How to begin your Nursing Career

There are certain types of people that are just naturally caregivers. These people are generally compassionate, motivating and kindhearted. Nursing is a popular career option for these types of people. For those thinking of becoming a nurse the research process can be quite overwhelming.
Bachelors and Associates Nursing Education
The first step to starting a nursing career starts with the preliminary research. Becoming a nurse requires an advanced education. Although you do not need a college degree to become a nurse, those who have a nursing degree will make more money and have more career options in the future.
There are many options to obtaining a nursing degree. The most common is a Bachelor of Science Nursing which is a 4 year degree at a traditional university. Usually a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree is required for admission to a Masters of Nursing program. By completing a college degree individuals will become a Registered Nurse and will have many career paths they could take. Individuals choosing not to become RN’s can also obtain an Associates Degree from a community college and work taking care of the sick, injured or elderly in special needs programs. Make sure the nursing program is accredited with The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education before enrolling.
Advanced Nursing Education
Licensed Practical Nurses care for the sick, injured and disabled under the direct supervision of physicians and registered nurses. An LPN is responsible for taking basic care, taking vital signs, monitoring equipment and changing dressings. Getting an LPN degree usually takes 1 year and can be found at vocational schools. Some universities offer accelerated programs for students who already have some other degree but wish to pursue nursing. These programs usually last 1.5-2 years in length. There are many advanced degrees as well such as Degree Completion Programs for RNs, Master, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Programs. Getting a degree is the first step in a meaningful nursing career.
Once you have a degree in nursing there are many different certification programs available to further ones career. Some Registered Nurses are required to complete certification classes on a regular basis to show competence of their job skills. There are no set standards for every hospital or clinic but rather each employer can choose to participate in ongoing training/certification. Online programs do exist and our gaining in popularity due to their reduced cost and time.
It Pays to be a Nurse
A nursing career is one of the most popular and most needed jobs in America. Currently there are more than 100,000 RN openings in the United States. By 2020 there will be a need for 800,000 RNs. The increased need is due to the world living longer and an increase in the geriatric population. Registered Nurses earn an average of $49,840 a year according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With such a need for nurses many hospitals are giving out huge signing bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases. If you enjoy taking care of people it definitely pays to look into nursing.