Nursing careers offer a rewarding, challenging work experience caring for others and performing selfless services. One of the most appealing things about nursing is the variety of job settings it offers. If you want to assist people in trauma-based scenarios and enjoy a fast-paced work environment, then you can get a job as an ER nurse. For those with a passion for medicine and the desire to help others, but who do not wish to partake in the constant rush and stress of the Emergency Room, there are clinics, offices and other practices that need qualified nurses to work for them in environments that are equally stimulating but far more relaxed.
The face of the nursing profession has dramatically evolved through history. It is of utmost importance of someone who choose the nursing field to have passion and care for the sick. It is a life-long journey, a never-ending process. The quest for excellence to your chosen career will be up to you and success will meet you once you know what you will be facing and most importantly, you are ready for the profession.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a very positive job outlook for nursing degree graduates, with a projected growth rate of 19 percent between 2012 and 2022. That is 7 percent higher than the national average for all occupations, and since the entry-level education for a career in nursing is an associate’s degree, nursing is a career path that allows you to learn and begin working much earlier than other post-secondary students.
What Does a Nurse Do?
There are a dozen different types of nursing and each position requires specific responsibilities – see the below list for specifics on what each nurse position does. However, most RNs that have a BSN provide at least some of the following basic tasks:
- Oxygen therapy
- Tracheotomy care
- Independent interventions
- Basic body positioning
- Deep breathing exercises
- Administer medications
- Monitor IV fluids
Types of Nursing Careers
An RN is a nurse who graduated from any school that offers nursing program and passed a national licensing exam which differs from every country. You will need to pass the NCLEX exam or the National Council Licensure Examination. Their roles and responsibilities include but not limited to helping clients promote and maintain health and wellness through incidental and planned health teachings and proper bedside care. They are governed by scope of nursing practice and code of ethics. The central role of a nurse is a communicator that acts between the patient and other healthcare professionals and the community as well. It is also a range from being an advocate, a trainer, a researcher, and a change agent.
Registered Nurse Career
Registered Nurses are the general name of the vast majority of nurses working in health care facilities. Typical responsibilities include providing care for patients, including educating the public and patients about different types of conditions. RN’s, especially in a hospital setting, are also an integral part of emotional support for patients and family members.
Several tasks are consistent amongst RN’s: recording medical history and symptoms, administering medicine, observing and recording patient tendencies and symptoms, perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, and teach patients about managing illness.
Critical Care Nurse Career
Critical care nurses work in intensive care units, such as the emergency room, ICU’s, or in hospitals, providing care to patients with serious, complex, and acute illnesses and injuries.
Pediatric Nurse Career
Pediatric nurses take care of infants, toddlers, and young children. Typically they work with the Pediatrician or Nurse Practitioner.
Tasks of the Pediatric Nurse include: taking temperature of children, weighing mass and measuring height, and taking the primary consultation prior to the pediatrician seeing the patients.
Pediatric nurses should have a great interest in the health care industry and must also have patience, compassion and a desire to help children of all ages. Pediatric nurses may work in any health care facility that treats children but are generally employed at clinics, private practices and at pediatric departments at hospitals and other medical facilities. They generally work with pediatricians, family practitioners and other medical personnel who are working with and treating children.
A pediatric nurse may specialize in a specific area, such as neonatalology, cardiology, trauma, endocrinology, etc. Pediatric specializations generally require clinical experiences in the chosen area; the pediatric nurse may also obtain certifications.
More info at the BLS.
Cardiovascular nurses are specialized nurses that care for patients with heart disease and people who have had heart surgery. The most often help get patients back on track, especially in recovery, assisting with getting to rehabilitation, administering medications, and helping to train for the new life ahead of the patient.
Geriatric / Gerontologic / Adult Nursing Career
Geriatric nurses work with the elderly, typically in nursing home settings. Some work in rehabilitation centers, while others may work in specialized facilities, such as Alzheimer’s care facilities.
When you are already licensed as a registered nurse, you will have the option to choose your specialization or some might say specifications. One specialization RNs look forward to is Gerontologic Nursing or Geriatric Nursing. There’s a slight difference between the two. Geriatric nursing focus primarily for older patients who are ill while Gerontologic nursing is the holistic view of the older adult as a person.
A geriatric nurse helps elderly patients which are at risk of the most common debilitating and degenerative diseases. Emphasizing promotion and quality of life of these elders are most important. Registered nurses who are certified in gerontology have specialized knowledge of acute and chronic changes specific to older people. A geriatric nurse not only helps those elderly patients but also their families. Helping and coping with certain conditions. Geriatric nurses typically take care of bathing and positioning to prevent bedsores and assist with medications that help relieve the severity of pain.
To become a certified geriatric nurse, your need to follow certain steps and get certifications. After your BSN degree, pass you NCLEX-RN and get at least 2 years of clinical experience, a 30-hour continuing education in geriatric nursing, and at least 2000 hours in this field. After you have all of these, have you certification through American Nurses Credentialing Center (The Campaign for Nursing’s Future, Geriatric Nursing) .
According to AACN, by 2030, the number of Americans age 65 and up will exceed more than 70 million so the need to have more nurses is arising. Take a look at their salary. ONET published that geriatric nurses receive a salary of a range from $50,000 – $90,000 annually depending on the state, their education, and their setting. (Geriatric Nurse Careers & Salary Outlook, 2015). Top resources for geriatric nurses are American Society on Aging, American Assisted Living Nurses Association, GeroNurseOnline.org, and The American Geriatrics Society.
Top Organizations for Nursing
Get to know more about registered nurses, their work, and their responsibilities. Here are some of the top resources for registered nurses:
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Accreditation
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- Lippincott’s nursing career directory
- ACP Journal Club
- American Nurses Association