Start Your Career in the Medical Field by Becoming a Nurse
Becoming a nurse is an interesting career move that brings with it a ton of rewards both personal as well as professional. Some rewards of nursing involve the satisfaction of helping people, the knowledge about medicine and the human body, and also the financial reward that nursing brings with it.
However, on the flipside, nursing is also a challenging career choice that demands the flexibility to accommodate at times a grueling schedule, the witnessing of suffering and death in patients, and the stress that comes as a natural part of this high-responsibility career. Nursing programs are a good place to start a career in the medical field, and a good nursing education is the hallmark to becoming a successful and effective nurse. Being a nurse is job with a multi-faceted set of responsibilities, as nurses are often called on and looked at as leaders, caregivers and also clinicians.
Different Working Environments
A nurse does not solely work in a hospital environment since nurse jobs are available in a myriad of professional settings and locations. For instance, nurses can work in general practitioners’ offices, in surgery clinics, in residential as well as nursing homes, in occupational health services settings, and even in voluntary organizations like residential care centers or hospices, as is taught in online nursing programs. This availability of different work environments assures that nurses have a lot of work places to choose from once they finish school and look for employment. Further, it also confirms the in-demand nature of nursing occupations, given the number of facilities that require nursing professionals on staff.
Online LPN programs are a reasonable place to start for people looking to enter into a nursing career. An alternative to this is a traditional university or college setting, where, at times, up to half of such a nursing program is devoted exclusively to finding would-be nurses actual placement in community settings and local hospital settings. Before going to a university or taking online RN program), having a high school diploma or a GED is a requirement. If young people still in high school are considering becoming a nurse, they should begin taking high school courses that will maximize their chances of being accepted into nursing programs in university. A few examples of high school courses that will help them get accepted into nursing courses are biology, chemistry, algebra and even physics.
To be accepted into a nursing program such as an LPN program, getting good grades or taking the right courses in high school is simply not enough. Universities that have such programs are looking not only at an applicant’s academic record, but also at the all-important personal qualities that define what a nurse should embody. Nursing schools will be looking more favorably at applicants who demonstrate personal qualities like compassion, independent thinking, common sense, keeping cool under pressure, and amicability. Many nursing schools that feature an RN program also will usually demand that budding nurses take and then pass their entrance exam. This entrance exam measures aptitude as well as the chance for success in a career in nursing that an applicant may have.
Attaining a Nursing Degree
After acceptance into a nursing program, whether online or at a traditional university setting, there are a few ways of attaining a nursing degree. People can obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which is a traditional degree that takes four years to complete; this degree is offered at both community colleges as well as at traditional, four-year institutions. The second way of obtaining a degree in nursing is through an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, which only takes two or three years for completion; this type of shorter nursing degree can be found at technical colleges or at community colleges. The last option for getting a degree in nursing is the hospital diploma plan, which is not as common anymore as it once was. A hospital diploma plan is attained by simply working in a hospital setting among nurses and other healthcare professionals, which affords students the chance to learn directly from healthcare professionals. This type of approach is supplemented with non-nursing courses at a local community college.
People who are budding nurses and want to go to school to become nurses have to be mindful of the somewhat expensive costs associated with getting a degree in the field of nursing. Because the costs of obtaining a nursing education can be staggering—depending on where one goes to school and what courses one takes—scholarships are available to certain people who qualify. It must be remarked that people should not count on getting a scholarship to pay or help pay a portion of their university fees because such scholarships are limited and based on specific criteria. For example, some scholarships are handed out based on real merits, such as the grade point average of the applicant, which has to be above a specified level in order for the applicant to have a chance at getting the scholarship. Other scholarships are handed out based on factors such as ethnic heritage.
The higher the degree in nursing, the more the pay and the better the career opportunities for a person in the field of nursing will be. For example, registered nurses have the opportunity to work in a greater number of settings, such as operating rooms, doctor’s offices, healthcare clinics and intensive care units. A licensed practical nurse or a nursing assistant cannot work in those environments and also makes less money. However, obtaining a higher degree in nursing costs more and could saddle a person with debt.
Becoming a nurse is not just a way to jumpstart a career in the medical field. Most people who choose to become nurses stay in this career because there are additional channels of growth. Nurses can pick a specific specialty, such as adult nursing, children’s nursing or even learning disability nursing. Nurses who only have an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing can move up in their career and earn more money by going back to university and attaining a Master’s Degree, which will help greatly in them becoming registered nurses.
To understand more about nursing, see the following links.
- Starting out as a Nurse
- Getting to be a Nurse
- Becoming a Nurse
- Basics of Becoming a Nurse
- Thinking about becoming a Nurse?
- How a Person becomes a Nurse
- Steps for Applying to Nursing School
- Becoming an Ophthalmic Registered Nurse
- Nursing Education
- Nursing Scholarship Program