Is Accounting Harder Than Nursing?

There are certain expectations and standards for students when they are choosing a career path and degree after high school. Many people and career guidance experts suggest going with your passion and pursuing a field that fits your interests.

However, on the other side, many people exist who suggests going for a degree or career that is most competitive and increases your chances of success.

Both schools of thought exist, and we cannot say that one is right or the other is wrong. Whatever career or field you choose, do it with complete honesty, and you will be able to excel in it.

With that said, we are going to talk about the most popular and talked-about professions with market value.

Yes, we are talking about accounting and nursing. Although comparing the two subjects is like comparing the east with the west. However, many people get these two choices when passing out of high school and choosing a university degree.

A most common asked question: is accounting harder than nursing?

Answer: This article will answer all the questions by comparing two subjects and career paths.

So let’s get into it without a further ado.

What Is Accounting?

Accounting or accountancy can be defined as the measurement, processing, and communication of the financial information of an entity. Accountancy can also be defined as maintaining, auditing, and reporting financial transactions.

Accounting, as a whole, is all about the financial recording and reporting of transactions and data of businesses and corporations. The field can be further divided into different types, each of them being a separate career path for the students looking to pursue accounting.

There are nine types of accounting: Financial accounting, cost accounting, managerial accounting, auditing, accounting information systems, tax accounting, public accounting, forensic accounting, and governmental accounting. Based on these types, accounting enthusiasts have around 5 different career paths: tax accountant, staff accountant, payroll accountant, auditor, and financial accountant.

A bookkeeper of a company can handle basic accounting. However, for the advanced interpretation of the financial data and transactions, a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant is hired in the USA.

What Is Nursing?

Nursing is a field associated with medical and scientific studies. It’s often called an art as well as science. According to World Health Organization, nursing is defined as,

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“Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups, and communities, sick or well, and in all settings. It includes promoting health, the prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled, and dying people.

Florence Nightingale has described nursing as utilizing the environment of the patient to assist him in his recovery.

The job description is usually to take care of the patients, from making acute treatment decisions to monitoring patients’ behavior and knowledge-based expertise. Nursing is a sub-category of medical sciences, and the nurses can be categorized into registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses.

Accounting Vs. Nursing

To answer if accounting is harder than nursing or vice versa, we must dive into the comparison of the two fields. Here are some parameters we will judge to find which field is harder than others and which field you should choose as a career path.


Let’s start with a degree or formal education in either of the fields.

The difficulty of an educational degree is determined by how cumbersome a field of study is. It must be understood that each degree is different and unique from all other degrees offered. Science, art, or social science dichotomy is not the differentiating factor in a degree’s difficulty level.

A bachelor’s degree in accounting means you must be good at numbers, present financial data, and have an interest and expertise in mathematics.

Accounting studies might not be as practically demanding as a nursing degree would be. Most of the degree requirements have nothing to do with the fieldwork involving a lot of human interactions. However, there are still internships, training, etc., in the line of studies.

On the other hand, the nursing degree is complex in a way that you have to attend clinical five to eight hours once per week during your course. Besides, the social life of the nursing students is also often compromised.

Besides, the nursing students are expected to excel in different science courses like anatomy, pharmacology, biology, mathematics, chemistry, etc. There is no exception or exemption for any nursing student to bypass this requirement.

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When we come to the professional life and career path of accounting and nursing, it can’t be claimed that one job is more challenging than the other.

Let’s start with the accounting career.

Regardless of which accounting career you have chosen, calculation, measurements, and working with lots of numerical data and figures are inherent to the job of an accountant.

One relaxation in the accounting job is that there is no fieldwork involved, and most of the work is done sitting behind the desk. The job timings of an accountant can be abrupt, and long hours sitting might be there when preparing taxes or other reports.

The nursing job requires long-standing hours and assisting doctors in various capacities. A nurse’s job can be as diverse as administering medications to sick patients, counseling them, and more.

On the other hand, the nursing job requires nerves to withstand pressure and anxiety. People with anxiety problems or intolerance to seeing blood/wounds should not go to the nursing field as it can get tough.

What is the crux of the matter?

Regardless of which career path is harder, you cannot excel in the most comfortable career if it doesn’t entice you or you don’t have an interest in it. Therefore, whichever path you choose, having an interest in the respective field is necessary.


The financial benefits of each career path are different from each other. However, one should be clear that both career paths of accounting and nursing are well paid and can help the professionals earn a decent living.

However, in the debate of nursing vs. accounting, the nursing profession is a winner when the question of median annual salary is concerned.

According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2020, the median annual salary of nurse practitioners, anesthetists, and midwives was around $117,670.

On the other hand, the median annual wage of accountants and auditors as per the data for 2020 was $73,560.

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It can be clearly seen that no matter whether the nursing job is harder in its requirement and description, it is well compensated in wages that are almost 1.5 times the accountant’s salary.


Let’s have a quick round-up of the benefits of each job and career path for individuals pursuing it.

If we talk about accounting, it offers the following benefits:

  1. Career definition and direction are great as you master the realistic capabilities and play with numbers.
  2. The professional growth in an accounting career has a great margin for the pursuing individuals.
  3. Accountants have the flexibility to choose the industry of their own interest.

On the other hand, the nursing profession offers its own kinds of benefits that include:

  1. Nursing is more than a profession. It’s about humanity, social work, and the betterment of humans.
  2. Nurses also have options like accountants to choose a specific niche within the nursing services.
  3. Nurses also get a perk to continue their private practice besides full-time employment.

Is Accounting Harder Than Nursing?

After thoroughly comparing the two subject fields, let’s give the final verdict about which one is harder than the other.

The actual question is if accounting is harder than nursing or not.

Here is the detailed answer:

If we talk about the degree of accounting vs. nursing, the accounting degree is more focused on making the students skilled in arithmetic and mathematical reasoning.

The nursing degree teaches the students about primary clinical applications, ethical concerns in said settings, administering medical drugs, etc.

In general, it will not be wrong to say that nursing is harder than accounting. Accounting is not harder than nursing if we talk about bachelor-level education. However, as the students advance in the field, accounting is equally harder than nursing.

Final Words

Nursing indeed requires rigorous studies and analysis in a short period which makes it more difficult than an accounting degree. However, an individual’s success in any field of education or career is highly dependent on personal interest, orientation, and dedication to work in the field.