There are many full-time and permanent jobs which are essentially just that; a job which enables you to have a comfortable home, a car, a social life and to provide for yourself and the other members of your family.

Nursing, however, is certainly not one of them.

A career as a professional and practicing nurse is not only a source of income, but much more of a vocation a person only embarks upon if they are dedicated to and passionate about helping others and making a real difference.

With this in mind, continue reading for a comprehensive guide to a career in nursing.

Why Do You Want to Be a Nurse?

doctor of nursing practice vs nurse practitioner

It takes a certain type of person to be fully ready to dedicate the entirety of their professional life to helping others, let alone spending copious amounts of money as well as your time studying and training.

There is a myriad of different reasons why people decide to become a professional and practicing nurse, including but in no way limited to, the following:

  • Nursing is an exciting and both emotionally and physically active career
  • Nurses can work in a wide variety of different working environments
  • Nurses have a much more flexible working schedule than other professionals
  • Nurses are paid an exceedingly competitive salary
  • Nurses are respected by everyone, professional and public

Extracurricular Pursuits at School

If you are still at school or college and already have your heart and mindset on becoming a professional and fully registered nurse, then there are some key extracurricular activities you could choose to pursue while you finish your schooling.

One of the major choices which will not only help you professionally but will also boost your personal and social skills as well as to opt for elective placement. Aside from this, you could also become an ambassador for your academic institution, use social media to highlight key issues within nursing and the healthcare sector in general, strive to develop your leadership skills as much as possible as well as try to fit in volunteer work as well.

Undergraduate Nursing Degrees

Nursing Degrees

After achieving academic success in high school and college, those dedicated to the pursuit of a professional career as a registered nurse are then required to enroll at university to either acquire an undergraduate degree in nursing for adults or the same program but for children.

While studying the three-year undergraduate nursing program, one can expect the following:

  • Critical care
  • Therapeutic practice and approach
  • Introduction to clinical care
  • Public health
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Planning patient care
  • Mental health patients
  • Epidemiology
  • Health physiology
  • Complex care

Postgraduate Nursing Degrees

An incredibly exciting option when wanting to further your nursing skills and expertise is to elect to start a postgraduate or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse certificate.

There is a myriad of advantages to your professional career as a nurse in the successful acquisition of one of the top post MSN certificate programs online, and such a course will focus on the dual-core practices of advanced clinical nursing skills and evidence-based practice both disciplines targeted to improve patient outcomes.

Postgraduate degree programs that are popular amongst working and practicing nurses include the following, to name but a few:

  • MSc Adult Nursing
  • MSc Mental Health Nursing
  • MSc Clinical Administration
  • MSc Public Health
  • MSc Child Health & Wellbeing

Nursing Specialisms

There are a wide range of specialisms within the proverbial umbrella heading of nursing, and the beauty of embarking on such a career is that you can start to focus on where your true passions lie as you find out about the different areas of nursing.

Top nursing specialisms in the United States currently include, but are obviously not limited to, the following:

  • Public Health
  • Informatics
  • Pediatrics
  • Mental Health
  • Geriatrics
  • Acute Care
  • Travel
  • Oncology
  • Trauma

The Copious Benefits of Becoming a Nurse

There is a wide plethora of benefits to becoming a professional nurse, and despite the emotional and physical challenges, is it one of the more rewarding and fulfilling vocations of them all.

Key benefits of becoming a professional, registered, and practicing nurse in whichever nursing specialism you decide to pursue include:

  • Numerous employee benefits
  • A flexible and non-routine working schedule
  • Making a serious and real difference in peopleโ€™s lives
  • Working in a variety of locations and settings
  • Extreme job stability
  • Chance for a significantly competitive salary plan
  • Substantial opportunities for career progression and career enhancement
  • Lots of chances to travel as a professional nurse
  • Pride and copious professional recognition
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