4 Tips to Starting a Rewarding Career as a Nurse
Nursing can be a very rewarding and fulfilling career, and it is ideal for those of you with a passion to help others. Around the world, the nurses uniform is a symbol of solidarity with humans most vulnerable, most in need, and a sign of a virtuous, loving, and caring person, and for very good reason. For many people, nursing is a calling that they knew they had to do because they enjoy helping others for as long as they remember. It can also be as equally confusing and convoluted to become a nurse and begin practicing as quickly as possible. We’ll outline concisely what you’ll need to do in order to pursue a career as a nurse in 4 crucial steps. Here they are:
Pick the Path for You
Nursing is a field of many directions, ranging from certified nursing assistants (CNA), to staff nurse, or even nurse administrator. When you are choosing your path, you should consider what work environment you prefer, and which one you thrive in. Nurses are found in hospitals, doctors’ offices and a variety of medically related settings. CNA’s are also often employed in nursing homes with the most vulnerable. Think of which of these settings inspires you the most, which one gives you drive to make direct and invaluable change to people’s lives. There are also so many facets to healthcare, and nurses often specialize in certain areas, such as geriatrics or emergency cases. If you have a particular passion for one specific type of nursing, that’s where you should start your education, leading us into our second step.
Except for passion, there are still a number of factors you need to consider when it comes to your specialization. For instance, a travel nurse’s lifestyle differs from that of most nurses, because they have the opportunity to explore new places. In contrast, labor and delivery nurses typically work in a clinic, hospital, or birthing center near to their living area. This specialty has its perks as well and if you want to learn more about them you can read the article here, which covers all the information you need to know about labor and delivery nursing.
Get Your Degree
The path you choose directly affects the type of nursing degree you’ll need to complete. Nursing programs typically consist of a mix of classroom instruction and clinical, hands-on experience. Both are crucial assets to have as a nurse, and you will have to master both to be the best nurse you can be. There is also the issue of accessibility, and whether your life is particularly busy even without getting your nurse’s education. A variety of degrees can be earned online, with the clinical aspects being completed locally. There is also the possibility of an associate’s degree, which takes less time to complete and allows you to enter the field sooner, but may have you lose out on certain positions that prefer a more in-depth education.
Get Your License
After the education is complete you’ll need to take an exam to demonstrate what you’ve learned, and afterwards you’ll receive your license to practice. This licensing varies by country, but in the United States you’ll need to take the NCLEX exams, as well as other certification exams depending on which career path you have chosen. For Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), you’ll need to take the National Council Licensure Examination, while Nurse Practitioners must pass the national certification exam that is administered by a professional organization.
Finally, nurse midwives must pass the American Midwifery Certification Board examination (ACMB), and Nurse Anesthetists must pass the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. A lot to take in, right? That is why picking your specific path early on makes things a lot more manageable, and you’ll know the exact path you need to take to begin your career as a nurse.
Make Connections and Suit Up
As in most careers, who you know is paramount to success and longevity in a given field. To get a job, you are best off joining a local association, meeting nurses in the area, and making contact to see where job openings might be. Alternatively, there may be room for employment through the institution you got your education in, as they are closely tied to a variety of other healthcare facilities looking for nurses immediately. It is possible, though, that there is a surplus of nurses where you currently reside, and it may be more practical for you to move or work in a different area that has a need for nurses, or a shortage.
With that in mind, from there all you’ll need to do is begin practicing and don that nurses uniform with pride. Finally, remember that getting the job is just one thing, but nursing can be a stressful job and staying safe at work requires the use of protective gear and capable shoes to enjoy a stress-free work shift.
We hope that this list was short, yet informative enough to help you carve a career as a nurse for yourself, and figure out where you fit in, in the medical field.