Nursing careers are often well documented, but for all the wrong reasons. The talk is about how we don’t have enough nurses and that a lot of nurses are underpaid for the jobs they do. As someone that takes an interest in different careers, this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Why say that there’s a shortage of this job, and then proceed to go on about why the job seemingly sucks! It just puts more people off it, meaning there are fewer qualified nurses.
Today, I’m going to take a different path and tell you everything you need to know about a career in nursing. You’ll learn about how to become one, the different job responsibilities, the career ladder you can climb, and a lot more.
How To Become A Nurse
If you wish to pursue a career in nursing, you need to become a registered nurse. To do this, you have to undergo the right education to gain the correct qualifications. Your options are more diverse than you might think as there are different ways you can become an RN.
The first is to study for something called an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. Doing this will mean you go on a two-year course as you gain the basic qualifications to become an RN. An Associate’s Degree is almost like the halfway point between a high school diploma and a full-on college degree.
The second option is to get a nursing diploma. These diplomas aren’t as common as they used to be thanks to the other options available. Essentially, hospitals and other medical facilities may offer diploma courses that you can go on. They last a few years, and you earn the right to become an RN.
The third option is the longest, but perhaps the most beneficial for you. There are plenty of colleges up and down the country offering courses that provide you with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. It’s called a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) and allows you to become a registered nurse.
So, you have three options here that will all provide you with the qualifications you need to be licensed as an RN. No matter which approach you choose, you’ll always have to go through some form of education.
Roles & Responsibilities Of A Nurse
Generally speaking, every nurse will have the same underlying responsibility, which is to look after various patients. However, the roles you have may differ depending on the type of nurse you are, and your qualifications.
As you’ll see above, there are three ways to become a registered nurse. But, the first two options mean you’re an RN and nothing else. With a BSN under your belt, you are eligible to take on more roles and apply for different jobs. This is simply because you’ve had more rigorous training and undergone more extensive education.
So, what will a standard RN be able to do? Most of the time, they’re doing all your stereotypical nursing tasks such as:
- Tending to various patients
- Administering injections
- Changing bedclothes
- Making patients feel comfortable
- Preparing patients for medical procedures
- Working alongside doctors and physicians
Mainly, a nurse is there to support the doctors and physicians in a hospital. You can work as a general nurse that handles general patients, or you might specialize in a particular area of the hospital.
But, a BSN can do all of this and much more. They can work in other areas of healthcare too, not just a hospital. They could also move into the education sector and help train and educate new nurses. In essence, your options are wide open when you have a BSN.
This begs the question, why on earth would you opt for one of the other two options if you have more opportunities with a Bachelor’s degree? Simply put, some people just want to become a nurse as quickly as can be, and take things from there. The beauty is that you’re not stuck as a registered nurse forever. With something like an online RNBSN program, you can add the BSN qualifications to your arsenal, and be eligible for all the different roles. As such, you might choose to start off as an RN, and then get the extra qualifications after. Or, you may be more than happy with your job as a standard nurse and decide the extra bachelor’s degree isn’t necessary for you.
Average Earnings Of Nurses
The salary of a nurse depends on where they work and what state they work in, which is the same with pretty much any job. It also depends on the qualifications you have and the type of nurse you are. But, the figures and stats show that, on average, nurses do earn more than the average population.
The average earnings in the US are around $68,000 per year. Of course, this takes into account all the different nurses with different qualifications. There are some nurses that could earn close to $100,000 per year, but these are usually BSN qualified and highly experienced in big roles. Similarly, some earn as little as $45,000 per year, which puts them just about level with the average national salary for all Americans. Typically, it’s your standard registered nurses in poor areas that earn this low amount.
Nursing Career Path
You can burst onto the scene as a bright eyed new nurse ready to look after as many people as possible. But, that doesn’t mean you have to stay in this job forever. The more you work, the more opportunities there might be to move up in your career – either in the same hospital or a different place of work.
You can go from being a general nurse practitioner to a certified registered nurse anesthetist – which is the highest paid nursing job around. My point is, there are different nursing jobs available to nurses, you just have to work hard, earn your stripes, and ensure you have the right education.
I hope this guide has shown you more info about a nursing career and that you’ve learned something. Maybe this is the right career path for you? Who knows, but at least you now know more of what to expect.