Nursing Harder Than Teaching? (Explained)

So you might be considering pursuing a career as a Nurse or Teacher?

Deciding on a career isn’t always easy!

Both professions are different, different in many ways.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the differences.

So is Nursing harder than Teaching?

Nursing is typically harder than Teaching due to having to deal with demanding and exhausting shifts, caused by inadequate staffing. Then there is the risk of accidental needle stabs and cuts, and having to deal with aggressive patients.  

Both Nurses and Teachers have an enormous responsibility for the well-being of their patients and students.

Students seeking to enter Nursing School should be comfortable and have a firm understanding of biology, anatomy, chemistry, math, and pharmacology.

Most students studying Nursing find the workload of studying huge, sacrificing their social life and time normally spent with family.

You should consider studying Nursing if you enjoy helping patients, helping them get better and comfortable in their time of need.

Nursing is a profession that will always be a demand, especially as the population ages

Nurses work in clinics, nursing care facilities or hospitals, that require around the clock staffing, even on holidays and weekends.

Hence Nurses typically perform shift work which can be physically draining.

The upside to working shifts is getting extra pay through “penalties”, which are extra pay on top wage.

To become an elementary Teacher requires a bachelor degree in education.

Some states require Teachers to Major in content areas such as maths or science.

Certain states require Teachers to complete a Master degree after receiving their undergraduate and landing their job.

Teachers typically work weekdays, Monday through to Friday, may require extra work in the evenings grading papers or meeting parents out of school hours.

So now we have answered the main question let’s explore other popular topics.

Is Nursing more Stressful than Teaching?

Being a Nurse is more stressful than being a Teacher. For the reason that Nurses experience high levels of stress caused by lack of staff resulting in excessive workload, highly demanding work and risk of accidental cuts and stabs.

Most Nurses will tell you the hardest part is patients die after doing everything to care for them is the hardest part.

Other difficulties faced by Nurses are long hours, night shifts, having to deal with cranky doctors, and lack of respect or prestige from others of being a Nurse.

That being said, Teaching is no walk in the park either.

Dealing with budget cuts resulting in oversized class size, difficult children, children with learning difficulties and no funding to support the child.

Then some difficult demanding parents expect you to parent their children.

Teachers are also faced with ever-increasing reporting handed down for government departments.

All these factors add to the stress of being a Teacher or Nurse.

But don’t be put off by these stresses, every job has its challenges.

Both Teaching and Nursing is all about enhancing the lives of others.

For Nursing it’s all about looking after the patient.

It’s a career that helps you save lives, bring happiness to individuals and their families, and comfort to those in need.

Teaching, it’s all about inspiring and looking after students.

Coaching and teaching students to grow in education efforts are highly rewarding.

You also benefit society as a whole.

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Should I become a Nurse or Teacher?

Choosing to become either a Nurse or a Teacher will offer you a rewarding, fulfilling career and well-paying career where you help students and patients.

You should consider becoming a Nurse if you enjoy helping and caring for people in times of illness

You should consider becoming a Teacher if you are passionate about encouraging students to learn and develop to reach their potential.

Nursing professionals can choose from a wide variety of career paths.

Paths such as Nurse Anaesthetist, Family Nurse, Paramedic, Midwife, Acute Nurse or School Nurse, just to name a few.

Teachers career paths can also vary from Primary  School, Elementary through to College professors and school principals.

However, this does not mean that being a Teacher is not a walk in the park and not stressful.

We all know someone who has retired early as a teacher or change schools or career paths as teaching became too stressful.

Any Teacher will tell you that Teaching kids and dealing with other Teachers and difficult parents can be highly stressful.

With budgets being cut class sizes increasing making it difficult for teachers to properly teach and manage such large classroom sizes.

The other main cause of stress for Teachers having to deal with troubled children who disrupt the classroom.

Having to deal with demanding and difficult parents is another aspect causing a great deal of stress for Teachers.

Another common cause of stress for Teachers is the huge workload.

Having too much lesson preparation and having too many lessons to teach, plus all the marking and regular student reporting is a cause of stress for Teachers.

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Do Nurses Earn more than Teachers?

Nurses earn more than Teachers, with the median wage of a Nurse Practitioner being $117,670 compared to teachers earning a median wage of $60,560 per annum.

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

Job Role Median Wage / Per Annum
Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, Midwives $117,670
Registered Nurse $75,330
Teacher $63,560

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

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

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

Median annual wages for nurse anaesthetists, 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 anaesthetists, 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 centers $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 (

Final Thoughts

Nursing is typically seen as being harder and more stressful than Teaching.

Stress and difficulty are caused by working long and demanding shifts.

Both Nurses and Teachers have an enormous responsibility for the well-being of their patients and students.

The level of difficulty and levels of stress can depend on your skills, interests, and what you are good at.

As with any career that you want to pursue, analyze yourself and your strengths and weaknesses before deciding which major you want to pick.

Choosing the right career means taking into account your personality, interests, and goals.

Further, choosing a career you also need to consider earn capacity, demand for roles and pay

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