Healthcare is a multidisciplinary field that requires a team effort to thrive and grow consistently. From patients to counselors, lab workers, researchers and physicians, every individual is a critical part of this collaborative association. Each member has a designated role and must strive to work at their level best to provide the highest quality of medical care. A critical component of this team, and one without which the healthcare force would simply crumble, are nurses.
At its core, the noble profession of nursing intends to serve humanity with compassion, empathy, and patience. Nurses form the backbone of any medical institution. They’re the first in the line of contact, bridging the gap between patients and doctors. Nurses assist any individual who walks in through the hospital door by helping them navigate the multiple healthcare facilities the organization has to offer. A nurse’s duty is ever-evolving, and their support is crucial to fostering a healthy doctor-patient bond.
So it’s no wonder that a lot of students consider pursuing nursing degrees right after high school.
How to Become a Nurse?
To set foot into the world of nursing, you must start by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited institute. The degree is crucial to acquiring the basic knowledge and skills needed to manage the everyday challenges of the job. On completing the degree and after serving a limited number of supervised clinical hours, students must sit through the NCL exam. Clearing this test is crucial to proving your worth, obtaining a nursing license, and becoming a registered nurse. However, the journey doesn’t end here. Those who choose to further their education can unlock a myriad of new opportunities. The next step to advancing your career is obtaining a master’s degree and then a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
Institutes all over the US offer online DNP programs for registered nurses with especially hectic routines. These programs make education hassle-free by providing personalized schedules and flexible classes.
Why Pursue Advanced Education?
Although enrolling in this degree may appear to be time-consuming, but it will set you on the trajectory to long-term success. As compared to RNs, nurse practitioners are highly valued individuals of the healthcare sector and hold tremendous power and authority. RNs who choose to further their education must invest additional time and resources, but the position of nurse practitioner comes with several perks, some of which include:
Nurse practitioners undergo a rigorous education process, ladened with evidence-based coursework and long rotations of clinical practice, making them skilled in tackling almost every task thrown their way. They become qualified to apply for leadership roles with high autonomy and are no longer limited to a clinical setting. As a nurse practitioner, you have a much stronger hold over your future and can opt for a path of your choice without jeopardizing your career. For instance, you can work in hospitals and institutes as a consultant, monitoring their services to improve the standards of current healthcare programs for better outcomes. You can pursue research, assist in upcoming studies, and participate in clinical trials, helping develop and test new treatments.
NPs can even work at colleges and universities as educators where they can assist in establishing advanced curriculums, mentor, guide, and support the upcoming generation of nurses. Indeed, the opportunities are endless.
With higher power comes higher autonomy. Unlike RNs, nurse practitioners aren’t required to work under the supervision of other doctors and physicians. In fact, many states allow them to work independently and even start private practices, where they can diagnose illnesses, run tests, administer basic treatments, and prescribe medications without restriction. NPs are qualified to utilize their experience, expert clinical judgment, and freedom to practice without barriers to positively influence healthcare.
Nursing is a stable and in-demand career, with the industry growing with every passing year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the job opportunities in nursing are expected to rise by 52% between the years 2020-30, which is considerably higher than any other profession. Moreover, nurses with higher education are eligible for advanced positions and stronger roles in medicine, which naturally means significant financial growth. NPs must be compensated appropriately as they provide primary and specialty care, a task that can be quite challenging. While the annual income of a registered nurse is around $59,540, a practitioner makes an average of $114,510 per year, which is nearly double that amount.
The work routine of registered nurses isn’t fixed and varies on a day-to-day basis. Their schedule consists of a mix of morning, evening, and night shifts, each approximately 9-12 hours long. In contrast, practitioners can choose their working hours, shift timings, and length as per their convenience depending on the environment they choose to work in. For instance, NPs employed at clinics or hospitals aren’t required to work overtime, have fixed 8-hour shifts, and also receive weekends off. This is major advantage allows nurses to develop a healthy routine and find the appropriate work-life balance. Unlike RNs who are on their feet all day and must exert themselves physically, NPs mainly tackle individual clients, office work, and administrative duties making their job much easier on both their physical and mental health.
Asa nurse practitioner you’ll get the opportunity to build meaningful and genuine connections with people from every walk of life. Pursuing higher education in nursing provides you with diverse experiences and places you in positions where you witness life at a deeper level than most. You will be required to deal with individuals with chronic and terminal illnesses, addictions, mental health disorders, and victims of abuse or harassment. Hearing their experiences and being a part of their journey, you will eventually develop stronger inner instincts and a more holistic approach towards life and medical care. It’ll enhance your compassion and empathy, enabling you to provide better care to your patients. Through your work, you’ll be helping many people recover, regain strength, and get their life on track, an opportunity that not everyone gets. Indeed, this profession is extremely rewarding and fulfilling for the soul.
While acquiring a higher degree in nursing may feel tiresome, it is extremely gratifying in the long run. You’ll unlock various doors of opportunities that’ll not only help you make a good living but also enable you to live a fruitful and satisfying life. Through your talents, you’ll be making the world a better place.