Are you a natural caregiver? Do you like to take care of others and provide comfort? If so, you might enjoy a career in nursing. While a desire to provide comfort to others is one of the most important traits in the nursing profession, others include:
• The ability to assess healthcare needs
• Communicating well with a wide range or people—from doctors to patient families
• Administering medications, medical tests and a variety of health care interventions.
If you think you possess these traits, or would like to learn how, you will probably be a good nurse.
The Nursing Profession Offers Many Different Degrees
The nursing profession offers the opportunity to work in the medical field with different degree levels, including LPN, RN, and MSN. Each of these designations requires advanced education and licensing in all fifty states.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPN’s can usually attain their level of certification in one to two years of study, and are employed by hospitals, nursing homes, and home healthcare services. Because of their lesser course of studies, LPNs can only work under the supervision of an RN or BSN. They usually provide routine nursing care such as that provided for chronic health conditions and long-term care needs.
Registered Nurse (RN): An RN degree can be obtained through a variety of sources, including hospital degree programs, two-year associated degree programs (ADN) and four-year degree programs (BSN). While a two-year degree is a great way to obtain an RN designation and begin working as a nurse, a four-year BSN degree will provide more opportunities for advancement. Many hospital and other medical settings are increasingly requiring the BSN degree as a minimum requirement. Registered nurses are able to provide more independent care and are responsible for making more healthcare decisions for their patients. RNs with a BSN degree often specialize in certain fields of care, such as oncology, pediatric, or neo-natal care, which in turn can require further education to receive special certification.
Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN): Nurses who obtain their masters in nursing degree are able to work in specialist roles with increased decision-making power, including primary care and prescribing medication. These nurses are also called Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN).
What Is the Job Outlook for Nursing?
The great news about having a nursing degree is that you can work practically anywhere, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for registered nurses (RNs) is expected to increase 19% by the year 2022. The medium salary range for nurses can range from $41,000 for LPNs to over $100,000 for APRNs.