Leading the Nurse Profession into the future starts with an overview of what being a nurse entails. A nurse is defined as “any person working in the health care profession engaged in the practice of health care”. That definition encompasses a large range of individuals with varying degrees of skill, education and expertise. Nurses are not only those employed in hospitals, but they are licensed in various settings such as doctor’s offices, clinics and nursing homes. A nurse can specialize in one of a wide variety of health professions such as pediatrics, women’s health, men’s health and acute care. In addition to becoming a registered nurse or RN, one can also become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) to become involved in a specific field of nursing.
As one begins a career as a nurse, they will likely start out as an RN or an LPN. The length of time that one spends in training will depend on the program and school, that one attends. Many nursing school graduates begin their careers as an LPN. However, if one has the opportunity to complete a RN to MSN degree or another, they should do so. Earning an RN to MSN certification will enable one to be considered for higher level positions in the health care industry such as a nurse practitioner, RN-BSN, or other nurse specialist positions.
For those interested in becoming a nurse, they may choose to attend a nursing school that is accredited. In order to do this, the school must be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). There are several nursing schools that have received this commission, including Kaplan University, Southern New Hampshire University, ITT Technical college and Le Cordon Bleu. The nursing school should be accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC). These programs prepare graduates for their careers as Registered Nurses.
After completing their training and working in their program of choice, graduates will be able to take an exam that is reviewed and graded by the National Council Licensure Exam Board (NCLEX-RN) and the National Council Licensure Examination Board – Registered nurses will then be able to sit for the NCLEX-RN. Passing this examination allows one to become licensed as a nurse. In order to become eligible for licensing as a RN, one must pass the NCLEX-RN within a specific time period. There are specific courses that must be completed in order to pass the exam. For those who are interested in being a Registered Nurse, the sooner they can start the better.
For those nursing students who are not interested in entering the health care industry as a nurse, there are many nursing schools that offer online programs. These programs will allow the student to complete their degree without having to commit to a classroom schedule. Some colleges will even work with a community learning center in an attempt to provide quality training for those students who have busy schedules. Those who are unable to attend a college campus can find many nursing schools online that offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees. As more people seek the opportunity to advance their nursing career, this type of educational option is becoming increasingly popular among those who would like to further their education without having to give up their day job.
Becoming a nurse practitioner is just one step of what a nurse practitioner can do. There are many additional positions that can open up once a nurse practitioner has been trained and is licensed. In some areas, they can even replace a physician and provide primary care to patients who are looking for medical attention. Nurses can work in the physician’s office or in a specialty facility on call for short periods of time in cases where a primary care physician is unavailable.