Early intervention treatment may also be provided by therapists to infants and toddlers who have or are at risk of developing developmental delays.

The majority of occupational therapists begin their careers with a master’s degree in occupational therapy.

Admission to graduate schools in occupational therapy often necessitates a bachelor’s degree as well as particular coursework in biology and physiology.

Applicants to many programs must also have volunteered or worked in an occupational therapy setting

Landing a job won’t be a problem with the employment of occupational therapists is anticipated to grow 17 percent between 2020 and 2030, far faster than the national average for all occupations.


So let’s talk about Nursing

Nursing requires a serious commitment, so if you are compassionate and have the desire to serve the weak and sick, this is the career route for you.

Furthermore, you must be willing to work long hours under stressful situations and prioritize the needs of your patients before your own.

Nurses with advanced degrees are in high demand around the world, and they can find work in both the commercial and public sectors fast.

Many people believe that nursing entails providing care to patients.

It is, however, much more than that.

Nurses are increasingly taking on leadership responsibilities in healthcare settings, and they are capable of diagnosing, treating, and managing patients without the assistance of supervisors.

Furthermore, advanced education allows you to specialize in a certain field.

Specialty fields such as Nurse Anaesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners

To become a Registered Nurse usually take one of three education paths: a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an associate’s degree in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program.

Registered nurses must be licensed.

Nurse anaesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners must earn at least a master’s degree in one of the APRN roles.

They must also be licensed in their state and pass a national certification exam.

Finding a Nursing role should be easy, with the employment of Registered Nurses projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

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A Nurse Or Occupational Therapists (OT), Which Is Harder?

The job of a Nurse is harder than Occupational Therapist (OT).

The job of a nurse is both physically and emotionally demanding. You deal with a huge number of people every day, each with their own set of expectations for you. Patients, family members, physicians, nurses, technicians, and so on.

The phone is also ringing for you. Oh, and this patient has to be discharged, but they don’t have any shoes; check with the social worker to see if they are available.

Oh, my other patient wants pain medicine again, and another has to visit a cardiologist, and so on.

You’d be surprised at how much nursing is expected to accomplish or facilitate. Additionally, if you work an off-shift, on weekends, or on holidays, that aspect can be taxing.

A Nurse Or Occupational Therapists (OT), Who Earns More? (Explained)

Nurse Practitioners make more than Occupational Therapists (OT), with a median pay of $117,670 compared to $86,280 per annum.

However, wages will vary on the number of years of experience, geographical location, etc.

While working as an Occupational Therapist (OT) pays well, it is typically low-stress and provides work-life balance.

Nurses, on the other hand, work in a more demanding setting and are well rewarded, with the possibility to specialize and increase their earnings.

Job Role Median Wage / Per Annum
Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, Midwives $117,670
Registered Nurse $75,330
Occupational Therapist (OT) $86,280

The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

According to US Labor Bureau and Statistics, the median annual wage for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners was $117,670 per year in 2020.

The lowest 10 percent earned less than $82,460, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $184,180.

Median annual wages for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners in May 2019 were as follows:

Nurse anaesthetists $183,580
Nurse practitioners $111,680
Nurse-midwives $111,130

In May 2020, the median annual wages for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Hospitals; state, local, and private $124,660
Outpatient care centres $122,840
Offices of physicians $114,570
Offices of other health practitioners $111,610
Educational services; state, local, and private $111,400

Source; Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

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Final Thoughts

Nursing is more difficult than Occupational Therapy (OT) since it entails dealing with sick and dying patients, working long hours, and working shifts. However, being a nurse provides more income and a broader choice of job options to increase earning potential.

So, Nursing is better than Occupational Therapy (OT) from the perspective it pays higher wages, offers broader career options, and is in higher demand. 

It is important to choose a career that you will enjoy and thrive in

Speak with trustworthy friends and family members, and think about obtaining professional help.

Before choosing a career path to study, consider your talents and limits, as well as your likes and dislikes.

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  • Source; Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (
  • Occupational Therapists: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (
  • Registered Nurses: Occupational Outlook Handbook:: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

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