Nursing is a growing field full of dedicated and caring people who comfort those in need and help save lives. It is a rewarding career for those interested in helping people both physically and emotionally, and courses are available all over the world.
Degrees for Nursing
All nurses have some form of a degree or diploma from a specialized nursing program. Many major colleges and universities offer nursing programs for their students that result in a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN),an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), or if further education is pursued a Masters Degree in Nursing (MSN). Both options put students through rigorous courses involving anatomy, physiology, chemistry, biology, and other similar physical and behavioral sciences. The BSN usually takes about four years to complete while the ADN programs take from two to three. Outside of major universities, there are specific nursing schools that only offer programs in nursing. These schools offer the same basic classes and the program lasts from two to three years as well.
Clinical hours are required in all nursing programs to give the participants hands on experience before they come out of school. Depending on the student, these hours can be spent in pediatric hospitals, surgical units, psychiatric wards, or whatever else might spark their interest. The students observe how the medical professionals interact and provide care for patients. They are required to travel throughout the hospital or clinic to see the day-to-day workings of the facility. The clinical hours make students accustomed to doing small duties around the hospital such as fetching items for the doctors or taking the temperature of patients. The more experience offered to training nurses, the more comfortable they will be when beginning their career.
LPN vs. RN
There are a few different types of nursing titles depending on the educational reach of the individual. A LPN is a Licensed Practical Nurse, they attend to maintaining vital signs and making the patients comfortable. They tend to provide care under the authority of a Physician or a Registered Professional Nurse (RN). A RN has received a separate license that allows them to practice without the supervision of a registered physician. They tend to work in specialized clinics that focus on one area of medicine in which they have had advanced education and training.
The final step in becoming a certified nurse is to register with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and provide information based on their state. Alongside the registration, all nurses are required to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The NCLEX insures that potential nurses are competent in knowledge of the field and performing medical procedures. There are multiple study guides and practice exams available online for exam preparation. Past the exam, each state has its own set of requirements that must be fulfilled before the official certification. An example of a state requirement for New York is that the person must be in “good moral standing.”
After the initial education and licensing qualifications have been reached, nurses have the option of continuing their education through a Master’s of Science in Nursing. This program is offered to nurses who have spent at least two years completing fieldwork and are interested in working in an advanced practice. Generally, the courses last two years and the classes are specialized in an area chosen by the student. Many graduates of this degree become nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetist. There are also Doctorate programs available in Nursing Practice for those interested in acquiring the highest degree available in the nursing community.
The nursing field is a highly respected career with a multitude of programs available worldwide. There are areas of interest for any medically relevant field from forensics to prenatal care, after the steps to becoming a certified nurse have been accomplished.