Steps to Becoming a Registered Nurse (RN)

Nursing is a demanding career; however it is one of the most rewarding career choices anyone could make. People in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other medical establishments can benefit from your help when you get your nursing degree. Plus, with the nursing shortage, you are virtually guaranteed to be able to get a job after you obtain your degree.

Registered nurses can work in a variety of environments; they can work in doctor offices, hospitals, dental offices, nursing homes, clinics, schools and so many other types of medical establishments. Because of the nursing shortage, once a nurse obtains their RN degree, they will be able to select where they want to work; it will be their choice. There are always dozens of job positions available for RNs, so any RN will be able to choose which job position is best for them.
Continue reading

Answering the Question: What is a Nurse?

What is a nurse? A nurse is a professional in the health care sector that works with other health care professionals to provide treatment and care for those who are ill. Nurses are not doctors, but are instead health care professionals who handle both clinical and non-clinical duties.

The main job duties of a nurse revolve around care and treatment as directed by health care professionals. Nurses often help to perform many of the tests that a doctor or physician will need to further evaluate a patient. Nurses may help doctors to view and analyze the results of these various tests and may consult with the patient about specific findings.

Nurses perform more hands-on work with patients than they are often given credit for. Nurses will dose out medications, work with patients on physical therapy, inject medications and work with IVs. It is important for those interested in a nursing career to note that job actions will change from location to location; some jobs will be more hands on than others.

Nurses are also expected to work with patients, helping them to feel more comfortable and working to inform them on their current situation. Nurses often administer medicine, and work to help patients to understand any post-hospital treatment needs. Nurses may provide patients with diet and exercise advice, self physical therapy techniques, and overall recovery tips.

Some nurses will work in emergency rooms, while others will work in operation rooms. Others will work with doctors in simple family practices, providing basic care needs. The nursing job market is truly far reaching, with plenty of different types of jobs and opportunities for those who are qualified.

Registered nurses, also known as RNs, must go through specific forms of training and must pass specific tests before they may practice in the health care professions. Different levels of education dictate the levels of nursing that one can achieve. Those who wish to get as far as possible in their nursing career will want to work to receive their Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.

The educational requirements for nurses encompasses much more than basic nursing courses. Students will generally receive education in nutrition, psychology, and anatomy, among other topics. Those who go through the initial education must then pass a national exam. This exam tests the skills of the test-taker an gives actual nursing licenses. The test is known as the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination). Each state may have different rules and regulations as to final licensing.

The nursing field is a serious profession with a serious future. The field is expected to grow well above national job growth averages, as the health care field continues to grow. There are plenty of opportunities available to those who are looking to be a nurse.

This information scratches the surface for those who ask, “What is a nurse?”. If you are looking for more information into the profession, talk to a professional and see if this profession is truly right for you.

Training and Duties of a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioner Training

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have successfully completed advanced levels of education and hands-on training. Most of the time, nurse practitioners are required to have a minimum of a master’s degree, accompanied with a high level of experience and training in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases, illnesses, and other medical conditions. Many nurse practitioners undergo training in areas of medical specialty as well.

Before you become a nurse practitioner, you must first successfully complete all the necessary training and general education required to become a registered nurse (RN). In some states, RNs only require an associates degree, but most employers recommend a bachelor’s degree as the favored educational level. (Once again, a master’s degree is the common educational level of a working nurse practitioner.) After successfully obtaining your nursing degree, you can apply for and enter a state-mandated Nurse Practitioner training program.

Nurse Practitioner Duties

Nurse practitioners take on a job that is heavily similar to the job of a physician. Most nurse practitioners maintain close working relationships with certified physicians. Nurse practitioners perform the same duties that a primary care provider offers patients, ranging from pediatrics to general medicine and everywhere in between. Most states allow nurse practitioners to legally prescribe medication.

Nurse practitioners are legally allowed to manage independent medical practices. Some practitioners make the choice to work with medical teams that consist of doctors, assistants, and other nurse practitioners. The hospital setting is a very common choice for the nurse practitioner, as well as medical specialty facilities like oncology and cardiac practices.

Nurse practitioners not only handle the individual medical needs of their patients, they also monitor and keep track of the effects any given illness may have on the patient’s loved ones, as well as their work and home lives. They often conduct patient counseling and offer extensive information on self-care and maintaining good health. This counseling typically includes recommended treatment options for current issues and preventative measures to avoid future pitfalls. Most of the time, a nurse practitioner will place great emphasis on disease prevention, patient education, and overall health and wellness. Prioritizing overall wellness and disease prevention affords the nurse practitioner a lesser need to prescribe medication or recommend unnecessary medical procedures. However, if a particular case so dictates, the nurse practitioner can make referrals to an outlying specialist.

The government of each singular state regulates the level of care nurse practitioners are allowed to provide. For this reason, the working duties of the nurse practitioner can vary greatly. Their services are limited to the laws set forth by the state in which their practice is located. In most states, the nurse practitioner carries the duty of diagnosing and treating a wide range of illnesses, including chronic ailments, infection, and long term medical conditions. Nurse practitioners are also responsible for obtaining and updating medical histories and other records. Practitioners are also responsible, in some cases, for performing minor surgeries that can be executed in the office.

