Nursing is an occupation that involves a commitment to a career-long learning process, which means if you want to be a nurse, you better love to learn about it. First of all, the road to becoming a registered nurse is not an easy one, and there are a few different ones that you can take, all of which involve a good amount of education. A good nurse is well trained as well as highly qualified, possessing extensive knowledge of the nursing profession, and always ready to learn more. Nurses need to be mathematical and scientific thinkers, as their job does not only require that they perform care, but also understand it. They need to be able to understand body chemistry, anatomy, and physiology to fully comprehend the process of diseases and how to treat them.
For anyone who wants to become a registered nurse, the learning process begins by earning an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in nursing, which can take anywhere from two to four years, or through a nursing program, which can range from 12 to 15 months. Upon successfully graduating from one of these programs, one is eligible to take the licensing examination known in the United States as the NCLEX-RN. This examination assesses ones understanding of the knowledge and skills that are required to practice nursing at the entry-level. But a nurse’s education doesn’t stop just because they become licensed because these licenses typically must be renewed every two to three years and continuing education courses may be required.
The field of medicine is constantly changing and, whether it’s a new disease or recently discovered treatment, nurses learn something new every day. Although this is an occupation where one won’t be able to help but learn, it is also one in which they must keep learning in order to advance. Nurses can learn by either specializing in a certain area of medicine or by pursuing their education on a higher level. Once obtaining some nursing experience, a nurse may find them self drawn to a specific area or specialty. Some nurses choose to become credentialed in a particular specialty through the American Nursing Credentialing Center or professional nursing associations. While becoming certified in a specialty area is voluntary, it can help a nurse advance by proving proof of their expertise in that area and qualifying them for more positions. Some nurses move forward in their careers by continuing their education on a master’s level to become an advance practice nurse. They types of nurses are nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse-midwives.