Registered Nursing

LeAnn Downing

Job Opportunities

In the nursing field, there are many different job opportunities to choose from. There is a high demand for registered nurses because the health field is always growing and changing. The explore health careers website talks about the large amount of opportunities there are and the fact that you can continue your education if you choose (1). How do you know that being a registered nurse is for you? According to Geoff Barker, the author of “Health and Social Careers”, “Health care workers need to be professional, dedicated, patient, and hardworking. They should also have good communication skills and a genuine interest in their patients” (7). Once you have decided how far in your education you want to go, you can choose to specialize in a more specific field. There are many different fields to choose from depending on what you are most interested in. You can decide to specialize in a number of different fields such as diabetes, labor and delivery, cardiology, radiography and many others. If you have your RN degree, you can do most of the nursing jobs out there and change your specialty if you decide to.


Education and Training

In order to become an RN you have to graduate from a nursing program and pass a national licensing exam. It is required to have your license renewed every so often and sometimes further education is mandatory. There are a few different paths to take to nursing. You can get your associate degree which is offered by community colleges and generally takes two years. The associate degree is the most popular choice of RN programs. Research shows that about half of the RN programs completed in 1998 were the associate degree level (umsl.edu 13). The second choice is the bachelor’s degree which is 4-5 years and is offered by colleges and universities. There are many hospitals that will offer to pay for schooling if you decide to further your education (umsl.edu 14). The courses needed in nursing programs are anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology and behavioral sciences. Supervised clinicals are mandatory to complete the nursing program and are offered at many different locations (umsl.edu 18). In nursing, the more experience you have the better. As claimed by umsl.edu. “Experience and good performance can lead to promotion to more responsible positions” (8).


Work Environment

Nursing provides many settings and environments to work in. Nursingscholarship.us states, “Whether you want to be hands-on with patients, supervise staff, educate the public or work with the elderly, nursing gives you plenty of choices” (2). About 60% of registered nurses are employed in hospitals (nursingscholarships.us 1). Even in a hospital there are many different parts to work in such as critical care, emergency room, maternal and child care, cardiology, pulmonary, operating room, and pediatrics (nursingsociety.org 9). If the hospital setting isn’t for you there are other options to choose from. Some registered nurses choose to work in clinics, schools, nursing homes, hospice or home health care. Nursingworld.org gives the top five locations of registered nursing employment. The highest is hospitals which is 57.7%, physicians offices at 8.7%, home health care at 5.2%, nursing care at 5% and outpatient care at 3.1% (nursingworld.org 3). According to nursingworld.org, "In 2009 there were 2,583,770 jobs employing registered nurses. The employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 26% from 2010 to 2020 which is faster than the average (3).


Patients

When you work as a registered nurse, you can have many different kinds of patients. Some people choose to work strictly with a specific age group that they have interest in. The patients can range from newborn to elderly and from healthy to severely ill. The location of your job will depend on the types of patients you have. Some patients can be crabby and demanding when they are in a vulnerable state especially if they are old or sick (asrn.org 3). When it comes to the interest of the patient it is important to respond to each situation in the correct way. How do you deal with the difficult patients? As stated on asrn.org, “On any given day, on any given shift, a patient can become “difficult” for you to deal with. Still, you must find a way around the problems to provide the best care you can” (2). You have to put your emotions and feelings aside to be sure the situation doesn't get out of hand. Sometimes the state of mind that the patient is in can cause them to not be themselves so it is important to show the patient that you are there for them and are giving them the proper care (asrn.org 5).


Skills

What skills do you need to be a good nurse? On nhscareers.nhs.uk they list the six c 's which are the values and behaviors needed. The six c 's include compassion, competence, communication, courage, and commitment. Nhscareers states, "As a nurse you're a listener, a manager, and a knowledgeable skilled professional" (1). Some of the skills you need are people skills because you will interact with many types of people. Good communication is very important because you need to be able to talk and listen. You need to be able to answer questions that the patients or their families might have. Being able to work as a team is also important because you will have to work with a number of different healthcare workers. Critical thinking is important when it comes to making a decision because the patient is in your hands. You will also need to be able to use the technology and tools that are necessary. If you choose to work in a specific field you may have to know about medicine and dentistry, customer service, psychology, English or another language, therapy, math, biology, sociology, and electronics (onetonline.org 3). Many of the skills needed are practiced everyday but others may need schooling or training.



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