Nursing

By: Dean Forster

The United States is experiencing an alarming shortage of licensed and trained nurses that can fill critical positions in the healthcare industry. As a result of this shortage, nurses who are working in hospitals can be seen taking on a variety of roles, from assessing heart attack victims in emergency rooms to providing education and skills training to nursing and medical staff.

The Roles of Nurses Today

Nurses today go beyond providing traditional bedside care to the ill and wounded. They are also patients' advocates as well as responsible for ensuring that patients receive high quality care. Although providing treatment of patients remain in the domain of doctors, nurses have been taken to task that patients do receive the necessary treatments as prescribed by physicians.

Nurses have taken on so many different and varied roles in the healthcare industry that they are no longer limited to working in hospitals. Nurses today have many options and avenues to practice their profession. They can now be in the military, assume positions in health insurance or public relations companies, work as school nurses, start their own healthcare provider business, teach and become nurse educators, provide their services as home health nurses, work for the government and become public health nurses, become freelance writers writing about the medical and healthcare industry, and more.

Nursing Programs

Those who want to enter the nursing field often start out in an entry-level training program.

Becoming a registered nurse takes two years in an associate degree program. In this program, nurses are taught essential information and trained so they develop the skills that are needed for them to safely practice nursing.

The bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN) takes four years. In this program, nurses are taught a more extensive range of information and skills related to healthcare. Because this four-year degree program is much more comprehensive than the associate degree, many nurses who have completed the two-year associate degree in nursing decide to pursue a BSN. Another reason many choose to work for a BSN is that a lot of the healthcare institutions in the country would only hire nurses who have a BSN.

The master of science in nursing degree (MSN) is often taken by nurses who have been in the nursing profession for some time. Nurses who work for an MSN degree are often those who are thinking of practicing more autonomously or assuming bigger or higher responsibilities. Nurses who have an MSN degree include nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and nurse administrators. You can find out more about nursing and nursing vacancies at

And lastly, nurses can also pursue a PhD. Nurses with a doctorate degree can be prepared in nearly any discipline.

What Entry-Level Graduate Nurses Can Expect

An entry-level graduate nurse typically receives a six-week orientation in the specific area of the hospital where she works. She works under a graduate license until such time that she passes the board and receives a full RN license. After the orientation, the nurse is evaluated in terms of skills performance. The nurse is assessed and interventions made with regard to the nurse's autonomy level. Once the evaluation is done, a nurse can look into additional training in other nursing fields or aspects of healthcare.

Anyone who is considering to build a career in the healthcare industry should look into nursing, as it is one field that is continuously growing and progressing.

Nursing
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