The life a nurse can be incredibly rewarding. A nurse has the opportunity to help sick people recover and regain their health. While the job of a nurse can be difficult and exhausting, the positive aspects of their work typically far outweigh the problems.
The decision to pursue a career as a nurse is often made during the high school years, so the training required to become a nurse is typically begun within the year following graduation. Nursing training begins with classroom courses that include mathematics, English and biology. Nursing degree courses can last from three to four years, or longer if the student need to work at a part-time job while pursuing their degree.
The next step in nursing training is the clinicals section where the student advances to hands-on training under the supervision of licensed nurses. This amounts to relevant experience that is valuable when seeking placement once the student becomes a qualified nurse.
There are a relatively wide variety of specialty nursing fields available to the nursing student once they have achieved an academic degree. Most begin in a generalist role, but may advance to specialized areas such as occupational health, intensive care, operating room nurses and hospitalized patient care.
One field of nursing care that does not require the training required of a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse is a certified nursing assistant. CNAs are most commonly employed at nursing homes and assisted living facilities under the supervision of a registered nurse. While working as a CNA can be difficult in many ways, the pay scale is considerably less than that of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. Very often CNAs get hand-on experience at an extended care facility while taking the courses needed to achieve a nursing degree on a part time basis.
Professional nurses of all levels are encouraged to continue their education through workshops and conferences in order to stay current with the latest in nursing procedures and patient care. Certain workshops qualify as credits for continuing education and can be added to other accredited courses for registered nurses who are working toward a position as a nurse practitioner, midwife, anesthetist or nursing administrator.
The health industry continues to expand since the population of the world continues to increase and age. The demand for nurses that are more highly trained than ever before is growing as the number of doctors seems to be decreasing. Fewer people are choosing to spend the time and expense required to become a medical doctor, primarily because of the Affordable Care Act. For this reason, highly trained nurses are being asked to provide the basic care for patients that are not able to see a medical doctor.
The outlook for nurses to find work in the medical field is very good since nurses are now in high demand. Any young person with a strong interest in health care can find a career in nursing that is satisfying, secure and rewarding.