As baby boomers age, birth rates increase and government led healthcare continues to change, there is a national shortage of qualified and skilled nurses. Now is an exciting time to join the health service field and qualify as a registered nurse. After you’re licensed, you’ll have a multitude of choices about which direction your career can head in. You’ll be able to choose what kind of department you want to work in, as well as which type of certification or degree you want to earn.
Fundamentally, the philosophy of any nurse is care. For a registered nurse this is no different but it is taken to the next level by including the professional, specialized and knowledgeable application of agreed principles of physical and social sciences.
As a registered nurse who has a specialized niche you will not only work at the duties of any RN job, but will also adopt the ethics and philosophy of your specialty.
To practice as a registered nurse you need to gain your license – the NCLEX-RN. To able to sit the certification exam you will first need to have obtained a degree from an accredited nursing school. You’ll do either a two year associate’s degree or a baccalaureate degree four year course. Once you are fully licensed you can begin working as an RN.
For some jobs, your existing qualifications and experience will be sufficient whereas others will require you to gain an additional certification such as jobs in pediatrics or home health nursing. Other jobs such as oncology nursing not only requires that you are a licensed RN with experience, but also that your degree is a Masters and not a Bachelor’s degree. If you are a BSN you will need to become an MSN before moving on to qualify for your chosen area of study.
Choosing a specialty area is very much an individual choice and will depend on a number of factors. Here are a few examples of what might lead you to choose your specialty, and some of the jobs that would fit it.
As for the salary you can earn as a certified registered nurse, this is dependent on your actual field of work, location, size of the healthcare facility and demand, but certified RN salaries range from $40,000 to $175,000 for an RN Anesthetist.
The scope of certified RN jobs is as wide as the scope of the health service itself with the additional opportunities presented in the worlds of commerce, industry, research, education, the military and government agencies. You can follow your vocation and practice as a nurse or you can employ your nursing and other transferable skills to work in administration, information and data analysis, teaching or in an advisory capacity.
Day to day tasks vary according to the healthcare facility including the size of the facility you will work in, what kind of care the facility offers, and what you choose to specialize in, and the size of the team. (As an RN you might be supervising other licensed and unlicensed nursing.) If you are working outside a healthcare facility, your role may be completely different. You may not have any interaction with patients and instead be concerned with administration or data management.
The opportunities are there for registered nurses to pursue a wide ranging number of careers, each with their own unique rewards.