Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to Become a Nurse


In the next few weeks some of the points I'm going to address revolve around How to Become a Nurse which is a series of articles I wrote that I know is not comprehensive enough.

Nursing is a terrific profession. It's far from perfect and there are many good and bad points to it. But I challenge anyone to find any job that doesn't have just as many ups and downs.

I have often said and will repeat, nursing is one of the most rewarding professions, but at the same time it is also one of the most physically and emotionally challenging! Nursing is NOT for everyone! But for those who are up to the challenge, even the sight of blood, the smell of vomit or feces, and touching dead bodies are issues that CAN be overcome.

Sit at a table with nurses having a meal and you'll soon find that no subject is too gross to be discussed while eating, so somehow we have gotten beyond our worst fears and made it this far... you can too! That doesn't mean that every time I hear someone yacking, I don't have to gag back my own urg! I just learned how to deal with it.

So here are a few points about nursing that you may need to know. In the next few weeks I'll elaborate on them, so stay tuned.... subscribe to the RSS Feed.

  • You do need to be able to understand math and science. This means such subjects as algebra, chemistry, microbiology, and anatomy and physiology. Need help?
  • You need to be able to read and write at a 10th grade level (minimum) in the native language of the country where you are studying. This is necessary to understand the math and science as well as nursing classes.
  • If you already have a BA or BS degree, you don't need to start over and get an Associates degree in nursing. Look into BSN programs or accelerated nursing degree programs.
  • There are MANY different roles for nurses including hospital nurses, clinic nurses, nurses in doctor's offices, insurance nurses, school nurses, forensic nurses, occupational safety nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists,
  • pediatric nurses, oncology nurses, rehab nurses, geriatric nurses, home health nurses, dialysis nurses, and many many more.
  • You don't need to decide on a specialty area before starting a program, but you should explore what education you need for that role. For instance to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) now you have to have a Master's Degree. So be prepared for more schooling.
  • There are NO Online nursing programs for non-nurses! Don't spend hours digging through sites that promise you these. You have to be at least an LPN/LVN to study and online nursing program for a higher degree.
  • LPN and LVN are the same. The title is Licensed Vocational Nurse in CA and TX and Licensed Practical Nurse elsewhere in the US. More about the LP/VN.
  • You can go to nursing school in PA and go back home to CA to take the NCLEX and get your license to practice nursing. The program just has to be ACCREDITED!!!
  • There is a critical shortage of nurses that is only going to get worse as the population ages and nurses retire. There is also a shortage of nurse educators, so nursing schools are impacted and many have waiting lists.
  • You can become a nurse at almost any age. You can become a nurse as a second, third, forth, etc. career. And you can advance your Nursing education and career at anytime as well.
  • Nursing is a lifelong learning experience. You will need to take continuing education courses to renew your license.
  • You can become a nurse if you have been convicted of some criminal activity, but you must be honest about it and investigate the situation first!
  • You can lose your license or have it suspended for getting a DUI, taking drugs, or committing criminal acts including domestic disputes.
  • More MEN are needed to become nurses.

I have provided links to some of the material I already have available on some of these points and will begin to work to provide more content in the next few weeks.

Photo: Microsoft.com

Translate