Nursing has long been a profession of choice for many and it is easy to see why. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nursing is in the top ten occupations with the largest amount of job growth over the last ten years. Nursing not only provides excellent compensation and provides the opportunity to help others, but also a feeling of satisfaction.
Nurses in general, promote good health, try to prevent disease and help patients that are battling illness of all kinds. Nurses are unique in the fact that they must be educated to deal with a broad spectrum of practice, be able to work independently and also be able to work well with other members of a health care team such as; doctors, other nurses, aides and patient’s family members. Each job that a nurse does will be slightly different than the one completed before because of the need to provide individualized care and attention to that specific patient or circumstance. Due to this fact, and the fact that nurses need to be highly trained in so many areas, the nursing programs are challenging and very selective.
Education for Registered Nurses (RN’s)
There are three different ways in which one could become a registered nurse: A diploma from an accredited nursing program, hospital or an associate’s degree in nursing. An associate’s degree in nursing would be considered an ADN degree. If one continues on and receives a bachelor’s degree in nursing, this is called a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or a BSN.
As of late, there has been a push for nurses to have a BSN degree instead of an associate’s degree. Many nursing programs are offering a way for students to complete their bachelor degrees while they are working on their nursing degree.
No matter the path taken to obtain a registered nursing license and to be allowed to practice as a nurse, the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) must be taken and passed before any license will be issued. For Practical Nurses, the NCLEX-PN must be taken and passed.
Once licensed and ready to practice, a nurse then must decide which specialty or area of health care will be practiced. There are over 100 different types of nursing specialties including, but not limited to:
Cardiac Care Nursing
Case Management Nursing
Clinical Nurse Leader
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Community Health Nursing
Critical Care Nursing
Developmental Disability Nursing
Home Health Care Nursing
Labor & Delivery Nursing
Neonatal Intensive Care
Nursing Operating Room
Pain Management Nursing
Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing
Other types of nursing career paths:
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), also known as Licensed Vocation Nurses (LVN):
These individuals have completed the least amount of education, with only one year of courses required after high school. They are not RN’s and are limited in the amount of work that they are allowed to do.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN):
Have already completed required course work and hours for the general RN and chose to continue studying and receive a Master’s level or higher. APRN’s are paid significantly higher than their RN counterparts and generally study a specific area such as; obstetrics and gynecology, family health or anesthesiology.
APRN’s also include Clinical Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) and Nurse Practitioners (NP).
Working as a professional nurse will not only offer very high job stability, but will also compensate generously, offer flexibility in hours that can be worked, various levels of responsibility and the ability to find a job in several different locations. However, working in the medical field will require work hours that are generally not the 8 to 5 schedule. Hospitals are open 24 hours a day, requiring nurses to also be there at all times. Nursing shifts are usually 12 hours long and will require a focus and dedication during that time to ensure that the patients are receiving the best care possible and that their families are being informed of their status.
The one thing we have not discusses are the branch of nurse services dedicated to supporting other nurses. It may be that your calling is not just in direct service to the sick but in the organization and service of those directly involved. IF this is yu rclling then outreach becomes very important and if you are desiring to open a business in this area you would do well to connect with as man y nurses as you can perhaps even emailing them and polling the needs they may have
The nursing profession is very rewarding career overall and is a perfect choice of profession if one has a nurturing spirit and a passion for making a difference in people’s lives.