A nursing career can be a highly personalized and fulfilling job path. From doctor’s offices to surgical suites, opportunities abound for skilled nurses and there are a variety of educational requirements and job openings for the different levels of nursing.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Getting certified as a nursing assistant can be a fantastic first step in a nursing career. Duties for nursing assistants include helping patients with daily living activities and taking vitals. This job will give you a taste of what the hospital or nursing home environment is like and can help you determine if you’d like to continue advancing in a nursing career.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
A starting point for many aspiring nurses is as a licensed practical nurse. This is a way to gain experience in the field as you work your way towards a bachelor’s degree as a registered nurse. LPN’s work closely with registered nurses and doctors to provide basic patient care, use CDM software solutions and preparing surgical procedures.
Registered Nurse (RN)
To advance in your career from a licensed practical nurse to a registered nurse, you must receive an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. RN’s have more responsibilities and more advancement opportunities. With a bachelor’s degree, you’re more likely to be hired for an entry-level position and you’re able to choose a specialty area such as pediatrics, radiology or family medicine. During your clinicals, you’ll have the chance to experience different areas of nursing so you can better determine the best fit for you.
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Becoming a nurse practitioner requires a master’s degree and involves heavier responsibilities than registered nurses. While registered nurses are typically found in the hospital setting, nurse practitioners typically end up in private practice or community clinics. The setting you’d like to work in can help you determine the educational path you want to pursue.
To become a nurse manager you will need a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Nurse managers oversee teams of nurses and need to have skills in management, leadership and communication to be successful. Nurse managers are responsible for ensuring patient care is positive and effective and they work on improving the standard of care in their facility.
With so many opportunities and areas to specialize in, nursing can be the perfect career for a variety of people. The ability to specialize in a specific area helps nurses avoid boredom, prevent burnout and work in their strengths.