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What Would You Do With a Degree In Nursing?

Doing a degree in nursing is more than just a course choice or a job choice; it’s a career and way of life.

Being a nurse means working long hours, looking after people who are sick and unable to care for themselves properly; it means staying hard, building your team, and working with people from all walks of life.

A career in nursing is more than just a job; it’s a vocation.

What You Can Do With Your Nursing Degree! by EmpoweRN

The Future Of The Nursing Profession

Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of misconceptions about what a nurse does and what life is like for current and future nurses.

Some of these are addressed in this article with the intent to diffuse the myths about nursing so that more students will consider going into nursing as a field of study.

Nursing Degree Program Pricing

The cost of a nursing degree program varies from school to school, students often aren’t aware of how much their nursing program will cost, and that’s why they need to do their research before enrolling.

Many students get stuck in a bad nursing school with a hefty price tag that turns out to be too expensive for them to even consider.

A good way to find out all the costs of your potential nursing program is to ask the admissions office and look at the financial aid package they offer.

The cost of getting into the nursing program isn’t the only thing to consider when looking at the costs; you have to take into account your scholarships and financial aid, as well as your living expenses while in school.

You may find it cheaper to go for an online degree program; Wilkes University nursing programs offer comprehensive study options for students who are looking to cut living expenses costs and for students who may need more flexible study options.

Education and Nursing Jobs: A Hard-working Profession

You might be wondering why some people choose to make a career in nursing when there are so many other fields out there that offer so much money.

The reason is that nurses have one of the highest pay rates for an entry-level professional.

A nurse who works in a hospital is paid pretty much the same as someone with the same education and skill level, it’s not until you get to a higher level of experience that there is a noticeable gap, meaning that the nurse with more experience is making more money than the one without.

It’s also not unusual for nurses to have high-paying jobs out of school, especially if they’re in specialized fields like pediatrics or oncology.

If you follow your dream of becoming a nurse and work hard towards getting into nursing school, it won’t really matter which hospital or health organization you work for because you will always have jobs available to you.

General Nursing Education

In order to become a nurse, you will need to take some prerequisites that teach you the basic nursing skills that are essential for your career.

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The two most common nurse associate’s degree programs are General Nursing (RN) and Practical Nurse (LPN).

These programs focus on getting you ready to take the NCLEX exam that can get you into nursing school immediately after finishing the program.

There are two different options for getting a bachelor’s degree and a Higher Level Certificate.

The first option is to get your degree in a science-related field and then come back to school later on to get your higher-level certificate in nursing.

The second option is to do both at the same time and learn more about nursing as you go along.

This can be highly beneficial if you’re looking for jobs that require interaction with patients; having the extra knowledge will make your job easier and more enjoyable.

Gainful Employment 

The current nursing employment climate is flourishing with opportunities; many people are retiring faster than new people with the skills and training of becoming RNs can replace them.

You should realize that the job requirements of being a nurse go beyond the technical aspects like knowing how to take vitals, check on wounds and keep people healthy.

A nurse is also responsible for monitoring their patients, making notes, and quickly reporting any changes in their condition.

Nursing requires a lot of hard work; it requires looking after people who are sick, depressed, and in bad shape; it can be emotionally taxing, physically tiring, and mentally challenging.

It can be said that a nurse is responsible for the well-being of their patients, making sure that they get the best treatment possible.

There’s also a lot of work involved in leading and managing a nursing staff.

A nurse is not just someone who takes care of their patients; they are an important member of the healthcare team and need to be properly trained and certified to manage their own staff.

There are positions for nurses in nearly every area of healthcare, and many hospitals offer positions that specifically require nurses with specific training and experience.

Building Your Nursing Skills

If you feel that you’re ready to start nursing school and should be able to finish your degree program in 2-3 years of full-time study, then you’re probably ready for the next step, which is finding a school that is accredited.

You can’t get into nursing school without passing the NCLEX examination.

The general American Council on Education (ACE) accreditation standards are essential for getting into nursing schools; making sure your educational experience is going to prepare you well enough for the NCLEX exam will help ensure a successful career.

Once you have completed your studies, you can build on your skills during your employment by moving around different medical settings, working in different nursing fields, and gaining experience so you can move up the ranks.

Nursing Job Outlook

As mentioned above, there are a few things to take into consideration when choosing a career in nursing because of the current job market.

