Career Essay: Nursing
Nursing is defined as “the practice or profession of caring for the sick and injured” (thefreedictionary.com). Regardless of the simplicity of the definition, nursing is a very complex career that as it might already imply, carries many responsibilities and complications. Nonetheless, nursing is a rewarding career that offers intrapersonal growth and various career advancement opportunities. Within the nursing profession there are many sub-groups depending on the degree, for instance in this brief report we will be viewing the pathway towards obtaining Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (otherwise known as BSN). However all registered nurses have similar duties. Their duties include: recording patients’ medical histories and symptoms, administer patients’ treatment, accommodate their treatment according to their plans, observe patients and record their observations, consult with doctors and other healthcare professionals, operate and monitor medical equipment, help perform diagnostics, analyze results, and teach patients and their families how to manage their illness or injuries (bls.gov).
Nurses who graduate under the BSN program differ from other nurses in the degree. A bachelor's degree or higher is often required for career advancement into nursing positions in administration, research labs or training. For example, if a student wishes to become a nurse practitioner, the student must acquire his/her bachelor’s before they start their masters. In the grand scale of the BSN pathway, a student must graduate from high school (or an equivalent of such), complete a 4 year program and pass the state mandated nursing exam in order to be officially considered a nurse. There are many degree plans apart from the one mentioned, for instance an associate’s degree in nursing or ADN can enter the ADN to BSN program. For the sake of simplicity we will examine the career plan for a first time nursing student. In the first two years of the nursing program students will have to satisfy general liberal arts education requirements, as well as nursing pre-requisites as pre-nursing majors; depending on the nursing program. Many of these nursing prerequisites consists of health science related classes. Most of the widely known nursing programs in Texas require students to take the following programs: Microbiology/Lecture & Lab (4 hours), Chemistry/Lecture & Lab (4 Hours), Growth & Developmental Psychology (3 hours), Anatomy & Physiology/Lecture & Lab (8 hours), Statistics (3 hours), Nutrition (3 hours). Once fulfilling these prerequisites students must gain acceptance to an upper division nursing program which contain nursing specific classes and lab hours as well as clinicals that offer on-the-job experience. Once obtaining their bachelor’s degree students wanting to work in the United States must take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), this is a test that all new graduates must pass in order to practice in any of the 50 states. Getting a nursing degree is very rewarding in today’s workforce. According to the United States Department of Labor, registered nurses hold an unemployment rate of 4 percent, and an employment rate of 26 percent which is higher than the average of all occupations by 12 percent. On top of these statistics, it is predicted that from the year “2008 to 2018, more than 3.2 million healthcare jobs will be added into America’s workforce” (bls.gov). The apparent security of the nursing career and the current and future demand for healthcare professionals is due to the aging baby boomer population in America. What sets this generation apart from previous generations is that this generation “will demand more health care services as they live longer and more active lives than previous generations. Faster than average growth is expected in traditional hospital settings, as well as in non-hospital settings, such as physician’s offices and home healthcare...
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