Is the nursing profession right for you? Nursing can seem like one of the most worthwhile careers. Job security, endless free education, caring for people, and the potential to travel while getting paid. There is only one question you need to ask yourself: Is nursing right for you?
It is difficult to see the entire picture of a career without walking in a nurse’s shoes. So, I created a list of questions before settling on nursing as your next career.
IS THE NURSING PROFESSION RIGHT FOR YOU?
- How responsible and reliable are you?
- Are you a compassionate and caring person?
- Are you a good team player?
- How do you handle stress? Can you able to handle a career that provides new challenges daily?
- Are you able to follow directions and take criticism?
- Are you comfortable dealing with death, sickness, pain, end of life, and abusive patients/families?
- How squeamish are you? Can you handle blood, sputum, feces, and urine? Yes, as a nurse you will be touching these things.
- Are you comfortable with admitting mistakes and learning from those mistakes?
- Are you good at critical thinking and expressing your point of views to others?
- How comfortable are you with serving people of different ethnicities and backgrounds than your own? Can you remain unbiased if you disagree with someone’s life choices?
It is important to analyze these questions prior to making a decision on starting this career and jumping in head first.
Once you have made that decision, it’s important to consider what degree, nursing level, and specialty interests you.
WHAT KIND OF NURSE DO YOU WANT TO BE?
There are four categories of nursing degrees:
- An Associate Degree in Nursing, also known as a ASN or ADN, is offered by two-year degree community or state colleges. This degree prepares future nurses for the technical aspect of nursing practice
- A Bachelor of Science in Nursing, also known as a BS or BSN, is offered by four-year colleges and universities. This degree prepares future nurses and current nurses to engage in professional nursing practice focusing on:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Chronic Disease
- Different Nursing Specialties
- Nursing Theory and Research
- Health Policies
- Many universities offer different graduate degrees within the nursing realm.
- Master Degree in Nursing (MSN) prepare nurses for Advanced Nursing Practice through nursing leadership, education, and administration
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) prepares nurses for the research-based studies on evidenced based practice and conduct nursing research
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) prepares nurses for advanced clinical practice and Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ARNP)
LEVELS OF NURSING
- A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) can be completed only one-year post-high school.
- A Registered Nurse (RN) possess a minimum of an ADN and must pass a licensing examination to practice. Typically, a BSN in preferred.
- Advanced practice nurses include Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNP), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS), and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA).
CHOOSING A SPECIALITY
It’s not imperative to choose a specialty in nursing prior to starting nursing school. During your schooling, you will be exposed to surgery, emergency, OB/GYN, gastroenterology, intensive care, progressive care, neonatal, psychiatric, and pediatrics. It is important to experience the most from your clinical education to make an educated decision on your career.