Nursing, Is it the right career for you?

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Challenging and Rewarding

If you are adventurous, love a challenge, are willing to learn and a desire to help others, nursing may just be the place for you. Yes, the days of white dresses, hose and caps are, for the most part, a thing of the past for nurses. Yet what continues is the compassion, challenges and diversity that prompted many to enter the profession in the first place.

I believe that health is a state of balance, or lack of, between a patient’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. It can also mean a decrease in the progression of disease or decline in quality of life. What makes the difference in a patient’s outcome, in my opinion, is the approach taken in ministering and treating the condition and concerns of that person. I believe there is much more involved, regarding caring for a patient to increase healing, than just treating the body. When focus is put on the spirit as well as the body, healing time can be shortened, positive attitudes are established and compliance improves.

There are several different specialties in the field of nursing and even sub-specialties that many don’t know. The list includes: medical/surgical, cardiac, critical care, emergency care, pediatrics, obstetrics, neonatal, surgical and women’s health just to name a few. There are also home health, hospice and dialysis that add to the variety that the nursing professional has the opportunity to pursue.

Licensed Practical Nurse Program

The question is how does one obtain the skills and credentials that lead to a career in this rewarding field? The answer is that you must get the proper education, decide on a college and pass a state board exam. Finding the right college for your needs and goals is essential. There are community colleges that offer a technical program known as licensed practical nurse program or LPN program.

In the LPN program, the basic skills of patient assessment, medication administration and patient care are taught in a 9-12 month period. Classroom time is included to learn skills as well as clinical time (time spent in cooperating facilities).

In order to enter into such a program an application to the school and program as well as an entrance exam is mandatory. No college classes are needed prior to admission. LPN’s have some limitations in the specific skills they can perform as well as areas of practice. The benefit to this program is that after completion, a license to practice can be obtained in a year or less.

Registered Nurse Program

Another option is a two-year associates degree or a four-year bachelors degree in registered nursing. Both the two and four year programs lead to licensure but the four-year plan provides a broader variety of career options.

To participate in the registered nursing program, applications to the college and program of your choice must be submitted along with an entrance exam. In contrast to the LPN program, the registered nurse, RN program, does require prerequisite classes. Prerequisite classes are courses that must be taken prior to entrance to the program such as anatomy & physiology and basic chemistry. A grade of C or better must be achieved in all pre-requisite courses in order to be accepted into the program. As with the LPN program, assessment skills, medication administration and patient care are all included but additional hands-on clinical time is incorporated into the learning experience.

Upon successful completion of the program, you will need to sit for the state board exam. An application and fee is necessary in order to take the licensure exam, which is computerized and takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete. The requirements for maintaining a nursing license are different for each individual state. A fee must be submitted every 2-3 years, fulfillment of requirements and in many cases, continuing education is needed to avoid expiration of license and inability to practice.

The choice to go to nursing school is a big decision and completing the program one of the most challenging things you will ever accomplish! The reward for all your efforts is a career that will challenge and satisfy.

So, to become a nurse takes a lot but to be a nurse means a lot! If you’re willing to put forth the time and energy it takes you can enjoy a truly rewarding career!

Being a Nurse

Nurse TV:Video Series About Nurses

© 2012 cammyshawn

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