Do you like to solve puzzles, both literally and metaphorically? Are you science-minded? Do you find yourself taking care of others? Do you want to make a positive contribution to the world? Then a degree in nursing could be the right path for you. With the population of older people rising steadily each year, it is no surprise that the largest health care occupation is comprised of registered nurses. Nursing is a field with a lot of potential for growth.
You do not necessarily need to go to a college or university before going to nursing school. Many nursing schools allow you to apply while you are still in high school. You can either get an associate's degree in nursing with only two years of schooling or a bachelor's degree in nursing with only four years of schooling. Note that more opportunities will be available with a bachelor's degree.
Which nursing degree should you seek? There are several different types of degrees. In one year, you can earn a degree in licensed practical nursing (LPN). This will qualify you to assist registered nurses and doctors. An associate degree in nursing (ADN) is obtainable with two to three years of school. This degree will enable you to provide direct care to patients. A bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) can be achieved in four years and it opens up more options such as graduate school, for further education.
Once you know which nursing degree you want, it is time to prepare yourself before you apply to nursing colleges. Which prerequisite courses does the nursing degree require? Once you take any prerequisites, if necessary, then you can look at nursing schools. At nursing colleges, you should expect courses in subjects such as nutrition, psychology, anatomy, chemistry and nursing theory. In addition to the classes, nursing schools also provide clinical training, which is hands-on training in hospitals and other places that provide health care.
As you look at schools, think about any special considerations. Does the college have an honors program? Are you interested in working in areas where English is not the primary language? If so, does the school offer the right foreign language courses? Is the school's program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education? Are the clinical training sites near the campus? Having a list of the necessities can narrow down which colleges you select.
Working towards a degree in nursing will enable you to identify problems, such as infections, outside of work. Depending on where you focus, this degree could help you become a registered nurse, midwife, head nurse or director of nursing. You could even save somebody's life. You may end up working in a hospital, clinic, nursing home or doctor's office. The opportunities are almost endless. You can find the right school and degree if you do the proper research before submitting any applications.