Thought about a career in healthcare but realized medical school was not for you? Think again, but think different: a career in nursing! Check out this guest post from Susan Smith to find out more:
There are so many excellent and rewarding job opportunities in the medical profession; you don't have to be a doctor to help people. A doctor is only as good as the staff that surrounds him or her. Becoming part of the staff is not only a wise career choice, but it is a rewarding career path that provides plenty of opportunities to help people in need. A career in nursing is stable, it pays very well and it is a job that makes a difference in the lives of millions of people everyday.
Nurses are often the first people to provide care to people who are sick or injured. A nurse can form a relationship with a patient that will last a lifetime, but what is really important is this fact: a nurse is often the first person to put a smile on the face on the patient. Which nursing degree will offer the best opportunities for you, then? Well, there are several to carefully consider:
Licensed Practical Nurse - This is often the first stepping stone towards a career as a nurse; they are commonly referred to as LPNs. A LPN will be able to provide basic care to people who are sick or injured. Schooling is required and usually one year of training at a hospital is also required. A LPN can then choose to further their knowledge and career choices in the nursing field. A LPN is often supervised by a registered nurse.
Registered Nurse - A registered nurse, or RN, will have more job opportunities, but this position will require more training. RNs often have to supervise several other LPNs and certified nursing assistants.
Associate of Science in Nursing - This is the next step an LPN can take to further his or her career. By obtaining an associate’s degree, nurses will not only expand their knowledge, but they will also be able to earn a bachelor's degree with greater ease. This degree is available to both RNs and LPNs. This is a two-year degree that focuses on the more technical aspect of the nursing industry, but once again: this is just a stepping stone towards a better degree.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing - This is not the highest degree a nurse can obtain, but it is often the most sought-after by people who are pursuing a career in nursing, and it will provide the best job opportunities. Numerous current positions in the nursing industry will require a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). This is a four-year degree, but there are instances where this degree can be earned faster if the nurse already holds an associate’s degree.
Master of Science in Nursing – Also known as an MSN, for many nurses, this is the “Holy Grail” of the industry. Nurses that obtain a Master of Science in Nursing will find a huge amount of career choices. A nurse that has this type of degree can handle as much as 80% of the same work as a primary care physician. This type of degree can also grant a nurse prescription privileges. A nurse with a Master of Science in Nursing does much more than change bedpans. They have the necessary knowledge to provide primary care, examine patients and order and interpret specialized diagnostic tests and studies.
RN to MSN Online - This program allows a RN to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing online. This gives nurses more opportunities and a more flexible schedule to obtain the degree. Online classes can be taken anytime day or night.
MSN Bridge - This program allows a nurse that has a non-nursing Bachelor’s degree get started in the right direction towards earning a MSN degree. The MSN bridge course consists of many of the undergraduate courses that are needed to start graduate level courses required by a MSN.
Nurses are currently in high demand and that is not expected to change in the near future. Choosing to pursue a career in the nursing field is not only smart, but it offers gratifying and challenging experiences every single day on the job.
Susan Smith is currently furthering her education with an RN to MSN online course. She was inspired to enter nursing by her grandmother, a World War II nurse.