Do you have a burning desire to help people but don’t know if nursing is the right career for you?
If so, learn more about the many different careers within nursing and figure out which one is right for you. Here are some questions to think about: What type of hours do I want to work? How much education and training do I need? What kind of income can I expect if I go into nursing as my primary career choice?
Going into nursing as a carer is a great move if you want to expand your options for your education and training. As an RN or registered nurse, you can explore different areas of the nursing career field. You can even move into healthcare administration and become a CNO or chief nursing officer. But just starting out in the nursing career field is not as easy as it may sound.
Read on to learn more about what it’s like to become an RN and how you, too, can make your dreams of working in the healthcare career field a reality.
What Does It Take to Become a Registered Nurse?
Becoming a registered nurse is not just about having compassion for others; instead, it’s more about having the right education that will allow you to explore the many different avenues of nursing careers today.
Training to become an RN requires both classroom and hands-on training, which is where your education will come in. To become a nurse on your own, you’ll need to go to a nursing school, such as Wilkes University, or a nursing college and earn an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
After that, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam, the registered nurse licensure exam. Many states will also require that you take continuing nursing education courses through your local hospital or community college.
In addition to being educated as a registered nurse, you’ll also need to be licensed by the state in which you plan on practicing.
The Different Types of Nurses in Healthcare
When you decide to choose a nursing career, you’ll want to explore different options.
Whether you’re still in high school or already a registered nurse, of course, you’ll want to know more about the various career paths that nursing allows.
The variety of options for nurses can be found in many different fields: ER, OB/GYN, PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit), ICU (Intensive Care Unit), PA (Physician Assistant), and PT or Physical Therapy just to name a few.
Other variations on the nursing career path include biomedical engineering, clinical research, emergency medical services (EMS), paramedicine, and many others.
Each of these areas offers different opportunities and salaries. Your specific nursing career path should be based on what you want to do and how much money you want to make.
As a nurse, your salary will vary depending on how much education and experience you have. For example, registered nurses who work in different healthcare settings earn different salaries.
However, generalists, who are not part of a specialty such as respiratory therapy or gastrointestinal therapy, will earn more money than a specialist.
Nursing & Healthcare Career Consideration for Moms
Although it can be daunting to switch careers after having been in a career for a while, it is an option for those who are passionate about their field and feel that nursing is the best choice for them.
Often, the transition from one career to another can be easy, especially if you have a family and other commitments.
Once you decide on your nursing career path, your company will want to know more about this shift. Human resources officials at healthcare-specific agencies help employers find qualified candidates quickly, they will want to know how much experience you have in your new area of focus and how much of an adjustment it might be for you.
You may have to go through training for a specific unit in the hospital or healthcare agency, or you might just have to go through on-the-job training with another nurse.
Here are a few tips for making this transition:
Talk Things Through With Your Family
All nurses have experienced the feeling of having to leave work at the last minute to pick up a sick child from daycare, go shopping or drop off the kids at a friend’s house.
Although it’s important for your family to support you and understand that you are making a career change for specific reasons, you can still lower this “going-home” anxiety.
Consider Your Time Commitments
All nurses need to think about how much time they will have to spend in training for their new nursing career.
It helps to choose a position that is part of your long-term plans and goals, such as switching from one area of nursing to another in the same healthcare facility.
Family members, friends, and coworkers may want to know more about your long-term goals and plans.
The most important thing is that you’re passionate about what you are doing because many nurses will find that their passion for helping others is contagious in their chosen field of nursing.
Plan For Your Future Career Moves
Many nurses choose to continue their education and get a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a master’s degree.
It isn’t always necessary to go back to school as a registered nurse, though, because there are opportunities to get experience upon graduating from your initial training program.
For instance, you might be asked to work in different areas of the hospital or healthcare organization such as IT, financial planning, or patient enrollment. You could also look into senior care franchise opportunities.
Meet With an Employment Specialist
A great way for nurses who have graduated from a local nursing school to start applying for jobs is through an employment specialist at one of the local community colleges.
Many of these colleges have a career center and have a soft-surface covered walkway (called an “employer-matching” path) that matches registered nurses with employers looking for employees.
