The Ins and Outs of Becoming a Nurse — Is It the Career Path for You?

Nurses are the linchpin of healthcare. They provide day-to-day support and care for their patients. They act as liaisons that go between these patients and the physicians that are tending to them. And they step in for doctors when they need to. Basically, nurses are a true modern day hero — but they don’t always get the credit that they deserve. However, even though nurses don’t always get the credit that they deserve, it doesn’t mean the nursing career isn’t a fruitful one to get into to. And, if you want to get yourself onto this particular career path then you shouldn’t let a lack of given credit stop you!

But, before you do so make sure to check out the ins and outs of the nursing career below to find out if it truly is the career path for you.

The kind of training needed

To become a nurse you will have to have some training in the nursing field, that much always has been and always will be a given. However, there is not just one level of training out there to take when become a nurse is your goal. No, there are many different levels of training and many different types of nursing degrees out there to take — and you need to take the ones that are right for you and your goal. Specifically, depending on what type of nursing certification you seek to obtain and intend to classify yourself as — this could be a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse, a Registered Nurse or an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse — you need to take the training and the courses that lead exactly where you want to go. For instance, to become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse you would only have to take a Practical Nursing Program, the likes of which are offered at most community colleges. If you wanted to become a Registered Nurse you would have to seek a slightly higher level of training and complete a two- or three year degree at an institute of Higher Education. And if landing yourself a highly lucrative job as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse was your goal then you would need at least a Master’s degree or maybe even a PhD, depending on the level of competition at the time of which when you went for a specific job.

The certification and licensure requirements

But, it’s not just training and degrees that you need to make sure you have sorted and under your belt before you even think about getting yourself a nursing job — no, you need to ensure that you are certified and licensed to nurse too. Specifically, this means ensuring that you are legally able to practice your nursing in the place in which you live or indeed plan to practice it. In the U.S., for instance, each state sets its own licensing rules in regards to who can practice nursing within it — what this means is that each state sets its own education standards and will demand a certain level of education needed to be attained in order to practice a certain level of nursing

The length of time needed

As you can probably tell from all the training, education and licensing requirements as shown above, a lot of time and effort needs to be devoted to become a nurse if becoming a nurse is what you want to do. So, if you neither have the time to do it or the patience to do it, then don’t do it! From the outset and throughout you must be willing to put the time in that is needed to become a nurse. Whether you wanted to spend roughly nine months working towards getting a Practical Nursing certificate in order to become a Practical or Vocational Nurse. Whether you wanted to spend two or three years studying towards a bachelor’s degree in order to become a Registered Nurse. Or whether you wanted to spend four to five years in obtaining a Master’s degree in order to become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. Whatever type of nurse you wanted to become, you'd have to devote the time to it that needs to be devoted.

What is a nurse’s paycheck?

Dependant on what type of certified nurse you become and where you practice your nursing, your paycheck could be decisively medium in regards to your country’s rate of pay, or it could be through the roof. If you want to be paid more in the region of the latter, then becoming a nurse anesthetist is something that you should be looking to do. In the U.S. an anesthetist could scoop a cool figure in the region of $150,000.

What are the job prospects?

The biggest prospect of all when it comes to the nursing career is that you will get to care for people and nurse them back to health every single day of your working life. And, if you're a true helper of people and were born to assist others when they are ill, then this would be all the prospect you’ll ever need to do the job. However, in terms of actual career advancement, there are a number of prospects that nurses can work towards as their career progresses. In fact, due to the exceptionally fast speed in which the field of nursing is growing, it is likely that within the not-so-distant future there will be a call for many senior members of nursing staff. And, if you got yourself on the career path soon, then only a few years into your career you could find yourself getting the call to lead a team of new nurses.

Is it easy to find nursing work?

If you obtain all the necessary degrees and obtain all the right licenses to nurse, you can apply for nursing jobs. And, because there will always be a call for this type of work, you will more than likely find yourself a job as soon as you begin applying. However, you will find that your specific skills and the generally the person you are suits you better to certain areas of nursing, and this might determine where you are able to land a job. For instance, if you are the type of person and nurse that is good at getting others back on their feet after misfortune, then a rehabilitation setting might be better suited to you than, say, assisted living would be. One of these choices you can also look for are travel nursing jobs if you like travelling or would want to settle somewhere else.

The point is, you will find yourself attracted to certain types of nursing and in return they will be attracted to you, because of the person you are and the way you nurse. So, don’t be disgruntled if you are turned down for one job, because there will always be one that is better suited to you if you are a true nurse.

The ins and outs of the nursing career that are stated above are nothing but the truth — so, after reading them you will either know if it is the career for you, or not. But, if it’s not and you still wish to get yourself a career in helping people and being someone they can trust with looking after their health, then there are plenty of paths for you to follow. Or you could enter the world of social work. The point is, if you’re a helper and you want to help others day in, day out, then there will always be a profession out there that will allow you to do it.

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