How to Advance your Career in Nursing


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The article will discuss degree options available to become a nurse and the path one can take for a successful career in nursing. The article will also discuss about the bachelor's program in nursing and the different emphases one can consider to advance career in the nursing field.

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How to Advance your Career in Nursing

  1. 1. How to Advance your Career in NursingAre you considering a career in nursing? Maybe you have grown up dreaming of someday donning that crisp whiteuniform that has become synonymous with nurses, or perhaps you have done a rational analysis of your strengthsand qualities and deemed yourself suitable for a career in nursing.Now that you have made what’s possibly among the most important decisions of your life, choosing a career path,here’s a Nursing 101 guide for both the romantics and the rational amongst us.Nursing ProgramsAfter the initial excitement of having finally picked a career for yourself has settled down, you will have the importanttask of choosing a suitable nursing program. For the uninitiated, there are three main educational routes to becominga nurse.The one that’s probably the most popular is an associate’s degree in nursing. This program is designed to cover thetechnical scope of nursing practice, which in layman’s terms translates to bed-side patient care. The popularity of thisprogram perhaps lies in its short duration, which is about two years, and its structure, which places more emphasison clinical practice as opposed to nursing theory.Another nursing degree that aspirants of this profession can consider is a Bachelor of Nursing. The focus of thisprogram is on providing both theoretical and practical knowledge of nursing. The program is four years in duration,out of which the first two years are typically spent learning life and health science topics and the final two yearsinvolve courses related to nursing practice.There is also a third nursing program option: a hospital-administered diploma, which requires three years forcompletion.All three paths have the same final destination: passing the NCLEX-RN licensure examination and obtaining thelicense that’s your ticket to start practicing as a registered nurse (RN).Nursing SchoolsWhen choosing a nursing school, a lot depends on the program of study you have selected. Those who have optedfor an associate degree in nursing can choose between community or junior colleges and some four-year post-secondary institutions.However, bachelor’s degree nursing programs are typically available only at four-year colleges and universities.Nursing diplomas, on the other hand, are delivered at hospital-based schools.The process of choosing a nursing school that fits your requirements can be long and drawn out so be prepared to dosome serious leg-work—which, for this information-age generation, means hours surfing the Internet.Thoroughly research a school’s validity of accreditation, qualification of faculty, quality of curriculum, etc., when short-listing nursing schools. Also, factor in your geographical, institution size, and budget preferences.Career AdvancementUnless you are content providing bed-side patient care your whole professional life, there will come a point in yourcareer when you’ll seek to move to more advanced positions.Continuing education is one of the most effective paths to career development. Only by upgrading your skills andknowledge will you be able to qualify for more advanced roles.A lot of RNs who begin their careers as staff nurses go on to earn advanced nursing degrees for professional growth.As far as advancement options are concerned, RNs have various alternatives to choose from.Those who want to continue on the clinical side can choose roles like nurse case manager or advanced practicenurse. While it’s possible to aim for the former role with a Bachelor’s in Nursing with a Nurse Case Manageremphasis, having a Master’s in Nursing is often required for the latter position.
  2. 2. RNs looking to advance into supervisory or managerial roles should ideally complete an advanced degree in nursingadministration, while those with a passion for technology make brilliant prospects for the exciting discipline of nursinginformatics and should explore relevant nursing programs that help provide them an entry into this field.RNs who love academics and research can enroll for a Master’s in Nursing Education or a doctorate program innursing to fulfill their career objectives.