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Exploring a Nursing Career

Nursing is one of the most promising careers in this country that offers various kinds of personal and professional rewards. If you choose to embark on this field, not only will you be financially fulfilled, you will also be able to help others by caring for people with compassion. Few professions combine medical science and the art of caring and nourishing.

Because of the various rewards of this field, nursing has become the country's largest health care profession. Nurses also comprise the largest component of hospital staff. The United States has over 2.6 million registered nurses.

The basic responsibility of nurse revolves around taking care of patients. But actually, the job of a nurse is more complicated than most people think. A normal day in a nurse's life would include assessing patients' physical and emotional state, identifying needs and possible problems, addressing these problems and setting up goals for patients' improvement, implementation of medical treatment, and evaluation of the treatment results.

Aside from these duties, nurses also tend to the patients, assist them in their needs, help the sick and injured recover and stay healthy, perform physical examinations, providing of medications as ordered by the doctors, and provide health care teaching in the community.

The demand for nurses is growing by the minute, as there has been a significant increase in health problems and ailments over the recent years. Moreover, the current nursing workforce is aging and most of the nurses working today are expected to retire in the next ten to fifteen years.

A registered nurse's standard starting salary is around $40,000, which is highly competitive when compared to other fields such as accounting, marketing, teaching, and economics. Salary increases over time as a nurse gains experience.

Another good thing about becoming a nurse during this time is the fact that nurses now have more options other than working in a hospital setting. Nurses today can choose to work in long-term care centers such as rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes, community health clinics, outpatient and surgery centers, medical offices, home care, nursing universities and colleges, corporate health facilities, health insurance companies, military, and research centers. The career of a nurse is broader than most people realize.

The options for work settings are not the only thing flexible in a nursing profession but so do the working hours. Nurses can choose to work during the day, the evening or late night. Some even have the option to work part-time or only during weekends.

To prepare for a nursing career, one is required to have a high school diploma from a reputable school before entering a nursing university to acquire a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Nurses also need to possess certain qualities necessary for this profession such as people skills, patience, leadership skills, organizational strategies, compassion, confidence, determination, flexibility, problem-solving skills, grace under pressure, and sense of humor.

After graduating from or while studying in a nursing school, it would be a good idea to volunteer at a local hospital to know your way around. Graduates of nursing schools should then pass a national licensing exam in order to become a registered nurse. Afterward, a registered nurse may choose to continue studying and get a master's degree. Alternatively, a nurse may already start looking for a job.

A nurse's job can be a very difficult. There are so many stresses, challenges, and difficulties in the workplace that a nurse faces every day but with the various professional and personal rewards that a nurse gets from this kind of job, it is no wonder there are still many who wish to embark on this kind of career.

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