Choosing a Rewarding Career in the Nursing Field

With a critical shortage of nurses in the USA, it’s obvious that they are very much in demand. This rewarding career offers the chance to specialize in multiple areas of medicine. If you are considering studying in this field or changing careers to become a nurse, the following information will help you to make an informed decision.

Good Reasons for Choosing a Nursing Career

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 221,900 new jobs for registered nurses will be created over the period of 2019 to 2029 to deal with the shortage of qualified nurses. So, finding a job as a nurse is going to be easy, even for the individual who decides to change careers. 

With a median total annual wage of approximately $73,300 a registered nurse will be earning a good income. Additionally, if you choose nursing as a career, there is plenty of scope for advancing by studying further.

Nursing enables you to make a difference in other people’s lives and provides a sense of purpose and meaning to your work. You will be actively involved in saving lives and making patients more comfortable. It is not just business as usual but an exciting career that involves daily interaction with others. You will be working in a fast-paced environment with lots of variety, such as different and unusual diseases, an ever-changing patient base, and working alongside other professionals as an important team member.

Nursing is a field that offers a lot of variation. There are many nursing specialties. These allow you to choose the area that best suits your personality and interests.

Choosing a Nursing Specialty

A Registered Nurse (RN) operates as part of a multidisciplinary team. This role involves providing care to patients, coordinating treatments, offering support and comfort, and dealing with the families of patients. From here, you can branch out to other specialties. You will need either a Bachelor of Science degree or an Associate’s Degree. Thus, you will study for either two or four years and will be able to start working a lot sooner than other healthcare providers.

With one person dying every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease in America, there is a growing need for qualified Cardiac Nurses. In addition to the qualifications needed by a Registered Nurse, a Cardiac Nurse must have a Registered Nursing License. In this role, you will participate as a member of a surgery team performing bypass operations and other surgeries that save lives. 

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is one of the most highly paid nursing fields to enter. You are looking at an income of roughly $153,780 once qualified. The job involves working in conjunction with an anesthesiologist during surgery and managing pain pre-and post-surgery. You will need a Master’s degree (MSN) and a Registered Nursing License, and you must have spent one year in an Acute Care setting. 

Critical Care Nurses are a lot like Registered Nurses except that they need a certificate in Advanced Cardiac Life Support in addition to the RN qualifications. They mainly work with trauma patients and those with life-threatening conditions.

An ER Nurse also requires the same qualifications as a Registered Nurse plus a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) certificate. These nurses work in an emergency room and are required to assess and stabilize patients. It is a pressurized environment, and a clear head is needed to ensure that the right medications are administered and that wounds and ailments are seen to in a busy setting.

A Geriatric Nurse deals primarily with the elderly patient in hospitals, doctor’s rooms, and nursing homes. Along with a Registered Nursing License and the same qualifications as a Registered Nurse, they are also required to have a certificate in Geriatric Nursing. Geriatric Nurses deal with everything from basic nursing care to dealing with mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and serious conditions. 

A Surgical or Operating Room (OR) nurse must be in possession of a CNOR and Certified Nurse First Assistant (CNFA) Certification. Also known as a perioperative nurse, this specialty involves preparing an operating room for surgery and assisting while the surgery is being performed.

A Nurse Midwife is involved in the care of pregnant women. As part of their job, they will see expectant mothers for prenatal visits.  Nurse Midwives are responsible for assisting during labor and helping with childbirth. They also provide advice to new mothers on the care of their babies.

An Oncology Nurse requires a Bachelor of Science degree or an Associate’s Degree and 1000 hours of training as a Registered Nurse. No additional certification is needed. This specialty allows the Oncology Nurse to prescribe certain medications.

An Orthopedic Nurse requires a Bachelor of Science degree and a Registered Nursing License. They must also have passed the Orthopedic Nurse Certification Exam (ONC). This nurse works at hospitals, doctor’s offices, and rehabilitation centers. The type of work concerns fractured bones, arthritis, joint replacements, musculoskeletal problems, and osteoporosis. 

A Pediatric Nurse needs a Bachelor of Science degree or an Associate’s Degree as well as a Registered Nursing License. There are no additional certification requirements. The job entails working with children ranging in age from babies to teenagers. They will conduct physical examinations, diagnose illnesses, and design treatment plans.

The Public Health Nurse position requires the same qualifications as a Pediatric Nurse. However, they will also need additional certification by successfully completing a Public/Community Health Nursing Examination. This nurse deals with communities and educating them about diseases. For example, the Public Health Nurse may advise communities on the prevalence of certain types of cancer, the necessity of screening, and where to go to be tested. They work from hospitals and community clinics.

Finally, a Travel Nurse moves around or works from a specific location, according to their contract. Along with the usual requirements, they require additional certification for any specialties pertinent to their duties. They are paid hourly and also receive a housing allowance. This particular job enables them to gain professional experience across a range of specialties and to work in different settings.

