An Introduction to Becoming a Nurse
Nursing has always been a popular profession, but one that is understandably in demand for more individuals interested in working in healthcare. Becoming a nurse can be a long process depending on the type of nurse that you are interested in becoming.
There are many different nursing specialties that depend on nurses being competent at working as part of a team to assess and implement care to patients. To learn the many specialities you will be asked to demonstrate throughout your nursing career, you will need to undertake education and study for your chosen medical assistant profession. The difficulty of the courses, the skills you will need to learn, and the length of time your nursing education will last for will depend on the nursing level you want to achieve.
Why Choose a Career in Nursing?
Apart from the satisfaction of knowing that you're helping people live better and longer lives, there's also the fact that there is a shortage of many types of nurses in the United States. Reports state that the number of people training to become registered nurses is not sufficient to meet the demands for nurses across the country. The reasons for this shortage has been ongoing for several years, but the fact is that there are many job opportunities for graduates of nursing degrees throughout the states of the U.S.
Whether you attend a nursing school or undertake nursing programs online to fulfil your educational requirements to become a nurse, the end result will be a qualification of a Diploma in Nursing, Associate Degree in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice.
Diploma in Nursing
Taking a Diploma in Nursing will typically take around 3 years to complete. This type of nursing degree requires students to study subjects relating to chemistry, microbiology, physiology, nutrition, anatomy and others before moving on to intensive nursing classes. Whereas some years ago most registered nurses were educated by nursing diploma programs, that number is now significantly less than it once was.
Associate Degree in Nursing
Referred to as an ADN, this type of degree is the most common among students. An Associate Degree in Nursing can be a two-year degree, but might be extended due to prerequisite and co-requisite courses that needed to be taken.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Another degree that nurses can take to advance their education is a BSN. This is a four-year degree that involves students obtaining general education requirements for the first half of the degree, and the remainder concentrating on nursing courses. The difference between the BSN and ADN programs are that the former is more of an academic degree involving nursing theory and research, whereas the latter involves an "on the job" training approach.
When compared to an ADN graduate, a BSN graduate will have more clinical hours of study and classroom experience in nursing. When education for a BSN degree is complete the individual is a professional nurse, but may be required to fulfil a specific amount of clinical experience in some states of the U.S.
Master of Science in Nursing / Doctor of Nursing Practice
For graduates that want to further their education such as that of a nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), certified registered nurse anaesthetist (CRNA) or certified nurse midwife (CNM), advanced master's and doctoral programs can be taken. After completing a doctoral program the student will be prepared for work in advanced clinical practice, health care administration, clinical research and nursing education.
Nursing Continuing Education
In order to keep up with the advance of health care knowledge, nurses can attend Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) programs and courses. These classes aim to ensure that nurses are able to provide the best care to patients as possible, stay in line with the requirements of the Board of Nursing and to also advance nursing careers.
The American Nursing Credentialing Center and the American Nurses Association ensure that nurses can find nursing continuing education courses to attend, but this is also regulated at the state level in many areas.