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Nursing as a Profession

Nursing is a highly regarded profession with high standards of honesty and ethics amongst various other professions. Nursing has emerged as the largest health care occupation with over 2.7 million jobs. With over 100,000 vacant positions and a ever-growing need for health care workers, the career outlook is excellent for the nursing field.

National Center for Workforce Analysis, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts a shortage of 808,416 nurses by the year 2020. Such an analysis and prediction is backed by very strong reasoning and findings. Advancement in technology and medical field has resulted in an increased life span. Elderly population is now living longer and more of them will require care and nursing. With more elderly people in need of such care, demands rise for nursing force that can meet such needs.

Also, the need for more skilled nurses is growing. With insurance companies stepping into the medical field to reduce the cost of health care expenditure, demand for nurses, outside the hospital setting has also risen. Not to forget that the current nursing workforce is aging and many are expected to retire over next 10-15 years only to create a void, adding to the shortage further. So, nurses with a BSN degree can expect a securer career and better job prospects.

Nurses blend knowledge of science and technology with the art of care and compassion. Nursing provides opportunity to save and improve lives, care for the sick and debilitated, educate patients and people towards achieving good health and above all, the feeling of helping someone in their hour of illness and need. There is no greater service than caring for the sick and needy.

Nurses are required to deliver basic duties, which includes but is not limited to providing treatment, health education, emotional support, record maintenance, operating medical equipment in addition to counseling patient and their family about the management of their illness. Registered Nurses (RNs) also run general health screening and immunization clinics, organize public seminars, motivate blood donation drives, etc.

Three out of five nurses in the United States work in hospitals. Most of the others work in clinics, home health, extended care settings, schools, colleges, universities, the public health services, and nonprofit agencies throughout the United States and many other countries.

Nursing can be a challenging job with continuous exposure to grief and suffering, stress, work pressures, little or excessive patient contact and occupational hazards including but not limited to infectious diseases, radiation exposure, accidental needle sticks, chemicals, anesthesia, back injury and emotional stress. Role autonomy and independence, innovativeness, technical knowledge, and teamwork are characteristics of this job, in addition to personal satisfaction and professional rewards.

The nursing schools are a gateway to this profession and almost all of them require a high school diploma in addition to sound academic standing in English, Algebra, Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology with a GPA score of at least 3. Computer experience is an asset. Leadership and organization skills are vital to this profession.

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