The Dream of Becoming a Nurse: What It Takes To Get There
Nursing is a health profession where you care for individuals who need your help in coping with illness and injury.
Though it is not as dangerous as surgery, nurses are still responsible for keeping patients safe from harm.
They may provide care and treatment by assessing the patient's condition, providing appropriate treatments, monitoring their progress, or directing them to other specialists.
Nurses also often advise family members on how to support someone with chronic illness or disability and provide education about what is happening in their loved one's life.
Becoming A Registered Nurse in the United States
Most students apply for a nursing program at the same time they apply to graduate school, but there are many nursing schools around the country.
The different programs may offer different programs of study, standards for admission and completion, and requirements for graduation.
There are nursing schools that require students to attend in-person and other schools, like Baylor University Online, that hold online classes giving students more flexibility in how and when they learn.
Some schools require completion of a bachelor's degree in another major prior to beginning a nursing program, while others allow students with an associate's degree or other forms of pre-nursing training to begin directly into nursing.
Many schools may require students with fewer than 60 credit hours completed to take one additional course before beginning their studies.
What Are The Requirements To Become a Nurse?
Nurses use their skills to care for individuals in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, adoption agencies, and retirement homes.
They may also provide care to patients at home and provide education to the public about health issues or promote health and wellness.
This work requires the ability to listen well, follow directions, and be able to think on your feet in emergency situations.
It also requires that you have strong communication skills with people of all backgrounds.
You will make many important decisions during your career as a nurse in charge of a particular patient's care.
The Different Types of Nurses
In today's world of advanced medical care, there are a number of different nursing roles and specialties that may interest you.
Here are just a handful.
Mental Health Nurse
The role of a mental health nurse is to help patients who are mentally ill or unable to think clearly due to a chronic illness.
They may provide care by evaluating a patient's condition and provide treatments that help the patient return to productivity.
They often work with psychiatrists or other mental health specialists by providing assessments, treatment plans, and counseling.
A nurse practitioner (NP) may work in an acute care setting such as an emergency room, where they may refer patients to a physician if they feel the physician would be best able to identify an illness or injury, prescribe treatment, and monitor their progress.
The job of an NP is to diagnose, treat and manage health problems in the same way a physician does.
Due to their training, NPs can order diagnostic tests and prescribe medications, as well as order additional treatment or tests.
A nurse-midwife may work in a hospital or clinic setting where they provide prenatal care to women who are expecting and offer care during childbirth.
They may also assist women with cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other chronic health conditions during pregnancy by providing them with education and support.
Midwives generally work closely with doctors in these cases so that the mother is receiving the best possible care for her baby's health and for her own health throughout her pregnancy.
Women's Health Nurse
Another specialized nursing role is the women's health nurse.
This nurse may counsel and educate women about their reproductive health and provide support for women who are suffering from chronic illnesses or pregnancy.
They also provide education on topics like birth control and sexual health to women of all ages.
If you want to be able to care for patients on a regular basis, then you might want to consider a career as a school nurse.
This role includes providing care for not only young adults but also children, including infants and toddlers, in areas such as an emergency room or clinic.
Emergency Care Nurse
Nurses who work in emergency care settings such as urgent care centers or even in the trauma center of a major hospital are also a specialized group of nurses.
If you love working at a fast pace, then this might be the kind of environment for you.
The role of an emergency care nurse is to provide immediate first aid for patients with trauma or those who are waiting for treatment after being seen by a physician.
They may assess the patient's condition and provide treatment until they can be further evaluated by a doctor or transferred to another health provider who can monitor their condition.
Pediatric is another specialty role that may be right up your alley if you want to care for children and infants.
This nurse may work in an emergency room, in a clinic, or in the intensive care unit of a hospital.
Their job includes providing emergency care, monitoring the patient's condition, and providing treatment, along with educating and comforting family members who are with their child.
If you want to become a nurse who specializes in cancer care, then give oncology nursing serious consideration.
Oncology nurses have a close relationship with other health professionals and may work with them to provide safe care for cancer patients.
They may also participate in research aimed at developing new forms of treatment.
Is Becoming a Nurse Right for You?
After considering the lifestyles of nurses and the different types and varieties of nursing careers, it's easy to see that nursing is a great fit for many different people.
Are you a good fit, though?
If you consider yourself to be a compassionate person who likes helping people, then it might be just the right career decision for you.
Nurses work in a variety of locations throughout their careers, including hospitals, clinics, physician offices, and even in their own homes, which makes it an incredibly versatile career.