Launching A Career In Nursing: Where To Start

Nursing is a challenging but highly rewarding career, requiring a lot of hard work and expertise to carry out a variety of tasks from patient care to administration. You’ll work closely with physicians to provide quality medical care, and often act as liaison between patient and doctor, administering treatment and ensuring a quick recovery. Depending on where you are and how much experience you have in the field, there are a number of different ways you can get into the practise.

Education & training

There are three major education paths in America that lead to nursing, as well as a number of smaller courses and apprenticeships. A diploma from an accredited nursing program or hospital will earn you a place on the career ladder, although these have become less popular lately as more people opt for bachelor’s degrees rather than diplomas. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an associate’s degree in nursing gives more flexibility, usually with a choice of modules and the ability to specialize – you can even take nursing courses abroad to expand your own knowledge and gain experience in the cultures of medical industries across the world.

If you want to take your education one step further, you can always work towards a Masters of Science in Nursing. The good news is that this degree is offered via online courses, making it simple to balance with your schedule. A Master of Science in Nursing can open the door for a number of career options in the medical field, it also serves as the foundation for a PhD! Visit this website to learn more about nursing and start working toward a better career with a few simple clicks.

If you’ve already got experience in nursing, whether through caring for a loved one or gaining experience in an entry-level role, you may find it far easier to get your foot in the door, although a qualification is still necessary to ensure you have all the information you need to hand. It’s also worth remembering that regardless of which option you choose, you’ll also need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination, either for Registered Nurses (known as the NCLEX-RN) or Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).


What to expect

Most nursing courses are heavily focused on experience, and you’ll find yourself on plenty of placements throughout your degree or diploma. It’s important to embrace each experience in nursing, as cultural and financial factors make each patient’s circumstances completely different. Many say that you can never really master working with patients as everybody will have their own needs and requirements, but getting a handle on the basics will set you in good stead for the rest of your career.

Modules vary from college to college, but there are a number of topics that will be covered wherever you study. Basic nursing practise and field practise – the tasks you’ll be required to do every day – will likely be one of the first things you’re trained in, so you can work efficiently and be a helpful part of a team when you are placed in a vocational role. You’ll also learn about the process of nursing different types of patients, such as those with long-term health problems, and be required to understand the social implications of acute illness as well as those of the patient’s physical well-being. Nurses are often more connected to a patient on a day-to-day basis, and provide valuable support for those struggling to come to terms with an illness, so a positive and practical bedside manner is essential.

You may choose to specialise your studies and work towards a career in nursing children, or providing mental health support. Both have different sets of requirements, and are rewarding in different ways; as a Registered Child Nurse you would need to study children of all ages, from babies to teenagers, and understand not just how to care for them but often their families as well. Mental health nursing courses focus more on understanding mental health and the problems that may arise, as well as how best to intervene and aid people struggling with mental health issues.

Where you could end up

Nurses end up in all sorts of environments – while it’s true we see them primarily at work in hospitals, you’ll also find nurses managing their own clinics, making house calls and working in executive positions. With a little ambition and hard work you could find yourself in your dream position, whether it’s operating a small clinic for a local school or assisting in the operating theatre.

Wherever you end up, always remember the “nursing approach”, the mantra that separates nurses from doctors and makes each nursing role distinctive: Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation!