The career of a nurse is one of the most rewarding careers you can pursue, but it is also one of the most demanding.
Nurses are required to be able to work with a variety of people from different backgrounds and cultures, as well as from a range of socioeconomic classes.
They need to be able to look after patients in intensive care units or hospices who are suffering from potentially life-threatening injuries or illnesses. They also need to be compassionate and dedicated when working with terminally ill patients unable to speak for themselves.
Nursing Has Changed Through the Years
The nursing profession has changed a great deal over the years. If you are considering becoming a nurse, you need to know what has changed and what may be different from the typical picture of “the nurse” in the hospital who cares for patients with bedsores and pneumonia.
Today, there are many different types of nurses. This can be confusing if you are just getting started or are wondering which type of nurse is right for you.
The following job descriptions may help you decide which type of nurse is right for you:
Nursing Case Manager: Case managers are trained to provide long and short-term services to patients and their family members.
The nurse case manager provides services as needed for a set amount of time.
These services can include helping patients find long-term nursing care, helping patients find financial assistance, or assisting with other social services that are related to the patient’s health or well-being.
Most nurses who work in hospitals perform some form of case management.
Nursing Clinical Supervisor: Clinical supervisors are placed in a nursing facility or hospital environment to ensure that the duty nurses are providing their level of quality care.
The nurse clinical supervisor provides training and leads a variety of educational classes (such as CPR, infection control, and basic nursing skills).
The clinical supervisor is responsible for managing patient discharge plans and reports on staff competency to the state’s department of health or health services bureau.
Nursing Instructor: If you enjoy teaching others things you know or want to know, then maybe being a nursing instructor is right for you.
A nursing instructor teaches in a formal classroom setting or online. It can be rewarding to watch someone else learn something that you enjoy doing.
It may also allow you the flexibility to work from home, which can be beneficial if you have children.
Is Becoming a Nurse Right for You?
If you are thinking of becoming a nurse, you will likely have a lot of questions and concerns about what the job entails.
Before you decide to pack yourself off to nursing school and don your scrubs, here are a few things you should know first.
Nurse Education Is Hard Work
Not only is the job tough, but studying to become a nurse is tough too.
You will be required to take courses on anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and clinical areas of nursing.
You will need to attend clinical rotations and have hours of hands-on learning time in hospitals and certified nursing facilities before you are eligible to work as a nurse.
There are many different routes, though, from bsn accelerated programs to non-nurse programs aimed at people who already have a degree in something that is not nurse-related and who want to move into a nursing career.
It Takes Time to Become a Registered Nurse
You only have a few options when it comes to becoming a nurse.
You can go through an accredited school for nurses, create your own CNA training program, or apply on your own for certification (provided you have the education and experience required).
You need to attend a nursing school accredited by the state you live in.
It takes at least two years to graduate from an accredited nursing school.
You will also get hands-on training in a facility that can accept students for practical experience.
The Job Is Very Physical
A nurse is always on the move, charting patients’ progress and alerting staff to various problems.
You will be moving from room to room and setting up equipment, and arranging changes in patient care as needed.
You will be lifting patients, handling medical supplies, helping people get dressed or undressed, and even assisting with giving medications.
The Job Is Very Emotional
The job of a nurse is stressful—a high-stress job that may be especially difficult for someone who does not have the skills that are required to handle this job.
You need to have a strong sense of self to be able to help others and to remain calm when things are hectic.
You will also need patience and compassion—a sensitivity that is likely to be tested many times in your career.
Emotional outbursts, death, suffering, and tragedy are just the beginning of what you may experience as a nurse.
You Are Responsible for Others
Accidents happen—and in the medical industry, things can go wrong quickly, especially when you are working around moving patients or heavy equipment.
People can be seriously injured—not just by nursing staff but by patients as well.
You need to be the kind of person who believes he or she is doing what is best for the patient and for the facility.
You need to know that you are doing your level best and that there is nothing more that you could do to prevent an accident.
If you have a heart for helping people and are dedicated to providing care and comfort to those who need it, there may be no better career for you than nursing.
You could benefit from an excellent salary, flexible hours, a wide variety of choices in the setting and type of work performed (from emergency care to long-term care), and the satisfaction that comes with providing help to others at their most vulnerable moment.
Nursing is a great career, but you need to know what you are getting into before taking the plunge.
Be sure to choose a school that will train you in all of the necessary areas, and then continue with hands-on training at a hospital or health facility.
Nurses can make a decent living as long as they prepare themselves for the long hours and emotional strain of the job.