Becoming a Nurse

Do you want to help people and work towards a healthier future for society in general? You might be thinking of a job in healthcare, and a career in nursing could be just the thing that allows you to enjoy your calling.

Becoming a nurse is an excellent career choice for people who love working with people and have a desire to help others.

Working with people is something that our society needs, and that is why it has become very popular as one of the highest-paid jobs for people with a good education.

When you enter the nursing industry, you get to enjoy many benefits because your career will be in demand, and the demand will be increasing day by day. 

Studying for Your Career in Nursing: Where to Study and How to Specialize

With a nursing degree or a certificate from an accredited online nursing school or online school, you can pursue an entry-level job, save money on your education expenses, and then advance into a higher paying rewarding position with more benefits as you gain experience at work.

There are two types of nursing schools: associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs. It is not necessary to have a bachelor’s degree to become a nurse; however, it does provide more job opportunities for you and may improve your salary potential over time.

Bachelor’s degrees in nursing range from three to seven years of intensive study and training, depending on which program you enter, and some schools offer only an associate’s degree.  

There are also options to do your nursing studies online with universities like Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, which provides nursing degree programs online that are accredited by the American College of Nursing Education (ACNE) – a great option for trainee nurses who are looking for flexible study.

Some schools may offer you additional training in an area of expertise, such as a diploma or certificate program in your region, for example, a certificate in gerontology or hospice nursing, which can add to your value in the job market and help prepare you for specific occupational opportunities.

As you gain experience as a nurse, strive to educate yourself through continuing education credits and certifications that will make you more competitive in medical and health career fields.

You can focus your studies on a specific type of nursing or clinical field, or you can major in general nursing. Some of the specializations available in a Masters in Nursing include advanced practice, emergency nursing, management and leadership, mental health, and nursing education.

Nursing Career Paths Explored

There are several career options from which to choose: nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife, registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), certified nursing assistant (CNA), and physical therapist.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

An NP is an advanced nursing degree that prepares nurses to work independently in a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, hospices, home care, and rehabilitation centers. 

Nurse practitioners have similar duties to RNs, and NPs can provide the same services as RNs but with a focus on the overall wellness of patients and their families. The NP health protocol has been recognized as a systematic set of actions designed to promote optimal patient outcomes.

Nurse-Midwives (NM)

A nurse-midwife differs from a traditional nurse practitioner in that they offer holistic prenatal care and help with childbirth. Nurse-midwives also provide education about breastfeeding management and postpartum care.

They also provide home birth through referrals from primary care physicians, midwives, and hospitals. Nurse-midwives are licensed by the state, have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, and must have completed at least 40 hours of direct patient-centered nursing experience.

Registered Nurse (RN)

Registered nurses work in hospitals as well as nursing centers and private homes. 

The duties of a registered nurse include providing basic diagnosis, administering basic health care, writing prescriptions, maintaining a medical record, and providing education on healthy lifestyle choices over the long term, including nutrition, weight management, hygiene habits, and exercise.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

A licensed practical nurse works under the supervision of a registered nurse and can provide basic health care and medication administration.  LPNs often work in mental health units, in rehabilitation centers, or at home to help with end-of-life care and cancer patients. 

An LPN cannot write prescriptions or perform advanced medical procedures without additional training. Licensed practical nurses have completed at least one year of nursing school, have a high school diploma or GED, and must pass an exam administered by the state board of nursing.

Nursing Assistants

Nurse assistants, also called certified nursing assistants (CNAs), provide basic care for patients, such as bathing, dressing, and preparing food. CNA job duties are outlined by the state you are employed in and may include administering medications to patients and performing other tasks when directed. 

Some nurse training programs allow you to take either a practical or theoretical approach depending on your preference. 

Courses may include anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, medical terminology, nutrition, and communication skills. Other helpful coursework may include grief counseling and end-of-life care; however, these courses do not necessarily pertain to the role of a nurse assistant.

Developing Nursing Skills

To be an effective nurse, you will need to possess and develop a strong array of skills, both hard skills and soft skills. The following skills will help you become a well-rounded nurse:

Communication Skills

Communication has to be a key part of any health care worker, from doctors, nurses, and physical therapists to dental hygienists. Communication can be improved through ongoing training, such as healthcare courses. 

By practicing with healthcare professionals and training with them, communication skills can be improved.

Critical Thinking

This is key in the medical field, where healthcare workers need to assess and analyze information quickly while making sound decisions based on what they are facing.

Mental Health Awareness

The job of a healthcare worker can be overwhelming, especially for those who are experiencing mental health issues. 

Healthcare workers often experience trauma and stress from their job, and it is important that they develop coping skills so that they have the ability to reduce or even eliminate these feelings. 

