Nursing is a unique profession.
It’s emotionally demanding, and the days can be long and taxing, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. If you are considering a career in nursing, here are some things to consider:
Go Big or Go Home
Nursing requires you to deal with both mental and physical ailments on an everyday basis. Be prepared for shifts that might last 12 hours or more.
Nurses are known for being reliable workhorses which can handle stressful situations without breaking a sweat, but that won’t always be the case! If you decide to pursue this as your career choice, it’ll take one heck of an emotional toll on your personal life, too; prepare accordingly.
Nursing School Requirements and Prerequisites
Nursing school is usually a three-year program, but there are also an increasing number of programs out there that allow you to complete your education in just two years. Regardless of the length of your program, you’ll need to take a few prerequisite classes before you can even apply.
You’ll be required to:
Have any number of math courses or Algebra II or above;
Have at least one English class; and have one science course (Biology, Chemistry, or Physics) as well as one health course (General Biology or Human Anatomy and Physiology).
Nursing school is often a science-heavy degree, so if you aren’t interested in that type of education or feel like you’re not good at it, consider your options carefully. There is the option to “upgrade” a non nursing degree to BSN online which is a good option.
Also read: What is Home Care? and its Different Types.
Getting a Nursing License
If you’re serious about getting into nursing, there are a few steps you should follow in order to set yourself up for a dream career that is both financially successful and personally rewarding.
Step 1. Get Educated
First things first: make sure that you’re getting into this career for the right reasons. Don’t just go through with it because you have a free year to kill and don’t know what else to do or because you’ve heard. It’ll be easy money.
It’s important to really want this and to be open to the idea of dedicating yourself to your career. If you are not ready for that level of commitment, it’s best to pursue other options.
Step 2. Find the Right Program For You
If you’re in the right headspace, you can start applying to nursing programs.
If you have a little time and are certain that nursing is the right career for you, a more generalized program may be best, but if you feel anxious to get out into the real world and start making some cash ASAP, consider an accelerated program.
Education may be your top priority as a nursing student, but once you finish up your schooling and get yourself into the real world, your work ethic will be just as important (if not more so).
Nurses are known for working long shifts with minimal breaks; plan accordingly!
Step 3. Research Qualifications for Any Specialisms You May Want To Do
If you’ve decided to go for a more accelerated course, here’s the tricky part: you’ll need to take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examinations) test in order to get your license.
This is a standardized nursing exam that you might not have known about prior to your nursing education, but it’s a requirement that must be met in order to become a nurse.
If you are thinking of going into a more specialized role, you’ll need to think about what training and qualifications will be needed to make that role a success.
Step 4. Check Out the Opportunities In Your Field and Beyond
Once you’ve made it through the hard work of school and all the exam preparation, the next step is to find a job!
There are plenty of fabulous specialties to choose from as a nurse, and they range from home care nursing to emergency care to psychiatric treatment.
Think about what you want from your nursing role before you begin your job hunt; this way, you can ensure that your search is a fruitful one. Check out our list of the best jobs for nurses!
Step 5. Build A Solid Volunteering Portfolio
Volunteering is a crucial part of the nursing career path, but it’s also one that can take a back seat to all of your other responsibilities.
Don’t rush this process; you should start volunteering as soon as possible in order to get the most out of your education and have ample opportunities for experience.
Step 6. Seek Out Community Involvement in Your Field
Community involvement is another essential part of being a nurse.
In order to become well-versed in all aspects of the health care industry, you’ll need to make sure that you’re not missing out on any possible opportunities for community service or practice.
What To Do Next?
If you think your heart is in nursing, then it’s time to get started! Think about the options mentioned above and consider how they can be applied to your own life.
The steps outlined above are just a few of the most essential ones; you’ll want to investigate some others on your own.
- What will be required of me intra-and post-education if I want to become a nurse?
- What about licensing?
- What about malpractice insurance or dues for professional organizations?
The list goes on and on.
Do some research and make sure that you’re prepared for everything that might come your way. In the meantime, be sure to check out what nursing programs we have!
The Benefits of Being a Nurse
As you can see by now, there are a lot of upsides to becoming a nurse, but good news: there are also plenty of benefits that come with being a nurse, too!
So without further ado, here are just some of the wonderful things about being a nurse:
Work in a range of settings, including medical facilities and private homes. Not only will you have the opportunity to learn new skills, but you’ll be able to cultivate expertise in a variety of fields and practice them as much as you want.