If you are one of those people that love to help others and have a compassionate heart, then a nursing career might be for you. Perhaps you enjoy watching television shows about hospital dramas, and have wanted to be one of those nurses. Or you might have a role model in your life such as a parent that is a nurse and want to follow in their footsteps.
Whatever the case, you can become a nurse with the proper schooling, and some determination. When making your decision to start this career, it is important to evaluate all of the nursing options available and the time it takes to finish school.
1. Nursing Education
To become a Licensed Practical Nurse you only need to take about 1 year of schooling. After you graduate you will need to take the NCLEX PN exam. This exam is what allows you to enter the workforce upon passing. The exam is 5 hours long, but if you are well studied and mentally prepared, you can finish it earlier than the 5 hour time limit.
If you want to go strait to becoming a Registered Nurse, then you are going to have to deal with roughly 4 years of school in order to graduate. The NCLEX RN exam is a 6 hour test, but just like the one for an LPN, you can finish it faster depending upon how knowledgeable and prepared you are. There are many helpful ways to prepare for the exam including talking to other nurses, taking a practice or predictor test. The score on this test will give you a good idea how you will perform on the real exam.
Some important skills to have when pursuing a nursing career are compassion, (as already mentioned), critical thinking, good physical stamina, excellent organizational skills, good people skills, and an attention to detail. You never know in the nursing field when you are going to be called upon to have to make quick decisions. If you can maintain a positive attitude while under pressure then that is a plus.
2. Job Market For Nurses
The availability of jobs for an LPN are very good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the job outlook is 25% from 2012 through 2022 which they say is better than average. In fact, there were 738,400 available LPN jobs in 2012 which means that according to the 25% growth rate there should be even more now. The other nice thing is that an LPN averages an annual salary of $41,540 a year. For an RN the job outlook is very good as well at a 19% growth rate from 2012 through 2022 with an average salary of $65,470 per year.
3. Nursing Industry
The thing that many people don’t understand is that the nursing industry is more diverse than they thought. There are more than just LPN’s and RN’s in this field. In fact, you can get in the door by getting your CNA (Certified Nurses Assistant) certificate with only a few months of schooling. Granted a CNA job won’t pay nearly as well as an RN, but you can also get started very quickly and try it out. If you like the industry you can always spend the time to increase your education to get one of the higher paying jobs. As an RN you have the largest level of opportunity for career advancement though. From there you can continue your education to become a Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, or a Nurse Midwife.
A Nurse Practitioner only has to take 1 more year of school and can earn close to $100,000 per year on average. Duties usually include mentorship, coordinate patient care, perform physical exams, provide family counseling, diagnose health problems, and more. They can perform the typical duties of an RN also. They can branch out into several areas of care including pediatrics, geriatric health, or mental health to name a few.
A Nurse Anesthetist provides anesthesia and similar care before and after basic surgery procedures. A Nurse Anesthetist also provides pain management. Their other responsibilities include talking with the patient before surgery to make sure their will be no complications with the anesthesia from medications they take or any other potential issues. They will stay with the patient during the surgery to monitor their vital signs.
A Nurse Midwife takes care of the needs of women. This usually means gynecological exams, prenatal care, and they attend with the delivery of the baby. Many provide wellness care for the woman and educate their patients on such things as proper nutrition, and how to prevent diseases.
Of the three above mentioned positions the one that pays best is the Nurse Anesthetist at $148,160 per year followed by the Nurse Practitioner at $89,960 and then the Nurse Midwife at $89,600. These figures were the median wages in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
So there are plenty of choices when it comes to the nursing industry. If you have the heart and the drive to succeed you can have a very lucrative career indeed while helping those in need.
Steps To Become A Nurse
|Order||Steps To Become A LPN or RN|
|1.||To become a LPN you need 1 year of schooling|
|2.||After graduation take the NCLEX PN Exam|
|3.||To become a RN you need 4 years of schooling.|
|4.||After graduation take the NCLEX RN Exam|