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Nursing Career Information
If you want to be a nurse, you need to have good study habits as well as excellent critical thinking and problem solving skills. This is so that when push comes to shove, you will be able to help the patient.
Those who want to become nurses should first have a high school diploma. If the grades, your SAT’s and NLN pre-admission exam is okay, you can choose what type of training program you want to pursue as this will prepare you for the role you will play after you graduate.
There are three programs available.
The first is called a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN. This is a 4 year program that and this is offered at most colleges and universities.
The second is the Associate Degree in Nursing or AND. This can be completed in two years and is offered in community and junior colleges.
The third is called a Hospital Diploma which lasts about 2 to 3 years. This program is usually affiliated with junior colleges.
Given that nursing is such a diverse field, there are more than 1,500 nursing programs which you can choose from here in the US and UK with some that can be completed by studying online.
The cost of tuition varies depending if one you are going to is a private or public college. For those who can’t afford it, they can apply for financial aid or see if they can obtain a scholarship. Your guidance counselor should be able to help you and if not, you should check if the school you are applying to gives out financial aid or scholarship to qualified applicants.
Tuition varies widely depending on whether you attend a private or public college and whether you are a resident or non-resident of the state. Financial aid is available from numerous sources, as are scholarships. Check with your guidance counselor to determine which sources are right for you, and visit the Financial Aid/Scholarship section of this site.
Nurses can only work after they obtain their license. The basic one is called the LCN or licensed practical nurse that can only be obtained after you pass the state administered exam known as the National Council licensure Examination for Practical Nurses or NCLEX-PN.
For those who are aiming for an RN or registered nursing license, you have to take the NCLEX-RN. This exam is also taken by those who are working towards a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Once you get your license, you may soon find work in patient care units at the bedside, in operating rooms, emergency rooms, X-ray units, intensive care units, surgery centers, pediatrics, hospital nurseries, the records department, the laboratory or assigned to an ambulance or helicopter wing.
Just to give you an idea, an entry level nurse earns an average of about $45,000 which is much more than what professionals in other fields receive straight out of college. This figure could almost double or even tripe when you specialize and have gained years of experience.
You should be prepared to work flexible hours because you will be required sometimes to work the dayshift or the nightshift. This may last between 8 to 12 hours long including holidays and weekends. Some will have to work 36 hours or 40 hours in 4 days then have the next 3 to 4 days off as someone else will take your place.
Nursing Career Opportunities
Nurses work hand in hand with doctors so they can help treat a patient. Given than medicine has evolved into different fields, it has created so many nursing career opportunities and here are some of them.
Oncology is a field of medicine that deals with patients who are suffering from cancer. Nurses who decide to specialize here may administer chemotherapy, counsel patients and work with doctors to create the right treatment plan depending on what stage of development is the cancer.
Nurses who are interested in perioperative nursing otherwise known as OR nurses assist the surgeons both directly and indirectly during an operation. They help prepare the patient before and after the operation as well check on the equipment to be used by making sure they are sterile. Given that there are different types of surgeries done on patients, nurses will have to specialize again to be part of the working team.
Sickness is not the only reason that a patient may end up in the hospital as accidents take place in the work area or on the road. If the person has a neck or a head injury, it is up to the otorhinolaryngology nurses to help the patient. To get this job you must have a resident nurse with a diploma or have a degree either in AD or BSN. These individuals may find work also in hospices, clinics and home care agencies.
Kids get sick and it is up to the pediatric nurse to help them get better. But pediatrics also has other specializations such as oncology and hematology if ever the child is either suffering from cancer or a blood disorder.
Anesthesia is given to a patient prior to surgery. For that, you will a nurse that specializes in perianesthesia to help the patient go to sleep and slowly bring them back after the operation. The difference between an anesthesiologist is that he or she will be the one to administer the anesthesia. The nurse simply helps the patient to make sure they are comfortable.
Soon to be mothers need the help of prenatal nurses in preparation for motherhood. This is done by telling them what to anticipate especially if this is their first child and giving them general health advice for them and the baby.
Cancer prevention is important so this can be detected and removed during its early stages. For that, you will have to undergo a few tests and the ones work these machines are called radiology nurses. They are the ones who operate the x-rays, sonograms, mammograms, ultrasound and a bunch of other machines.
There are mental health disorders and problems that patients face. Aside from the psychiatrist who will help you out, you can also see psychiatric nurses. These individuals are trained to handle patients suffering from anxiety, addiction, physical and sexual abuse, personality disorders and depression.
Close to cardiac and otorhinolaryngology nurses is rehabilitation nursing. The job of those who are in this field is to work with patients that have either been temporarily or permanently disabled. They help the patient deal with the fact that they now have a handicap and the only way to live is with the help of wheelchairs, crutches and prosthetics.
A career in nursing opens a lot of opportunities. You just have to specialize in something in order to make the most of your profession.