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Articles on Nursing:
   A Future in Nursing
   Nursing Major...A Closer Look
   Explore a Major in Nursing
   A Career in Nursing

A Future in Nursing

By Jennifer Bailey

As a nurse, it’s important that your spiritual faith remains firm and strong as you take care of people every day. Regardless of where they work, nurses must be compassionate, responsible and detail-oriented. They must be willing to take control of stressful situations and ask for assistance when necessary. Nurses should also possess an emotional stability that enables them to handle emergency situations and be engaged with emotional and physical suffering, illness and injury. Does this sound like you?

If you are a natural leader and learn to manage teams of other nurses, then you can advance your career into leadership roles which will open up opportunities for higher-paying jobs as you receive specialized training or obtain advanced degrees.

In addition, you will also be provided the opportunity for personal growth and professional development in this very important and exciting field. Great nurses are in very high demand and needed at every level in the healthcare industry.

Nursing school programs vary in length and intensity depending on the desired degree or certification. Students who wish to join the workforce as soon as possible, often choose to attend one-year LPN training programs. These programs prepare you for basic medical work as a practical nurse. At the other end of the spectrum, aspiring nurse practitioners will spend several years in school. Nurse practitioners are qualified to perform a variety of medical duties not available to other nurses. This translates into higher salaries.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one other, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34-35

After earning a nursing degree, most graduates seek to obtain employment at hospitals, long-term care facilities, private practices or other healthcare settings. Though individual state laws determine the specific tasks that registered nurses and licensed practical nurses may perform in the workplace, the nature of the jobs vary by sector and employer. Regardless, all nurses must take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for their certification level to become either a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

Registered Nurses (RNs) work in hospitals, nursing homes, private physician's offices or home healthcare companies. Duties vary by state and position but usually include administering medical treatments and medication, observing patients, educating patients and families about illness, assisting with diagnosing injuries and illness, recording patient histories and providing emotional support.

RNs must be licensed by the state in which they practice. In addition to any state exam requirements, RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to receive their RN certification.

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) can also work in a variety of healthcare facilities. They must also complete some postsecondary training. Their roles differ from RNs in the duties they may undertake and the amount of training they have received. Typical tasks include monitoring patients, assisting patients with bathing and dressing, changing bandages, recording patient information and providing emotional support for patients. LPNs and LVNs are supervised by doctors and RNs.

Nurses wanting to specialize in a particular area of healthcare may become Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). After receiving the proper training and meeting all requirements, APRNs may be allowed to provide patients with certain primary and specialty healthcare services. Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners are all examples of APRNs. All APRNs must earn a master's degree in their area of specialization. Regardless of specialization, all APRNs must first earn their RN certification. They must also pass the proper licensing exams, which vary according to their specific area of specialty. APRNs must be licensed in the state in which they work and meet continuing education requirements.