Nursing is a highly respected and evergreen field, and there’s a great demand for skilled nurses around the globe. Unsettling results of the nursing shortage adequately results in the quality of patient care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 5 million additional nurses are needed to avoid a further shortage. Also, there are various significant benefits to pursuing a career in nursing. As a nurse, you have the ability to choose the specialty where you wish to help people on a daily basis. Not only that, but there are also many ways a nurse can improve their career by getting an advanced degree and being promoted to top leadership positions. If you are considering this growing and rewarding field, here are some tips to help you find and pursue new and demanding nursing careers:
Nurses give selflessly their time and provide quality care to their patients. Having a career in the healthcare field means being well paid, career flexibility, in demand, and able to enjoy many awesome benefits. One of the foremost benefits of this profession is that registered nurses are able to organize their time schedule as needed. And in most cases, you’ll get paid for overtime and there are plenty of options to choose a specialty that fits the best. Most of the other professions require you to work from one location while nursing allows you to travel to different places, which include – travel nurse, flight nurse, cruise nurse, and so on.
While you can start your career with a diploma or an associate degree in nursing, you can further advance your career by enrolling in a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral programs. But do you know what are the requirements to be a nurse? Here are the educational requirements to become a nurse:
Plan Your Path
Nursing is indeed a professional industry where you can advance your career into whichever level you want. You can start your career as a staff nurse or certified nursing assistant (CNA) and work your way up the career ladder to becoming a nurse practitioner, educator or administrator. Before choosing a specialty, think about the work environment you would like to work with. For example, you can find registered nurses working in various hospitals, clinics, and other basic health facility centers while a certified nursing assistant often works in assisted living facilities. Ask yourself – in what type of environment do you want to work? How will you be performing in these specific areas?
Not only just that, but you should also have a clear plan about your role too. If you just want to support or want to be a part of the healthcare team, consider enrolling in any of these nursing programs – Certified Nursing Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse, or Licensed Vocational Nurse. If you are more like a leader who wants to manage or assist other nurses on what they have to do, an RN nursing program will get you there.
Earn Your Degree
Once you have a clear idea about your career path, next you want to find and earn your degree. Nursing programs consist of both classroom and clinical experience. Many universities offer degrees in nursing. You’ll provide clinical experiments to interact with patients and well-experienced nurses and to gain hands-on knowledge. Before finalizing your nursing program, understand how a nursing program and career are going to fit into your lifestyle. Where are you going to apply for a nursing program? What are the best scholarship opportunities for undergraduate nursing programs? And how are you going to travel to your college? Based on your preference you also have the option to choose between a traditional or online nursing program. An online nursing program allows you to study from your own comforts.
Learn everything about your course – the topics you are going to learn, how are you going to learn all those medical terms, creating or joining a study group, and possibly how you can better manage your time to schedule your work. It’s a good thing to plan your daily schedule because time management is one of the skills that you are going to need in this profession. Based on your degree type you’ll complete your program within twenty-four to forty-eight weeks. Typically an associate nursing
Once you complete your nursing program, you have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam to state your eligibility criteria. NCLEX is a nationwide examination for the licensing of nursing. After applying for the national licensing exam, the candidates will receive a notification when it is time to sign up for the examination. The exam consists of an average of 119 questions which should be completed within six hours. Those who do not pass the exam in their first attempt should wait 45 days to retake the exam.
Find Your First Job
Do you prefer to work in a busy hospital environment? Would you prefer caring for aged people in a nursing home setting? Did you hear about the open position in a clinical setting? Or is your dream is to become a travel nurse? Ask yourself at least a few questions like this to determine where you truly want to work. If you’re open to all positions then you’ll have plenty of opportunities to choose from. But sometimes, when you begin your job search you’ll understand that experience is going to be a hard stone to earn your first job. You can consider joining a job shadowing program or consider getting an internship to cover your experience. You may feel you are overqualified for some of these internship programs, but they will surely help you to interact with further professionals in the industry. Build a high-quality resume to market your skills.
Advance Your Career
Don’t just stop there. Nursing is a challenging profession, if you don’t look after yourself it’s easier to fall out. There will always be stressed out and proud moments in your journey. With advanced healthcare equipment and technology, the healthcare industry is fast evolving than ever before. And you have to stay motivated and educated so you can remain as a highly-skilled and demanding nurse even though your responsibilities may change. Continue your education with relevant programs, join various relevant social media groups, and attend workshops to connect and build your relationship with fellow professionals.