While medical doctors are the ones doing all diagnosing, and prescribing, the professional who actually is hands-on when giving care to the patient is the nurse. Nurses are those who stay on the sick person’s side when sickness strikes. They are the ones who always interact with the patients, make sure that the patients drink their medications, provide treatments that ease discomforts, monitor the sick individual’s vitals regularly, and assist those who could not move or function on their own. Being a nurse gives you a chance to touch and save lives in a very personal way. Recent advances in modern technology and science have also made the profession evolve in various aspects. Professional functions have transformed and are not just limited to bedside care. There are plenty of nursing courses and careers to choose from, depending on what fits your personal goals, passions, character, and skills.
The professional track for this career starts with having a reliable educational foundation. Nursing should be taken very seriously because it deals with fragile lives. The most basic academic qualification is being a licensed practical nurse. This involves a year of hospital and school training to get a diploma or certificate. The next option is taking an associate of science program which takes two years to learn more practical skills in addition to theory. This is suited for people who need to earn money but do not have time to study for four years in a bachelor’s program. The bachelor of science course is the pre-licensure track. The first two years are focused on completing general education subjects, while the last two years are spent on pure nursing theory and practice. After graduation, you have an option to take the licensure exam to be part of your state’s registered nurses. If you still wish to specialise in more advanced fields that suit you, then taking a master’s and a doctorate degree are also possible. This takes an average of four to six years to complete and entails a lot of dedication.
This career offers plenty of opportunities for professional growth and advancement. Gone were the days when nurses were viewed merely as assistants to medical doctors. As mentioned earlier, modern nurses have a lot of options for practice outside the traditional clinical bedside setting. Nurse training has become very innovative throughout the years. Specialisations usually require additional time in school for obtaining certifications and special licenses. New fields involve public health, travel, informatics, forensics, home health, emergency care, transplantation, legal consultation, military training, neuroscience, developmental psychology, research, occupational, and school nursing.