Nursing, unlike many other professions, has a variety of educational paths for those who return for advanced education. You should decide if baccalaureate- or graduate-level work is congruent with your career goals.
If you want to become a nurse, you have several options to get you there. The option you choose will depend upon your particular situation. Before choosing your path, you'll want to consider your current financial situation and your long-term career goals. Depending on what you want to do, you may decide on an associate, bachelor, or master's degree in nursing.
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Becoming a Registered Nurse (RN)
In order to be an RN, you must have at least an associate level degree. If you continue to higher education, you can get your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Likewise, you can move on to doctorate programs. As the level of education increases, so does your opportunity for more complex, specialized, and higher paying jobs. Higher degrees will also qualify you for leadership roles within organizations.
A traditional path
Many students out of high school who are considering getting a nursing degree enroll in school and obtain a BSN right away. Then, depending on their career goals, they move on to graduate school. This allows you to enter the workforce with a solid education under your belt and begin your career at a higher level than just an RN. This works great for students who are financially prepared to enter a four-year college and work towards a degree.
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A more gradual and vocational path
The traditional path mentioned above is great for students who plan to go right to college out of high school. However, that path is definitely not one-size-fits-all. There are some who enter nursing as a second career, or those who simply cannot leave the work force for four years to complete a bachelor degree. In these cases, this more vocational path might fit.
- LPN or LVN: LPN stands for Licensed Practical Nursing. LVN Stands for Licensed Vocational Nursing. This is a fast-paced program that is often offered at a community college, a local hospital or a vocational school. The program usually takes about a year to complete, after which you can take a state exam and enter the workforce as a nurse and continue your education.
- After you are an LPN or an LVN, you can take an accelerated course in order to get an associate degree in nursing. These are called LPN-to-Associate degrees.
- If you are wanting to eventually get your bachelor degree, you can also take an LPN-to-Bachelor program. This typically allows you to take classes part time and eventually earn your BSN.
This path can allow you to enter the workforce as a nurse very quickly and then gradually increase your education as you move along in your career.
Regardless of which path you take, nursing degrees are in high demand and will continue to be in high demand for the next few decades. In some areas, nursing shortages have caused hospitals to actively recruit nurses with signing bonuses and other incentives. It's a great career choice, that includes options that enhance your flexibility in how you obtain the degree.
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As the student nurse approaches graduation, thoughts of beginning a career in nursing come to mind. A new nurse should think very seriously about their career goals. These include long term as well as short term goals.
If you are comtemplating about going into the nursing field, certain pre-requisites had to be completed before hand. Graduating from a nursing program is another transition phase that must be approached with the same dedication and planning as was first applied.
Thinking About Your Goals As A Nurse?
The short synopsis below is a sample of a nursing career goal paper. Go through it before you start thinking about nursing as a career goal.
1) Why I am Attracted to Nursing
The field of nursing attracted me for several reasons.
- A nurse is the front line person in caring for others and saving lives. The nurse will in many cases such as in the hospital or homecare environment discover the patient who needs emergency attention before the physician. It will be up to the nurse to respond accordingly within the scope of their practice and hospital procedures.
2) Why Does this Facet of Nursing attracts me?
Well, it is because that this type of responsibility is not too far off from the type of responsibility that a physician has, which is what I had hoped to become many years ago. Nurses did not have that crucial level of responsibility initially. Because of this, many patients died.
- For instance, a nurse from the past may not have known the therapeutic values of electrolytes and blood gases thereby putting the patient’s health in jeopardy. Now, in present times, the nurse must know all of the pertinent lab values and act upon any change immediately, either by calling the physician or implementing standing orders.
- A Nurse uses therapeutic communication and treats the patient’s response to real or perceived illness. This is the corner stone of which nursing is based on. The holistic approach is so successful in helping patients to heal. I am a firm believer that for an individual to be able to heal from without, they must first heal from within. Therefore the nurse can help clients to adapt and grow in a positive way rather than negative. Since all of nursing is now based on evidenced practice, it is exciting to be able to put the scientific method to use. There are now logical and provable reasons that a nurse should take a particular course of action.
3) Short Term Career Goals As a Nurse
My short-term career goals consist of successfully passing Nursing 255, then passing the national board exam. Once this is accomplished, I hope to be work on a medical-surgical floor and hone my skills as a graduate nurse. I have chosen medical-surgical nursing as a starting point because this particular field will help me to develop my clinical skills.
4) Long Term Career Goals of Nursing
I hope to be an active member in the profession of nursing, joining the American Nurses Association, attending seminars and lobbying for the advancement of nurses to prescribe medication independently. Hopefully within the next five years or so I will have a degree as an advanced practice nurse in the field of family healthcare and be working in an emergency room.
5) My Personal Goals as a Nurse
My personal goals are humble. Money has never been a goal, rather doing that which enriches the soul. I am thankful to my Lord that I have been given the opportunity to have made it thus far. I take care of my mother and help my family as best I can. I am happiest when I am helping others, and owe a large debt of gratitude to my instructors, who have given of themselves their wealth of knowledge and experience to help produce competent nurses. I hope to make them proud.
These are just some of the reasons which have attracted me to the profession of nursing. I hope, I have inspired you to join this wonderful career as a nurse