What Can I Expect From a Nursing Career?

Nursing is an attractive career to pursue given how fast the field is growing and the numerous opportunities available. If you are considering becoming a nurse or you are currently studying a nursing program, below are some of the things you can expect.

Nursing School Is No Easy Feat

Nursing school is challenging, whether you are studying a degree course or a diploma program. There are lots of theory and practical courses to learn, all of which require dedication, hard work, and in-depth research. There will be many assignments too so you need to manage your time wisely. This way you can complete your homework on time and still keep up with classwork.

Also, you may have to get a job as you complete your nursing program. In this case, you’ll have to be flexible with online classes and convenient scheduling to balance both work and school. However, nursing school is challenging but doable.

You’ll Gain Nursing Experience in Various Specialties

Nurses have the opportunity to work in various specialties and environments including hospital wards, long-term care, and the ER. While all this might seem overwhelming at first, you’ll gain extensive experience and skills that can help you choose your desired specialty afterward. Many nurses say that they had no clue what nursing specialty they wanted to pursue in nursing school. However, being exposed to numerous environments definitely helps to shape your interest.

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Opportunities to Advance Your Nursing Career

Nursing is a career that allows you to grow as far as you want profession-wise. You can advance your nursing degree to become a Registered Nurse (RN), earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or study for a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN)  so you can qualify for leadership and management roles.

That’s not all. After attaining an MSN, you can enroll in post-masters certificate programs that qualify you for certification in new specialties. Since these post-masters programs add to your scope of expertise and practice, you can advance your career with better job positions and higher pay.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse?

Nursing programs take between 1 and 4 years depending on the level you are studying. For instance:

  • LVN/LPN takes 1 year
  • Registered Nurse (RN) Associate’s degree takes 2 years
  • Registered Nurse (RN) Bachelor’s degree takes 4 years

Advantages of a Nursing Career

There is a growing shortage of nurses in the United States with many job openings becoming available. This shortage offers some sort of job security with the potential to switch career paths or advance one’s scope of practice. You can work in various modern work environments including parks, schools, government agencies, and offices. 

The average salary for a registered nurse was around $67000 in 2017. However, you can increase your earnings by:

  • Working as a nurse educator
  • Seeking employment in a higher-paying state
  • Obtaining advanced degrees and post-masters certifications so you can work in specialties that pay higher
  • Working on-call shifts or overtime

While nursing is a rewarding career, it is not always easy. But with compassion, determination, listening skills, and stress management, you can overcome daily challenges to excel in your career.

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