Training and Duties of a Public Health Nurse

Public Health Nurse Training

To become a Public Health Nurse, one must be certified by the APHA (American Public Health Association) and must also become a licensed Registered Nurse. This requirement is standard in all fifty states as well as Washington D.C. Before becoming a Public Health Nurse, you must first graduate from an accredited nursing program and successfully complete the qualifying national licensing exam.

There are three variant paths for becoming a Registered Nurse: The BSN path (bachelor of science in nursing), the ASN (associate of science in nursing), and a hospital certification program. A BSN is typically obtained at a 4-year university or college while an ASN can be obtained through various community and junior colleges. The hospital certification is a 3-year diploma program. Each of these programs will allow graduates to gain employment as an RN; however, most agree that a bachelor’s degree in nursing will afford the greatest opportunity for placement and additional advancement in the nursing field. Many graduates of ASN and diploma certification programs go forward to complete their bachelor’s degree at a later date.

Public Health Nurse Duties

The duties of a Public Health Nurse focus primarily on a populous of people as opposed to singular individual care. However, most often a Public Health Nurse does afford the opportunity to work with singular patients. Public Health nurses often work for government agencies or private firms, to include health departments, schools, ambulatory clinics, and state retirement homes.

Public Health nurses strive to maintain focus on and to improve the health of the citizens of the community in which they practice. Public Health nurses often operate educational programs that seek to teach varying groups and individuals about preventative health care, vital nutrition, and even childcare. Public Health nurses are responsible for the arrangement and organization of immunization clinics, community blood pressure and cholesterol level tests, as well as a mass of other health screenings. Public Health nurses often maintain close working relationships with teachers and parents, doctors, and other community leaders. Generally, the primary goal of a Public Health Nurse is to work in conjunction with state and local governments in an effort to address wellness issues facing a specific community.

A Public Health Nurse is required to have exemplary communication skills and must also have the ability to make accurate observations to support dynamic decision-making, Public Health nurses must maintain a level of patience when working with individuals who harbor a reluctance to cooperate. They are required to honor their patients’ desires and must be willing to work as part of a team. Public Health nurses must also possess supervisory skills and should possess a high level of emotional stability. The work of a Public Health Nurse is often intense and therefore nurses must maintain a level of sympathy but also objectivity.

Nursing is one of the largest occupations within the health care field, offering around 2.3 million jobs to qualified applicants and through the year 2012, careers in the field of nursing are expected to rise steadily.

What is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree?

A Bachelor of Science in nursing, or BSN, is a four-year degree program that covers the sciences and principles of the nursing field. Bachelor’s of Science in nursing programs are offered at universities and colleges that can support four-year programs and are equipped with adequate facilities for medical education. A BSN will prepare graduates for the Registered Nurse licensing test in a way that an ADN simply cannot. Because graduates of a BSN program have covered a larger variety of applicative material, they will be equipped to embark on careers that cover more than standard bedside care.

Bachelor of Science in nursing majors will be required to complete all the same standard general education requirements as other students. These requirements include credits in English, liberal arts, basic sciences, and a host of other reading, writing, and verbal intensive classes. Once students have completed the basic core educational requirements, he or she will begin taking classes that are specific to the field of nursing. These classes will offer students education in nursing theory and history, as well as research and clinical application.

Students of the BSN program will extensively study anatomy and physiology, as well as the other life sciences before embarking on a series of clinicals. These clinicals will allow students the opportunity to undergo hands-on training as administered by previously licensed registered nurses as well as physicians and surgeon.

Before gaining qualification to enter a BSN program, applicants must obtain a high school diploma and generally boast backgrounds in math and science. Applicants must have a qualifying GPA, as well as adequate SAT or ACT scores. Some programs do not require SAT or ACT score submission. If you are a current RN, you must provide proof of your certification and associates degree from an accredited program, as well as proof that your license is up to date. .

Some BSN programs will offer highly qualified RN applicants the option of embarking on an accelerated class schedule. Students who are invited to participate in this program can potentially graduate in twelve to twenty months. If you have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing, you may satisfy some credit requirements with work from your current degree. Qualifying criteria will vary from program to program.

Graduates of a Bachelor of Science in nursing program will be qualified to work in a wide variety of settings from clinics and hospitals to pharmaceutical and insurance companies. Many BSN graduates go on to work in the hospital or family practice setting, this includes specialty clinics like oncology or cardiac facilities. Obtaining a BSN will allow you to work in any healthcare field, from local public health to government services. Some BSN graduates enter the military as medical staff. BSN degrees will also prepare graduates for continued education in graduate level courses.

You will find various programs and qualifying information online. If you’ve never considered the possibility that a Bachelor of Science in nursing might be right for you, we encourage you to do a little research and focus on the wonderful future this degree program can offer.