While Not for Everyone, Nursing is a Great Career Choice
Chances are someone will be sick or injured and will have to go to the doctor’s office or hospital, and they will encounter a nurse. Nurses work in various settings, including hospitals, doctor offices, long-term care facilities, public health departments, businesses, public schools, and mental health centers. Nurses work with patients of all age groups from neonates up to geriatrics (Dunham and Smith 199). Nursing is an excellent career choice, and there are many great reasons to pursue a career in nursing such as great pay, schedule flexibility, and different specialties to choose from.
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The history of nursing traditionally begins with Florence Nightingale, who was the well-educated daughter of wealthy British parents. Nightingale defied her parents wishes to become a nurse as nursing was not seen as a respectable career for women at that time. Women during that time, and of Nightingales social standing, were expected to marry and raise a family, not work in a filthy hospital where sick people were dying. However, Nightingale went to Germany to study nursing, and she would later rise to fame for her role during the Crimean War with the wounded soldiers. Nightingale along with thirty- eight other volunteers improved the environment by cleaning and disinfecting the units, bathing the soldiers, dressing the soldier’s wounds, and providing them with food. As a result, fewer soldiers were dying from diseases. In 1860, Nightingale opened The Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St Thomas’s Hospital in London. This school not only provided excellent nurse training, but it also helped to make nursing a respectable career for women who wished to work outside the home (“Florence Nightingale Facts”).
Becoming a nurse today also requires proper education, there are many educational paths that one can pursue to become a Registered Nurse. The education requirements range from an associate degree to a doctorate. Associates degrees in nursing, considered the entry-level degree for nurses, are offered at community colleges and take two to three years to complete. Bachelor’s degrees are currently offered at colleges and universities and take four years to complete. Most nursing education programs combine classroom instruction along with supervised clinical experience in nursing homes, public health departments, and hospitals. Some courses that nursing students may be required to take include anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, and psychology. Once all the educational requirements are met, graduate nurses will need to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to obtain a license (Career as a Nurse 25).
The median wage for nurses is almost $70,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By becoming a nurse practitioner, they can earn over $110,000 in median pay (“Registered Nurses”). Nurses also can make time and a half for working on holidays and weekends. Some places of employment will pay sign-on bonuses for the most experienced nurses. Most of the world’s population is living longer and will need to have medical care. So, nursing jobs will be readily available within hospitals or medical facilities (“9 Awesome Benefits”).
Few jobs have the flexibility of nursing. For the most part, nurses can work when and where they want. Nurses can work part time, full time or as a temporary hire. Nurses can take time off for work and find work fast when they want to come back to the field. Nurses can work three days in a row and have four days off, and be full time employed, too (“9 Awesome Benefits”). Nurses can find work just about wherever they like. They can work in any state and any country in the world. Nurses find there is nursing work available wherever they go. Also, as the healthcare environment continues to grow and evolve, registered nurses are seeing that their options are multiplying (“Types of Nursing”).
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There are many different nursing specialties. According to an article, “9 Awesome Benefits to Pursue a Career in Nursing”, there are over two hundred different nursing specialties to choose from (“9 Awesome Benefits”). There are many different specialties for nurses of all education levels, from Associate degree and Bachelor degree educated registered nurses, to graduate degree-level nurses, and beyond. Nurses may choose to specialize in many different areas such as critical care, oncology, pediatrics to geriatrics and many more. The different specialty options for registered nurses are numerous, and they keep growing (“Types of Nursing”).
A career in nursing can be the gateway to many job opportunities, and nurses can choose numerous different paths in the course of their careers. There are not that many careers that offer individuals with this kind of diverse job opportunity. Although being a nurse can be stressful and not for everyone, nurses have job security, with excellent wages, a challenging atmosphere, scheduling flexibility, and the chance to learn and grow into different paths. Jobs in nursing are in high demand all over the country; this field is experiencing considerable growth, and nurses can be right there, with the growth and learning opportunities.
- Career as a Nurse (RN): Geriatric Nursing [Internet]. [Chicago, Ill.]: Institute for Career Research; 2009 [cited 2019 Feb 15]. (Institute Research). Available from: http://db24.linccweb.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=276671&site=ehost-live
- Dunham, Kelli S., and Staci J. Smith. How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Your Life as a Nurse. FA Davis Company, 2005. EBSCOhost. db24.linccweb.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=198248&site=ehost-live.
- “Florence Nightingale Facts for Kids.” National Geographic Kids, 26 Apr. 2018, www.natgeokids.com/nz/discover/history/general-history/florence-nightingale/. Accessed 10 Feb. 2019.
- Nadeau, Briana. “Registered Nurse (RN).” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2018, EBSCOhost. db24.linccweb.org/login?url=search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=89550460&site=eds-live.
- “Registered Nurses: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 Apr. 2018, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm. Accessed 5 Feb. 2019.
- 2018 NurseJournal.org | https://nursejournal.org/. “9 Awesome Benefits to Pursue a Career in Nursing.” 2018 NurseJournal.org, 3 Aug. 2018, nursejournal.org/articles/nursing- careers. Accessed 9 Feb. 2019.
- “Types of Nursing Careers & Specialties || RegisteredNursing.org.” RN Programs – Registered Nurse || RegisteredNursing.org, www.registerednursing.org/nursing-careers/. Accessed 8 Feb. 2019.
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