Training to become a nurse is a challenging and demanding process, but it can also be a very rewarding one. Nursing is a difficult job that combines technical and personal skills and knowledge in order to deliver the best levels of care to patients. If you love working with people and helping them, then nursing could be a career option for you. Here are three important things to think about when you are considering becoming a nurse:
Your education is the first step to achieving your goals and becoming a nurse, and it is important to be prepared and consider the types of courses and qualifications you will need in order to work in your chosen field of nursing. Choosing your nursing path is one of the first things you will need to do. There are numerous types and fields within the nursing industry, and most require specific training and qualifications.
In general, the pathway to becoming a nurse is studying at an accredited nursing school and achieving a BSN degree, which is a bachelor’s of science in nursing. You will then need to gain your license in order to practice as a nurse. You can also undertake a master’s degree to further your skills and knowledge, and many specialized nursing careers require this level of education as a minimum. Further education, such as a DNP, or a doctor of nursing practice, and a PhD nursing can also be studied to reach those higher level of nursing careers, such as nurse educators and executives.
Some of these courses and qualifications can even be achieved by studying online, which is a brilliant option if you want to continue working or practicing alongside your studying, or cannot attend in-person, full-time classes for a variety of reasons. There are a lot of benefits to online study, and many courses will combine distance learning with in-person placements, residencies, or clinical hours to allow you to put your new knowledge into practice.
As well as the many technical skills and knowledge you will gain when training to become a nurse, you will also require and develop certain personal skills and characteristics that help to make a great nurse. These can include:
- Compassion and empathy – you need to be able to connect with a range of people and put yourself in their shoes in order to understand them.
- Communication – you will be talking with many different people who have differing levels of understanding when it comes to nursing and medicine. You need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and medical professionals alike and adapt your communication approaches to fit different situations.
- Teamwork – you will also be working with many other people, some of whom will be medical professionals, and some will not. Good teamwork is essential in making sure things run smoothly and efficiently.
- Stamina – nursing is a very physically and emotionally demanding career, and you can find yourself walking around four miles a day. There is also a lot of movement and lifting involved, as well as the need to be emotionally strong in order to keep yourself and your patients well and safe.
Nurses are incredibly knowledgeable and skilled individuals who have a great combination of technical and personal skills that help them provide a high level of care and support to the people they help and care for.
When it comes to career outcomes and the different types of nursing, there are plenty of options to choose from. You will need to decide on your pathway fairly early on to allow you to pursue the correct education. Nurses can be categorized using various factors, such as their level of education, the facility they work in, their medical specialty, and the communities that they work with.
Some nursing positions and fields you could work in include:
- Babies and children – labor and delivery, NICU, certified nurse-midwife, pediatric endocrinology or perinatal.
- Specific communities – prisons, schools, military, or public health.
- Medical specialties – forensic, cardiovascular, pain management, dialysis, or oncology.
- Administrative roles – nurse executives, chief nursing officer, patient care director, or nursing home administration.
- Education roles – dean or associate dean of nursing, nursing program director, or faculty of practice.
Nursing is an incredibly varied carrier and can take you in many different directions. The process of becoming a nurse is demanding and challenging but can be very rewarding, allowing you to help a wide range of people, work in different settings and within various communities. You could even help shape the future of nursing and educate the next generation of nurses.