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Nursing Career - Essay Example

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The researcher of this essay discusses the challenges and benefits of the nursing career in the United States of America. Nursing is one of the numerous professions, which provides opportunities today for a broad array of community oriented occupations. …
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Module Nursing Career There are various professions that an individual can engage in, in an attempt to provide services to the community. Nursing is one of the numerous professions, which provides opportunities for a broad array of community oriented occupations. The American Nurses Association defines nursing as a profession that concentrates on caring for individuals, family members, and the communities at large, with the aim of maintaining, attaining, or recovering quality health. Individuals who work in this profession are called nurses. They have various responsibilities that include executing physical exams, offering health promotions, administering wound care, medications, and other individualized treatments. Other responsibilities include making vital decisions on some actions regarding patients, interpreting patient information, guiding and monitoring care rendered by other health care personnel such as nurse aides (American Nurses Association 2013). Nursing requires well trained professionals with excellent social skills, and extensive knowledge, skills and training in specialized medical fields. There are different levels in the nursing field and they all depend on the program an individual takes. Those who attend community colleges or technical institutes for one to one and a half years qualify as licensed practical nurses. An individual can become a registered nurse by completing the associate degree program, the diploma program, or the Bachelor's degree program (Grice, Tony and James 23). All nursing programs require a secondary school diploma for one to be enrolled. The associate degree limits the career opportunities that an individual can access since they don’t prepare one for administrative or leadership functions. They last for two academic years and are offered by technical institutes, community and junior colleges, private institutions, and some senior colleges and universities. Diploma programs last for three academic years and graduates are limited to hospital staff positions as they do not qualify for some roles in community health. A bachelor’s program takes four years for an individual to complete. The education program combines both theory and practice work. After completing one or all the three programs, an individual takes the Registered Nurse state licensing examination (American Nurses Association 2013). In some states, it is a requirement for nurses to undergo constant training in an effort to keep their skills sharp. For one to obtain specialization in nursing, furthering education is very important. There are higher levels that nurses can train for in the United States. These include the master’s and doctorate level. At the Master’s level, specialization in certain medical fields is emphasized. The master's program requires an individual to study for a full year and it prepares graduates for roles and positions in teaching, clinical practice, research, consulting, and administration (American Nurses Association 2013). Requirements for enrollment include a Bachelor’s degree for Nursing and a registered nurse licensure. Demand for nurses with advanced degrees is growing hence the program is expected to have a high number of students. Doctorate programs require an individual to possess adequate experience as a nurse, hold a license, a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in nursing. The highest levels and best salaried positions are found with the master's degrees and the doctoral degrees (Grice, Tony and James 37). All states have a committee of nursing, which ensures that the citizens are shielded from harm. For an individual to practice nursing in any state, one needs to obtain a license. This is done through administering an examination. The licensing examination is also referred to as the NCLEX-RN and is a computer based test that is meant to evaluate the skills and knowledge that a potential nurse possesses (Grice, Tony and James 39). The higher the number of correct question a student answers, the faster the individual rises through the levels. Nowadays, several states have signed the Nurse Licensure Compact Agreement, which grants nurses the permission to practice in a different state without getting a new license. Registered nurses practice in a broad array of health care surroundings and settings. These include the private and public sectors of health care. Registered nurses may work in areas such as hospices, laboratories hospitals, psychiatric care facilities, nursing homes, specialized doctor offices, emergency rooms, military camps, research centers, intensive care units, geriatric centers, schools, and community centers among other health care environs. Many nurses work in comfortable, well lit medical facilities while those who provide services in homes, schools and community centers, have to walk to their places of work. Nurses are vulnerable to back pains as their work entails a lot of moving and lifting patients. They may also come into close contact with patients who have infectious diseases, harmful drugs and other substances; therefore, they have to take extra precaution when working (American Nurses Association 2013). Nurses’ salaries vary with the level of education and specialty, where those holding doctorate and master’s degrees having the highest income with the amount decreasing with subsequent levels of education. Registered nurses have an estimated average income of sixty five thousand dollars per year. They also have an hourly wage of thirty two dollars (Grice, Tony and James 38). Nurses are in high demand because of an increasing population of the aging hence heightened health services are required. An increase in people being diagnosed with lifestyle diseases only increases the importance of nurses; therefore, job opportunities are in plenty. Nurses retire at an age of forty to forty five thus providing many opportunities for students leaving nursing schools. There is also a shortage of nurses in various states, which means that adequate opportunities are available for nurses (American Nurses Association 2013). Works Cited American Nurses Association. Information and analysis on topics affecting nurses, the profession and health care. ANA Issue Brief. (2013). Web. 30 Oct. 2013. http://www.nursingworld.org Grice, Tony & James Greenan. Nursing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print. Read More
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