Diagnosis Skills

Nurses need to be skilled at diagnosing patient issues so that they can make the right recommendations for treatment.

Problem Solving Skills

Healthcare workers need to be able to assess situations quickly and make the right decisions in short periods of time. This includes making decisions on what kind of treatment they will recommend and follow-ups with patients.

Emotional Intelligence

The ability to understand, accept, and deal with emotions is critical in the healthcare field. This is especially important if you are a nurse practitioner or a nurse. 

Ethics and Law Awareness

Those who work as nurses need to be aware of ethical issues in their daily work, such as confidentiality in patient records. 

They also need to be knowledgeable about laws that are relevant to their job, including drug laws and regulations.


Since there are patients who are often in pain or who are very anxious and afraid, the nurse must be patient to put a person at ease.

Interpersonal Skills

A nurse must have good interpersonal skills to work well with other healthcare professionals as well as families and other support staff members such as social workers, psychologists, and dietitians.

Leadership Skills

These are important for directing the activities of staff or departments to ensure that everyone is working together with a common goal.

A Day in The Life of a Nurse: What Is It Like?

The life of a nurse may be hectic and stressful, but it’s an extremely rewarding and fulfilling one. 

A nurse’s job can vary a lot depending on the type of practice. Some nurses will be in research and development units; others will work as an administrator or even on a floor in the hospital. 

From the minute they wake up, nurses are prepping and preparing their patients for surgery, putting their IVs in, making sure that their families know exactly what to expect, and helping them get dressed for surgery. Nurses often work with doctors during this time to make sure everything is going according to plan.

After surgery, nurses are responsible for making sure that the patient is recovering well. They may be checking blood pressure levels constantly or monitoring vital signs continuously throughout a recovery period. 

When the patient is sent home, nurses still take care of them. They may be checking in with the family several times a day and providing them with prescriptions and other healthcare packets as they learn what’s going on at home.

The Role of Nurses in The Community

Nurses work closely with physicians and surgeons but also play a helpful role in the community. As early as elementary school, nurses have been helping provide education to children on a number of topics concerning health, nutrition, fitness, and safety. Nurses can help teach children about how to take care of their bodies, how to be successful in sports, and healthy eating habits.

By providing expert access to healthcare from a young age, nurses can help reduce poor health behaviors as well as increase school attendance and academic performance. 

Nurses also foster relationships with local businesses, community groups, and school officials in an effort to stop the spread of disease and preventable accidents. 

In addition to the work they do with schools, nurses can also help prevent child abuse or neglect by providing home visits to families and support groups where children may be isolated from their peers. 

Nurses can also play a role in identifying at-risk populations such as young adults living alone who may be more vulnerable due to physical disabilities or mental illness.

Nurses can help address homelessness as well as other social issues within an area and may provide counseling services to individuals or groups.

The Professional Duties of Nurses

Depending on the state you live in, many nurse practitioners will perform some of the same duties that nurses do now, and some can even perform similar duties to doctors. NPs can perform most tasks that nurses do today and have some added responsibilities. 

Some examples include prescribing medication. NP-supervised patients will receive their prescriptions at home or even bring them to the doctor’s office for checking out. NPs may do other things, such as giving vaccinations and teaching patients self-care skills. 

Nurses have a unique job in the community because they are part of the medical field and provide healthcare services to the people of their communities.

Many people equate nursing with being a nurse’s assistant (a nurse’s aide). A nurse’s aide typically helps that particular nurse with things like making beds, taking patients’ vitals, following up on medications, etc., but they’re not nursing themselves.

Nurses work with doctors, other nurses, and their patients to provide basic in-home care. They observe the patient’s health condition and report the changes to the physician, take the person their medications at home, help administer injections and monitor the patient’s health status.

They also do simple medical procedures at home, such as applying bandages or helping with I.V. medication dispensing and blood pressure monitoring. They help to educate patients about their illnesses/diseases and how they are impacted by them.


Becoming a nurse is a great career choice if you are interested in working with people in the healthcare profession. Nurses have been known to work in some of the most prestigious hospitals in the world.

If you are interested in nursing as a career option, it is best to take some courses at your local community college or university because there will be many opportunities available to you once you begin a career as a nurse. 

In addition to that, you should begin gathering information from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is a great resource for those who are seeking employment in the healthcare field. 

The number of nurses in the U.S. is projected to grow faster than the average for most people-facing occupations, and demand for registered nurses is expected to increase.

When choosing a college or university, you should think about what your school choice will have in terms of career options. There are many different types of schools to choose from, but nursing is one of the most popular choices for all students studying to work in healthcare.