Are you considering a career in nursing? It takes a lot; beyond academic background, you need to be compassionate and selfless. It is hard to become a nurse, and once you break in, it does not get any easier. Managing the day-to-day life of a nurse is physically and emotionally draining, especially since you have to put the needs of the patients before yours. Nonetheless, the rewards are worth it; the self-satisfaction of helping someone get better is fulfilling enough. You also enjoy competitive income rates and job security.
While becoming a nurse can be challenging, you can pursue it in many ways, easing the process. Nursing school admission is not easy. Nonetheless, you don’t have to follow that path yet, especially if you are unsure if nursing is your ultimate career. While an education background is the primary path to becoming a registered nurse (RN), you can pursue it in many ways. Here is a glance at how you can become a nurse and excel in the medical industry.
A degree is not a must to make your way into the nursing arena. You can start as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). The CAN programs only take a few months. With the certification, you can make your way up the nursing field while learning more about the type of work and environment that best matches your preferences. You will uncover a lot, such as if you would prefer to work as an RN, typically stationed in doctors’ offices, hospitals, among other medical institutes, or nursing assistants found in settings like nursing homes.
Starting easy means that you won’t dive in headfirst, giving you the exposure to determine if nursing is your calling. You will also get the inspiration to carve out a more productive path toward your nursing career.
Now that you have a clearer idea of the education you need to scale your nursing career, it will be easier to pick the type of degree to pursue. The degree program includes in-class sessions and clinical experience. The education equips you with the knowledge and hands-on skills needed to navigate real-life scenarios of your nursing career. Following your preferences, you can pursue:
- Master of Science in Nursing
- Bachelors of Science in Nursing
- Associate degree in nursing, to mention a few
As you pick a program, you need to consider how it fits within your lifestyle. Modern programs can be pursued online. This makes it easier to navigate your demanding schedule. It would be best to consider your finances, goals and timeline. For instance, if you want to become an RN within a short period, taking an associate’s degree is ideal since it takes less time to complete. You have a lot to choose from, including online, on-campus, full-time, and part-time programs, making it easier to acquire the needed academic background to pursue a nursing career.
After furnishing the academic requirements, you can proceed to acquire a license. The license is acquired after proving your competency, including passing set exams. A registered nurse state license, for example, requires you to complete a nursing diploma, BSN, or AND, and pass (National Council Licensure Examination) NCLEX-RN. After the license, the journey is not over. Nurses are lifelong learners, not just to meet the continuing education courses requirements, typically after every two years. With the ever-evolving trends, nurses need to continue learning to keep up with technology, evolving medical practices, and policies such as HIPAA, to mention a few.
Growing your career
You have come a long way, but there is still a lot you can pursue. You can, for example, decide to get professional certification and specialize in a certain nursing field. There are many specialization fields you can pursue, including:
- Psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner
- Neuroscience nurse
- Family nurse practitioner
- Certified registered nurse anesthetist
- Informatics nursing
- Intensive Care Unit nurse
- Certified nurse-midwife, to mention a few
Licenses and credentials requirements vary by state and the role you want to pursue. Ensure you understand the provisions in the state you want to operate in before you dive in to avoid frustrating experiences.
Becoming a nurse is hard. Nonetheless, you can pursue and excel in the field with a positive mindset, effective time management, and self-care. You can pursue a nursing career with less friction with the above pointers. Establishing the right path to pursue a nursing career lays a solid foundation as you strive to break into the demanding but fulfilling industry.