What is Nursing School Like?
There are many ways to get an education as a nurse, but most people who want to make a full-time career out of nursing choose to get a bachelor’s degree. You won’t immediately learn medical procedures. In fact, you won’t learn this sort of thing for a couple of years.
At first, you’ll have to take liberal arts courses. Most universities require you to take the same prerequisites as people in all of the other majors. While you may think this is a waste of time, it is actually very valuable. For example, taking composition courses will help you a great deal in your career, as you’ll use this skill every time you need to write a report.
Even after you finish your prerequisite courses, you won’t learn nursing practices immediately. Many nursing programs require extensive communications and psychology courses, as this helps nurses communicate with their patients. This sort of studying is relatively new to nursing programs, but many schools (such as Portland University) have adopted it after realizing the potential benefits.
Once you have completed these courses (likely in your sophomore year), you’ll begin clinical rotations. This is done to get nursing students as much hands on experience as possible before they actually receive their degrees. This practice is much the same as what student doctors do in med school. Nursing students generally undertake very simple tasks under the supervision of an experienced nurse. Much of what they do is as simple as dispensing medication, updating charts, and possibly checking vital signs.
These clinical rotations last for two years. If the student makes satisfactory progress during these two years, they will graduate with a degree in nursing. This does not, however, mean that they are nurses yet. There is one last hurdle that an aspiring nurse needs to overcome.
Before earning his or her license, the student must first pass the National Certification Licensure Examination. This exam is known to be very difficult, and a sizable percentage of students don’t pass. Those who do, however, get their license and enter the exciting field of nursing.
Career Prospects in the Nursing Field
Nursing is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States. Nearly all careers in the medical field have an excellent outlook, but the number of jobs in the nursing field is growing faster than most other medical occupations. Many people are attracted to nursing for this reason.
While career security and opportunities are two of the major reasons that people go into nursing, it is more difficult to sustain a nursing career than many people realize. Those who get into nursing for career reasons often burn out after a while due to the emotional difficulty of the occupation. There are certain character traits that people who become successful nurses usually have. These character traits allow them to deal with what can be an emotionally draining job.
Personality Traits of Successful Nurses
Nurses that have long and rewarding careers in this profession usually have the following traits:
- People skills
It’s rare for someone to have all of these traits. Nursing certainly isn’t for everybody. If you are cut out for it, however, it can be an incredibly rewarding career. There aren’t many jobs that offer you the opportunity to help as many people as nursing does.
Types of Nursing Jobs
While most people think of nurses as working in a hospital, this is only one of many places a nurse may work in their career. If you want to be a nurse, you have to be comfortable working in a variety of locations. These locations may include:
- Emergency rooms (E.R.s)
- Public health organizations
- Pediatrician’s offices
- Operating rooms
- Nursing rooms
Questions You Need to Ask Yourself
There are several questions that you need to think about if you are considering nursing school. If you really want to know whether nursing school is right for you, you need to be honest with yourself. It’s not for everybody, and there isn’t anything wrong with not being cut out for it. The first question you need to ask yourself is: Do I really care about other people and do I really have a desire to help them become healthy? It is easy to say yes without really thinking about it, but consider how difficult this is. Consider that many patients may not be pleasant. After you’ve considered this, think about the continuous work you’ll have to do to stay up with the advances in technology, procedures, and medicine. Most well-run hospitals have training programs that help their medical professionals stay up-to-date on the latest advancements, but not all of them do. You may have to get updated on your own time.
You also need to ask yourself if you can remove your ego totally from any situation. If there is a patient in a life-threatening situation, you need to be able to do whatever it takes to save them. This means taking orders from doctors or nurses above you in the pecking order and following them to the letter without talking back or hesitating at all.
Another thing you have to ask yourself is whether you can take the hours. The hours a nurse works can be very long and include nights, weekends, and holidays. These hours may cause more people to leave nursing than any other reason. Of course, if you can take working extremely long hours, you can make good money due to overtime.
The last and possibly most important question you need to ask yourself is whether you can accept that many people you come into contact with don’t share your belief in God. This may be difficult after going to a Christian nursing school. Be an example through your actions, but keep in mind that hospitals generally prevent nurses from sharing their religious beliefs, as it is considered unprofessional.