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is one of the best resources for finding out about the job outlook for different careers; it’s updated regularly with data from across the country and gives you a good idea of how many jobs there are in your area. 

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You can look up your specific city and look at average wages, employment opportunities, and what other professionals in that field have to say about their work.

The nursing job outlook is interesting; nurses are in demand with a rising number of applicants to fill the available jobs and a shrinking number of jobs for new graduates.

The BLS also states that more nurses are needed in the health care industry to help meet the demands of our aging population.

Nursing Education Programs and Licenses

If you’re considering going to school for a nursing degree, do some research to find out what educational requirements you need to fulfill in order to graduate.

It’s always best if you start learning as soon as possible because nursing programs are competitive and there is limited space available, so once you’ve decided on your career path, it’s a good idea to get started right away.

Specializing In Nursing

Specializing in nursing is an excellent way to advance in the field; this can be done through your education, choosing a more specialized nursing position such as medication administration, or something you are already doing like nursing CNA or nursing assistant.

You can also work on obtaining more advanced education and continue your specialty training if you feel that you need it.

The first step towards getting a license is by taking the NCLEX examination, which tests your knowledge of anatomy and physiology.

After getting a license, you can have your CNA license and take on more advanced roles.

The next step of getting a license is to get a postgraduate certification in your field of nursing; this allows you to work as an RN and not just as a licensed practical nurse.

There are many specialized areas that nurses can obtain, such as cardiac care, breastfeeding management, neonatal care, and maternal-child health, for example.

Nursing Specialties

What kind of nursing job choices are there?

As you’ve probably noticed, there are many different nursing specialties out there; each one has a different way of doing things and requires different degrees and types of training.

Some examples of these specialties include pediatric nursing and intensive care nursing; it’s important when looking for jobs to make sure that you know exactly what the job requirements are.

The first and most important thing to consider is your area of specialty; you will need to choose the field that interests you the most because this will determine where you would like to go for your career.

Choose your region and then your specialty; the work environment will be different depending on what part of the country you want to work in.

A nurse is responsible for making sure that they are up to date with their certifications and continuing education; this can help them advance in the field and may qualify them for more lucrative positions.

Academic Requirements to Be a Nurse

Be prepared to take a lot of extra credit courses in chemistry and science as well as memorize information about anatomy and physiology.

If you’re already thinking about a specialized nursing career, then you should also consider taking some advanced courses to get started on this goal as soon as possible.

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It can take quite a long time to become a nurse, and it’s important to know that the career is one that requires lifelong learning; in fact, it’s one of the most important items on your resume.

The most common way people learn about a nursing career is from some sort of healthcare background; this means that the people you work with, relatives, or friends could be your first exposure to the nursing world.

If you want to get into nursing school, then you should already have taken some of these courses and completed Anatomy and Physiology in high school, at least.

Personal Skills Needed for Nursing

You will need to have good communication skills and be able to understand patients and their needs; you’ll need to be compassionate and empathetic.

You must be able to work well with a team as well as on your own because you will often be the person that is left in charge of things.

You’ll need some computer skills as well as medical terminology knowledge in order to keep up with advances in technology.

Professional Career Paths for Nurses

There are many different paths for nurses; some start out working on the front lines of healthcare close to the patients, others start out working on a team in a doctor’s office or hospital.

You can choose a career path that suits your personality and your interests; for example, you can become a nurse educator and work in a hospital or nursing school.

You may get bored with the job after a while if you’re not feeling like you’re being motivated or pushed to achieve your goals, especially if you are a high achiever.

If this sounds like you, you should try to find something that interests you about your current role or at least work towards your goals under your own steam; this will help you to stay motivated.

Getting a Nursing Job

The job market for nurses is competitive, even with a degree and license.

The most important thing on your resume is getting the experience; it’s mandatory to have some work history, even if it’s just volunteer work while you’re in school.

When looking for a job, make sure that you check out hospitals, clinics, and doctor offices to see what kind of positions they have available; these are some of the best ones for getting hands-on experience.

You’ll be able to get an idea of how much money you can expect to make in the area where you want to live because wages can vary from place to place.

The nurse is a very powerful role, so it’s important to be careful about the type of nursing job that you’re going for and whether it’s the best choice for your career.

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