Often one of the hardest and most important decisions that you can make in life is which career path to take. There is no blueprint for making this decision, and you’re in the best position to determine what is right for you. With that being said, a common factor that influences your career choice is your area of skill as well as what you’re interested in. For some, it happens to be earning potential and the career that’s most likely to create a level of stability that directs their path. If you like caring for people and find the prospect of working in the medical field exciting, you may have decided to pursue a career as a nurse. Here is how you can achieve this goal in a few steps.
Choose a Niche
Nursing can take you in so many different directions, so it’s imperative that you choose your niche area, to begin with. Do some research to find out what types of nurses are out there and which best fits into the mold of your ideal career. Below are a few types that could help you get thinking.
- Registered Nurse: One of the more popular types of nurses out there is a registered nurse. What they do is help physicians provide treatment to patients who are suffering from a range of different medical conditions. You may also end up administering medication as well as educating your patients on disease prevention and treatment outside of the hospital.
- Travel Nurse: If you have a passion for nursing and have also dreamt of traveling the world, you can do both by becoming a travel nurse. In doing so, you’d be able to administer treatment and support doctors in different geographical locations as well as meet people from different regions.
- Nurse Practitioner: For those who want a more advanced nursing role, becoming a nurse practitioner may work for you. As a nurse practitioner, there will be certain medical conditions that you can treat without the direct supervision of a doctor. It may take a little longer, but it should be worth the time spent. You can also expect to earn anything from $100,000 upwards annually which is a decent amount.
Once you’ve decided on what niche area you want to focus on, the hard work then begins. Unless you’re opting to go for entry-level nursing, to become a nurse you’re going to need to get a degree. The route you take depends on the area you’ve chosen to specialize in. In most instances, to become a nurse, you’re going to need to get a bachelor’s degree and a masters although the latter is optional. The good thing is that you have the option of taking online courses if you don’t have the time to attend physical classes which gives you a significant level of flexibility. If, for instance, you want to become a family nurse practitioner, then you could take the MSN FNP online and get the qualifications you needed to get started.
Get a License
To legally practice as a nurse, you need to get licensed. This is crucial as it’s the only way to demonstrate you have the knowledge and skills required to work with patients daily. The exams and subject-matters you’ll be tested on will vary depending on what career path you chose. For instance, to become a licensed practical nurse, you’ll need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN), while to become a registered nurse, you’d need to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to earn a license.
Consider Future Prospects
Remember that there are prospects for growth in the nursing field and you don’t have to be stuck in one particular role. Set long-term goals and think about where you see yourself in five to ten years so that as you learn and grow, you do so in a direction that makes you feel fulfilled. Understanding why you became a nurse and what you want to accomplish can help you set future goals.
In order to advance in your nursing career, you’ll likely need to pursue higher education and further your studies. In addition to this, getting more experience should help put you in better positions and open doors of opportunity as well. With that being said, remember that it’s equally okay to not have everything figured out and discover your interest as you go along.
Becoming a nurse probably won’t be the easiest things you’ll do, but it will be one that you’re proud of. Even if you don’t end up practicing for the rest of your life, at least you’ll know that you came, saw, and conquered.