Nurses are crucial to the global health care industry. They perform various roles, from administering physician-approved medications and therapies, to interacting with patients and their families. There are currently over 27 million nurses across the world, and the job outlook for nurses, keeps rising. On that note, here’s a step-by-step guide to becoming a nurse.
Choose a Nursing Path
Choosing a specific nursing role, should become easier if you research the numerous directions in which nursing can take you. Most students start as staff nurses, providing general assistance to specialized colleagues or established physicians on duty. You can gain enough experience from there, to select a specific nursing career path.
One key factor you should consider before making your final decision, is your preferred working environment. For instance, nurse anesthetists work mostly in theatres administering pain management therapies for life-threatening injuries, while registered nurses, offer administrative backstopping for doctors.
You may choose the latter if you’re more interested in handling administrative duties and caring for patients. Another factor to consider, is the level of autonomy associated with your profession. Some specialized nurses work independently, while others offer their services to a larger medical team.
Earn A Degree
The type of nursing career you choose, will determine the extent of training and the specific certifications that are required. Registered nurses will require an associate’s degree, which takes less time to complete.
In general, nursing careers feature clinical training on the specialty of your choice. For instance, student geriatricians, will receive education on older adults and their common symptoms. Beyond the specialized clinical training, you may receive general house rules on how to run a medical facility. Most nursing degrees involve on-site training. However, others favor online classes to suit working students.
For instance, this University of Indianapolis family nurse practitioner program, is based online and spans ten consecutive semesters. It fits aspiring nurses who are happy to go the long haul, to gain the required certificate to practice. The courses you choose and their study terms, may vary, depending on the university. Compare all these options to see which one suits your academic needs the best.
Licensing is crucial in the nursing field. Practicing in certain capacities without a license, can lead to fines and legal charges. Also, getting your nursing license, can be the fastest way to rise through the ranks, especially if you start off with an associate degree. Getting your license involves taking a special exam to demonstrate your knowledge and critical nursing skills.
All in all, nursing can be a suitable career, if you care about patients and giving good service to the health care industry. However, it’s a knowledge-intensive field. Nursing is highly diversified – there are numerous specialized options. For instance, you can choose to become a child-care nurse if you love children, or a nurse anesthetist, if you’re interested in staying long hours in surgical theaters.
Regardless of your choice, nursing requires extensive training. Feel free to consult senior colleagues on critical issues, including best practices – to help you pass your licensing exams.