4 Ways to Begin a Lifelong Career in NursingBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
The nursing profession can be challenging and rewarding, depending on your perspective and goals. Finding a nursing job that offers you the opportunity to make a difference in patients' lives while providing great financial rewards is a feat in itself. From entry-level jobs to advanced practice nursing roles, there are many opportunities for advanced students to pursue careers in nursing. Utilizing several of these methods will help you land the nursing job you're interested in and start on the road to becoming a nurse.
1. Entry-Level Jobs
If you want to work in a clinical setting, you can apply for entry-level nursing jobs at a hospital or skilled nursing facility. You might start with a clinical assistant position, working as a medical assistant in a doctor's office or medical secretary. These flexible positions allow you to work at your own pace while gaining experience in a particular setting. Some of the best states for nurse practitioners to get entry-level jobs include New York, California, and Texas.
You'll also find many entry-level jobs as registered nurses providing health services. Examples include nursing home assistants, nurse's aides, primary care nurse, and home health aides. In some areas, you'll also be able to work as a school nurse.
According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, one in three people who become licensed nursing assistants do it because they want to help their family and friends. Volunteering is a great way to get your foot in the door with a company and help in a clinical setting. Volunteering may be the perfect solution for you if you're interested in helping out with case management, marketing, or simply administration.
3. Higher Education
Many people interested in nursing start their career as an undergraduate, so they may be interested in choosing a graduate program. Several nursing programs will allow you to earn a Master's or Doctorate. These programs often require a certain amount of clinical experience before qualifying for the licensing test. Once you've sat for the licensing test, you can begin your journey as a nurse. Graduate programs also offer a mentoring program, which allows you to go into a clinical setting and work with fellow students on their advanced nursing degrees.
You may want to seek certification to get your foot in the door with a particular company or achieve a certain level of recognition within the profession. You can get several certifications if you're interested in working in a clinical setting, like a Registered Nurse or an Advanced Practice Nurse. However, choosing the right one for your intended career path is essential; the more certifications you have, the more flexibility you have in terms of where you can use them. Carefully examine the certifications that interest you and target the ones that apply to your particular interests and goals.
If you are interested in a career in which you can make a difference in the health and well-being of others, there are many ways to begin your nursing career. Entry-level jobs are often gratifying because they allow you to learn the ropes and get involved in projects that benefit patients. You can also take advantage of the many certifications and licensing requirements associated with advanced practice nursing roles. If you want to get into a field that offers an excellent opportunity for advancement but don't mind a lower pay rate, nursing may be your profession.