Many of these community colleges also match you with agencies that are looking to hire nurses, as well as help you develop your resume and cover letters.
Check-In With Your Mental Health
Sometimes, the stresses of a new job can cause mental health problems. Everyone’s stress levels may fluctuate with different life events, so it is important to check in with your mental health professional about any concerns you may have.
You can go to see your provider and let them know that you are considering a change from one career path to another.
They will be able to help you find alternative ways to cope that are not related to work, such as joining a support group, going for a run, or learning a yoga class.
Get To Know Your New Team
Whether you are an experienced nurse or a new graduate, it is always helpful to get to know the other nurses.
It will help you feel more at ease in your new position and give you some extra support through this transition.
Take Your Time To Explore All Of Your Options
Many nurses report that the first two years at their new job are the most difficult for them.
This is because their work schedule may be unpredictable, and they often have more responsibilities than in their previous position as a registered nurse.
Most importantly, decide which option makes sense for your family’s needs and/or what your long-term career goals are.
You can start by applying for jobs online and by visiting an employment agency.
Contact the hospital where you think you might want to work and ask about the types of positions available, how you can get involved in committees, how to recommend nursing staff, and what it is that you like about working there.
The information that you receive will help you determine which route is best for your future career goal.
Nurse Salary Expectations
Once you begin your nursing career, you’ll have a lot of options for learning about the different areas in which nurses work.
The first step is to look at how much an RN earns per year. This information can help you decide if you want to pursue an RN position with salary expectations lower or higher than average.
With the number of available nursing jobs increasing nationwide, it’s important for prospective students to do their research.
The second step is to consider how much an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) earns in a year. This can help you decide if you want to pursue an APRN role with higher salary expectations than average.
The third option is to look at how much a more specialized career path will pay, such as how much a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) earns in a year.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Registered Nurse?
Registered nurses need to complete an educational program before they can begin their careers.
To earn as an RN, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree or higher in nursing.
You may be able to complete the degree within three years, or you can take it over four years if you plan on working while attending school.
In addition to completing your coursework and passing the exam, you will also have to pass a clinical skills assessment and pass a criminal background check.
When it comes time for your licensing exam, most states allow you to prepare with online coursework or practice exams.
Finding Purpose As A Mom
If you’re a mother who is looking for a career change, nursing may be a perfect choice.
Nursing allows you to work varied shift patterns, often longer but fewer days a week. More importantly, it gives you the opportunity to gain additional knowledge and skills that can help you provide better care for your children.
For moms who want to pursue a career as a nurse-midwife, you’re lucky! You’ll be able to study in the comfort of your own home. It is rare that new mothers have the opportunity to take a test while they are pregnant, and they can study at their own pace.
Studying online is more forgiving if you have children who require more of your time. You can arrange an alternative schedule if this is an issue for you.
Conclusion & Future Outlook
A career in nursing can be exciting and rewarding.
If you are interested in this field, you should consider whether you want to work in a hospital, clinic, or with a special-needs individual.
The best way to decide what path is right for you is to explore the options available to you and make sure that they fit your personal needs.
It can also help if you speak with other nurses about the responsibilities of different jobs in the field.
You can ask them about their experiences so far and their professional opinions on what makes the job enjoyable or difficult.
They may also be able to help you find a position that is best suited for you.
The nurse role has evolved into a much more collaborative one, as nurses are expected to work together with physicians and other medical professionals.
This can be challenging, but it is essential for the survival of many people around the world. The role of the nurse has changed from a job that was associated solely with giving care to one that is now required to have excellent interpersonal and communication skills in order to support healthcare providers, patients, and families alike.
It’s important for nurses these days to be well-trained in many different areas in order to serve their patients effectively.
Nurses who choose to go back to school will have the opportunity to complete courses in areas such as finance, leadership and management, bioethics and ethics, and more in order to prepare themselves for leadership roles as nurses.
This is becoming much more common in today’s world because of the changing environment that it takes many nurses’ attention to make sure that they are prepared to care for their patients when they make a bedside visit.