Scrub Up: Kickstarting a Career in Nursing

Posted by Cheryl Conklin (Wellness Central)

If nothing else, the pandemic has provided a stark reminder of the importance of nurses. Those within the profession play a crucial role, protecting their communities, saving lives, and working amongst some of the country’s best and brightest. But this is not a job for the faint of heart. If you’re considering nursing as a career, you’ll want to make sure you’ve carried out plenty of research first. Here, Nursing Academy presents some information you’ll want to know before you dive into a career in nursing.

Personal Requirements

Before undertaking any career in healthcare, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the unique personal requirements. Nurses need to be empathetic, quick-thinking, resilient, and show great communication skills. Physical stamina is also a must, as you’ll be spending lots of time on your feet and may need to do some heavy lifting. It can be worth browsing through a few job advertisements to get a clearer picture of expectations.

Education Requirements

Due to advances in technology, it’s no longer necessary to attend classes in person to further your education. You can earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing or Healthcare via online learning, allowing you to better integrate your training into your existing schedule. A nursing or healthcare course will equip you with the necessary skills you need to qualify for an entry-level position in nursing, but to advance beyond that you’ll need to work within a hospital.

Once you’ve gained more experience in the field, you’ll have a better idea of which specialties interest you most and you may consider taking a Master’s Degree. And if you want to stay up-to-date on things going on in the field of nursing, check out Nursing Academy for timely and helpful articles.

Understand Your Debt Before Applying for Financial Aid

You may need to take out a student loan to afford the cost of schooling. If you’re unsure of your current financial obligations, a bank loan API can help you determine the exact balances and terms of any liabilities, debts, or loans you may have. 

It’s also important to view your credit report so you know your credit score. Potential lenders use this number to determine the likelihood you will pay them back, so a low score is not what you’re after. Once you get a handle on your finances, you’ll have a better idea of how much you can afford to spend on schooling.  

Potential Career Paths

There are dozens of nursing specializations to choose from, and some offer far better remuneration than others. Contrary to common belief, a career in nursing does not mean you’re restricted to the four walls of a hospital. Nurses are needed in schools, at sporting facilities, and even as midwives performing home births. 

Your best course of action is to gain some experience as a Licenced Practical Nurse (LPN), to help you discern which aspects of the job you enjoy best, before furthering your education to help you land a promotion. 

Finding a Nursing Job

Many hospitals and medical facilities are currently experiencing staffing deficiencies. This means that there is an abundance of opportunity for you to be hired and to negotiate improved benefits. It’s highly recommended that you begin your search by using aggregators and job boards. 

You can also use your professional social media pages to promote yourself but look into ways to optimize your content for SEO strategies. Sites like Cornerstone Content can help you to develop a winning content strategy to use your posts efficiently.

You can also network to find job opportunities. There are many national professional nursing organizations that you can join to network with other nurses in your specific area of medicine. These organizations may even give you access to courses so you can enhance your qualifications

Salary Expectations

The average LPN can expect to earn approximately $42,500 per annum before tax. To add to this, nurses qualify for paid time off, retirement funds, sick days, comprehensive insurance, and, in some cases, fully-funded postgraduate education. These are available for entry-level employees, so there’s no doubt that experience and specialization will help sweeten the deal. Your salary is also largely dependent on the state that you’re employed in, so you may be eligible for higher rates if you’re willing to relocate. 

Enter the Field of Nursing

Qualifying as a nurse is no easy feat, but if you break down your journey into achievable milestones and take advantage of the available online resources, you could set yourself up for a gratifying and reliable career path. 

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