Nursing – high demand for this timeless profession
Nursing, as a profession, is almost as old as medicine itself and dates all the way back to the crusades. It came into its own as a legitimate profession with medical advancements in the 19th century. Today, nursing is as vital to the medical profession and health care industry as ever. In fact, nursing is a career that is in high demand and is expected to grow by over 20% in the next decade. In many parts of the country there is a shortage of nurses. Because of this, the profession can demand high wages and benefits.
Most of us have a mental image of what a nurse does based on our own experience at the doctor’s office or perhaps what we see on TV. In reality, nursing is a broad-base profession with a wide choice of work environment and specialties. Traditional nursing does require advanced education but you might be surprised to find out that there are more accelerated programs available.
In the nursing profession, there are a number of options available for entry into the profession.
Nursing Aid, Nursing Assistant or Medical Assistant: While not an actual nurse, these roles are entry level postions just below nursing. These can be a good way for individuals with no experience who want to get their feet wet in the medical field. Many in these entry level professions will get further education and training which could lead to a career in nursing.
The Nursing Career Track – Education
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Associate Degree Programs (ADN)
- Hospital Diploma (similar to an ADN)
- Bachelor of Science Nursing (BS/BSN)
- Accelerated Programs
- Advanced Degree Program
The Nursing Career Track – Licensing
After education and training is complete, a nurse will become licensed as an Advanced Practice Nurse, Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse. Licensing is administered at the state level.
Registered Nurses (RN’s) can become certified in their specialties. In addition, continuing education is now being mandated in some states. Eventually, all states will probably require some level of continuing education.