Nursing as a career, began with the iconic Florence Nightingale. She instilled in the profession the desire to care for others, improve overall health and advocate for patients. There was minimally structure to educating nurses in her day, unlike today, where education can range from certificate programs to doctorate level. Nursing has changed leaps and bounds since Florence's day, allowing today's nurses to vary their working experiences away from patient bedside.
As a bachelor's degree registered nurse, I have worked in a variety of settings. I began my career on a progressive care unit in the hospital, taking care of post-heart attack and congestive heart failure patients. I worked night shift, evening shift and day shift in that role. From there, I went to a busy cardiology office trying feverishly to keep my patients well and out of the hospital. Now, after twelve years as a nurse, I find myself working in utilization management. My work involves reviewing patient charts and determining medical necessity for ordered testing. I have no direct patient contact with my current job. In fact, I work in an office building. The varied work experiences I have personally had, have led me to pursue furthering my education.
Nursing allows so many opportunities for caring for others. From bedside nursing to office work, from research to telephone triage, from informatics to nurse practitioner positions, nursing lets anyone interested in healthcare find their perfect fit. I became a nurse for selfish reasons. I had been in college for two years and was undecided on which path to take. My grandmother, who passed away when I was in fourth grade, was a nurse who was involved in educating other nurses. I was searching for a direction for my future, and latched on to the idea of following in my grandmother's footsteps. That said, everything changed on September 11, 2001. The event that changed our world, happened the morning of my very first nursing exam. I knew in that moment that I needed to finish school so that I could help others. I knew that I had happened upon the career I was meant to do. I never again wanted to feel helpless in a moment of crisis. There are truly few careers out there that seem to be filled with such passion as nursing. People who put forth the time and energy to make it through nursing school, are not doing it for the money but for the opportunity to care for others.
If nursing is a career path that you are thinking about, do your research and follow your dreams. If caring for others is your passion, you cannot go wrong with nursing. If you know you want to be in healthcare but want options for your future, nursing is a perfect choice. Visit www.nursingworld.org for more information about nursing as a career.