Leadership and Advanced Positions in Nursing

If you are already in the nursing field and want to advance your career, there are a number of leadership positions available to you. Or perhaps you want to work more independently, performing some of the duties a doctor would. 

Another specialty requiring a higher level of education is that of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). This career requires a minimum of a Master’s degree and may require a Doctoral degree. The role of Clinical Nurse Specialist also falls under the category of an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). A CNS is usually in a leadership position with other nurses reporting to them. They may also be involved in educating other nurses.

A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) works directly with all aspects of primary care for patients ranging from babies to the elderly. Along with a Registered Nursing License, this position requires a Master’s degree. Another key requirement is 500 hours of clinical work supervised by faculty. In this specialty, an FNP will be required to both diagnose and treat conditions, arranging diagnostic testing, conducting examinations, and prescribing medicines as they often work alone providing primary care, or at a hospice, or in doctors’ rooms.

A Nurse Practitioner has the same requirements and duties as a Family Nurse Practitioner. However, the certification needed is dependent on the area in which you want to specialize. The advantage of these positions is that your duties are similar to that of a doctor but with a much shorter study time.

A Nurse Educator requires a Master’s degree, a Registered Nurse License, and must be certified with the Nurse Educator Examination. This specialist will work in hospitals, universities, and community colleges. The Nurse Educator provides training to nurses. This training can cover all general aspects of nursing or can specialize in a particular field, such as geriatric care or Emergency Room nursing. They promote evidence-based care, which means teaching nurses to practice nursing according to research in best practices. 

Jobs for Nurse Educators are listed as Nurse Educator, Nursing Instructor, Nursing Curriculum Coordinator, Nursing Education Consultant, Nursing Professional Development Specialist, and Clinical Competency Coordinator. Amongst their duties are training in a classroom, assessing curriculum material and designing courses, monitoring student nurses in the clinical setting, and undertaking practical research.

A Nurse Manager is an administrative position that only requires a Bachelor’s degree or Associate’s degree, a Registered Nurse License, and the following certificates: – Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) or Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML). Their working environment is in hospitals, surgical centers, and outpatient facilities and they undertake clinical and supervisory duties. Amongst their duties are dealing with staff recruitment, managing and making budgetary decisions, and preparing schedules such as duty rosters.

A Nursing Administrator is responsible for managing entire teams of nurses in the clinical setting. The scope of the job is bigger than that of the Nursing Manager. The ability to handle large groups of staff and ensure the smooth running of a department is required. Qualifications are a Bachelor of Science degree and a Registered Nursing License. This position pays an average of $96,540 annually.

Finally, the most sought-after degree by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is a post master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice. This position requires influential leaders with a nursing background and candidates must have a Master’s degree. The Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a doctoral program that is focused on evidence-based practice, and it develops nursing leaders for the highest level of clinical nursing practice. Marymount University offers this as an online degree. A post master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice is the highest level a nurse can aspire to. You will need clinical, organizational, economic, and leadership skills for this position. In this position, you will be responsible for designing and implementing programs of care delivery that have a huge impact in the nursing field and for determining policies and standards of healthcare.

The Benefits and Challenges of Studying Online for a Nursing Qualification

Due to the critical shortage of nurses, as well as because of Covid, online training for nurses has become very popular. One of the key advantages of online training is that you can continue working and earning an income while you study. This allows the practicing nurse to advance their skills and qualifications and so prepare themselves for a higher position in nursing. 

Compared to traditional face-to-face training, nurses who have undertaken online training state that they feel they worked harder, but at the same time they also felt part of a community. Different teaching methods are needed, and the biggest challenge is to manage the practical aspects of training. Simulations of real-life situations are used both for training and for assessing the competence of the trainee. There is also a bigger reliance on technology in online training. Teachers providing online training are realizing the need to create a strong lecturer presence and this has been shown to provide greater satisfaction with courses.

Nursing provides a rewarding career for those who want to make a difference, save lives, and interact with patients and colleagues. With dire shortages in the field, the trainee is assured of finding a job once they have completed the required training, whether online or face-to-face traditional programs are attended. The nursing arena provides multiple opportunities to satisfy personal preferences through numerous specialties, from working with babies and pregnant mothers to the elderly, and different working environments such as an emergency room, cancer ward, cardiac unit, or hospice. 

There is also plenty of room for growth, for example, changing your specialty. Opportunities for advancing your career are abundant, all the way to a post master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice – the highest possible attainment for a nurse. What is certain is that nursing is never dull. It also provides you with the chance to make a real difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. Nursing is both challenging and rewarding. 

How to Be a Great Employee
How to Be a Great Employee
Read More:
Culture
  • 10678531520930918