Many residents consider having a career in nursing. However, it is a demanding job and prospective nurses should think carefully about whether they are suited for such a career.
In order to become a nurse, residents must study and acquire the necessary qualifications. Also, they must determine what kind of nurse they want to be. Those interested in becoming nurses should make sure they are prepared for the realities of the job. Nurses have an important job that sometimes involves long hours and dealing with difficult situations.
The information below provides an overview of the nursing career. Included are details about the available levels of nursing positions, the traits the good nurses embody, necessary qualifications and expected salary. Interested residents should spend time contemplating whether this is the right path for them because nurses often deal with life and death situations. However, a career in nursing, as with many other careers in health science, can be rewarding and worth it because of the impact that people can have on a daily basis.
Overview of Nursing
There is a wide range of career options available within the nursing path. Nurses can be entry-level practitioners to doctoral level researchers. The primary role of nurses is to help patients manage illnesses, promote healthcare for patients, families and communities and prevent diseases.
Often, nurses provide care to patients directly. They record the symptoms and reactions of patients. In addition, they observe and assess progress in their patients. Nurses provide assistance to physicians during patient examinations, surgeries and treatments. Also, they typically are the ones to administer medication. Nurses work in a variety of settings such as in private practices, hospitals and private care homes. There are many positions that nurses could hold but the main types are:
- Nurse practitioners.
- Hospital nurses.
- Occupational health nurses.
- Office nurses.
- Home health nurses.
- Public health nurses.
- Head nurses.
Nurses must have a certain level of fitness to do their job. This is because they are on their feet most of the day whether is walking or standing. In addition, because patients need 24-hour care, nurses may have to work weekends, nights and holidays.
Residents who are considering becoming nurses should carefully think about whether the day-to-day job is right for them. Being a nurse involves working long hours, busy shifts and the risk of being exposed to hazards such as infectious diseases.
Types of People Who Become Nurses
Nurses work as caregivers. Therefore, a career in nursing may be ideal for those who have caring personalities. Care involves not only providing physical care, but also emotional support to patients and family members. People who are compassionate and empathic will be best suited to a nursing career. However, nurses must possess other traits as well, including:
- Being emotionally strong – Many patients suffer and families break down. These situations are emotionally charged. Nurses who cannot cope with this reality may not be best suited to this career.
- Being physically strong – Nurses must be on their feet all day. In addition, they are responsible for lifting patients and helping them perform physical tasks. Therefore, successful nurses must be strong and physically fit.
- Paying attention to details – Nurses and other healthcare practitioners must pay strong attention to detail. There is a lot of paperwork involved in nursing and nurses must be able to stay focused on completing it daily. In addition, nurses must often multitask and juggle the needs of several patients at once.
- Being great communicators – Talking is a large part of the nursing job. Nurse must act as liaisons between doctors, patients, family members, hospital administrators and law enforcement daily. Thus, nurses must have great communication skills.
Learn About Nursing Qualifications
To become a nurse, residents must first earn a high school diploma or an equivalent credential. Then, they can choose from various educational options. Residents can choose to either become an LPN (licensed practical nurse) or a registered nurse (RN). Those who choose to become LPNs can later enroll in other classes to become RNs.
There are numerous career education options for those want to become nurses. Students can enroll at a college, vocational school or with a hospital education program and earn their diploma, associates or bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree will take longer to acquire and be more expensive but will allow graduates to find more jobs.
A bachelor’s degree typically requires four years of schooling while diploma and associates degree programs require two. Nursing courses involve laboratory work, lectures, and clinical experience. They will have to study microbiology, pathology and anatomy. Some students prefer to take their courses online. Before deciding though, prospective students must examine the benefits and drawbacks of online education.
Before being able to find work as a nurse, residents must earn nursing license in their state. It is earned by passing the National Council Licensure Examination. In addition, some states may have further requirements.
There is difference between LPNs and RNs. LPNs are responsible for basic tasks such as recording vital signs and assisting patients with daily tasks. RNs manage patient medications and run tests.
Another type of nurse called a license vocational nurse (LVN) must complete an accredited education program. These programs take about one year to complete. Like LPNs, LVNs are limited in the work they are permitted to do until they become RNs. But they can work in their field for one to two years while they study to earn their RN licensure.
Learn About How Much Nurses Earn
A nurse’s salary varies by city and state. It also depends on education and experience. Register nurses usually get paid between $57,000 and $103,000 per year. Nurses earn the highest salaries in states like Oregon, California, Hawaii and Massachusetts.
A licensed practical nurse (LPN) is paid on average $39,030 per year. The minimum they usually get paid $28,000 while the highest is $53,000. An LPN’s salary is dependent on their location as well as skills. Graduated nursing students should keep general job search strategies in mind when they are looking for nursing jobs.
Licensed vocational nurses typically earn $47,540. The least they earn is usually $35,500 and a maximum of $67,000. These amounts may differ depending on experience and state of residence.
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