Nursing is the largest occupation in the health care industry, with more than 2.6 million nurses in the United States. Nurses are responsible for treating, educating, and helping patients.
One of the reasons that nurses love their careers is because of the high level of interaction with patients. Nurses often have more patient interaction than doctors or any other position in the health care industry. The majority of nurses work in hospitals.
Registered Nurse Programs
Nursing is a field that requires you to have a high level of specialized knowledge. In a registered nursing (RN) program you will learn the basics of the health care profession, patient interaction, and medical terminology.
Since you will be treating patients, nurses most have a deep understanding of human anatomy. It is vital that you understand how the body works and be able to identify each body part with the correct terminology, both so you can understand how to treat and care for patients, as well as understanding instructions from doctors, surgeons, and other medical personnel.
Biology and chemistry courses are also vital to learn on your path to becoming a nurse so you can understand how medicines and treatments work. Effective nurses also need to be adaptable and having good critical thinking skills. With patient lives potentially on the line, you need to be able to respond intelligently to any situation that might arise.
Different paths are available for you to become a nurse. The quickest way to is to earn an associates degree, typically taking two to three years. A bachelors degree takes about four years to complete and provides a more comprehensive nursing education.
Once you have completed a bachelors degree in nursing, you can earn a masters degree in nursing. Graduates of other disciplines can also enroll in an accelerated masters degree program, where you earn your associates and bachelors degree at the same time you earn your masters degree in nursing. Numerous specialties are available.
After obtaining a master’s degree, you can become a nurse practitioner. Being a nurse practitioner lets you run your own practice, treat and prescribe medicine for your patients, and is one of the highest paying jobs you can have as a nurse. Registered nurses make between $50,000 and $100,000 a year.