Getting into Nursing – Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

Perhaps you have held a dream of becoming a nurse for a while now, or you are ready for a change; now is the time to make it happen. Re-evaluating where you want to be and why it is important and change is positive. You are not too late to chase your nursing dreams, even if you have already had another career prior to entering nursing. Nursing is a rewarding career to get into, and the job prospects and potential career opportunities available to you will ensure you can progress and step up through the ramps to achieve what you want to, if you want to. The good thing about the nursing industry and the role itself is that it is versatile and different dependent on what department you end up working in.

Why Nursing and Healthcare is the Way to Go

The nursing industry and the healthcare industry, in general, are constantly changing and evolving. The population is growing, and people are living longer, so there are more opportunities now and moving forward for those who want to get into the healthcare and nursing sectors. As expansion looks to always be on the horizon, it is a good time to get started with your career right now. With growth will come new opportunities for you to seize. For example, you may start off on the emergency wards of your local hospital, and you may then move onto geriatric care or homecare services. The nursing and healthcare sector is good to get into as it provides a wide variety of options and opportunities for nurses and practitioners at all levels and stages on the career path.

Qualities of a Nurse

What makes a good nurse, and have you got what it takes? A good nurse is often one that is professional and supportive at all times, no matter what the situation. A lot of nurses are selfless, and not everyone is made to be, or even cut out to be a nurse, as they cannot deal with constantly putting the needs of others first. Nurses often have very caring, helpful, and nurturing traits which can be translated into their roles. Within their roles, they must also show compassion and empathy, which are two traits that are important to have, especially when dealing with those less than happy (potentially tricky) patients. Nurses have to be flexible, and they have to be versatile, and alongside this, they still have to ensure that they are approachable too, as who wants to approach a nurse who looks uncooperative and unresponsive. One of the main qualities that a nurse must possess is to provide an outstanding level of care at all times.

Getting into Nursing – Where to Start

To get your new career started, you must try and establish what type of nursing you want to do and where. For example, you may wish to work in palliative care in your local state or wish to venture further afield. To get your nursing career off the ground, you need to prepare your mindset to return to learning, and you must prepare yourself to be more open and willing to change. Launching a nursing career after another career is not impossible, but it requires a few minor changes or tweaks to how you think and what you do. For example, if you have worked in sales or finance prior to becoming a nurse, it can be hard to switch your thought processes, but with time and education, it is highly possible and achievable. Getting into nursing will require you to enhance your education so it is important to start thinking about how you can balance studying and fit it into your lifestyle.

What Qualifications are Required

If you have been studying before and you have credits or even a bachelor’s degree in another field, then you will be able to look at accelerated BSN online programs; however, if you have not got a previous degree, enough credits, or you are looking at changing career now that you are a little bit older then do not be put off as there are still options and entry routes for you to get into nursing. As a minimum, a registered nurse or a nurse practitioner will require a degree and then specialist studies. Establishing what qualifications are required now will save you time and energy further down the line; it will also ensure that you know how much time you will have to dedicate to your new studies to achieve success. Finding out the minimum qualifications required will ensure that you can plan out your schedule accordingly, and that means balancing and juggling everything from work and children to running a home.

Getting Back into Studying

Now that you know you must return to studying for a degree or for a BSN program, it is important that you start establishing how you will study successfully and how you will manage to study, and juggle everything when you are probably already working and spinning lots of plates as it is. As you know, you need to study to get into nursing. It is vital that you work out exactly when and where you will study. Studying online provides you with opportunities, and it provides you with much-needed flexibility. When you study at a campus, you are restricted to set times and dates, whereas when you study at home and online, you get to study around your family, life, or other work commitments.

Returning to studying or starting again can feel a little bit strange at first, and it is very important that you pace yourself and do not put yourself under too much pressure. Unnecessary stress and pressure when you are studying is not essential. If you are returning to studying after a break, you will most likely have a different mindset from what you had before, and this can either be a positive or negative thing, dependent on what your mindset is. If you are focused on achieving your goals, then that is great, and you have no reason to change. However, if you see studying as a means to an end, this mindset will need to alter a little bit as this will not yield the best results.

Where Nursing Can Take You

During nursing, you cannot afford to stand; still, you must be on the lookout for new jobs and opportunities simply because nursing is competitive. Even though the nursing sector needs new trainees, it is still a highly competitive working environment, which does not suit everyone. Being a qualified nurse could take you anywhere, and if you let go of your preconceived ideas and misconceptions, you can embrace what gets offered to you and embrace which direction you want nursing to take you in. Before and during your course and your studies, it is important to start seeking out opportunities. As the sector is constantly evolving, there may be new and exciting opportunities on offer which you might not have found out. To get started, why not take a few minutes and think about where you want to go and now. For example, do you want to work within an emergency room, within a hospital – do you thrive in high-pressure and stressful situations, or would you prefer situations that are slightly less high-octane?

What You Can Gain from the Role

A role within nursing is certainly rewarding. The feeling of helping people recover from illness and accident is one that you cannot put a price on. Nurses involved with rehabilitation work are left feeling proud of what they have helped to achieve, and there are seldom few careers or jobs around that will provide you with the satisfaction the nursing gives you. As well as feeling good and proud about what you will achieve as a nurse, you will also feel a personal sense of achievement in knowing that you have achieved what you wanted to do and what you set out to do. The salary for a registered nurse or nurse practitioner is commensurate with experience and with the area you are working in, so it too should always ensure you have a comfortable lifestyle.

It is all About the Patients and Their Care

Of course, everyone needs money to survive, but this is not the main reason you should get into the nursing sector. The main reason is the patients and their care. The one-off care you give or the regular treatment you provide will make a mark on somebodies’ life, and it will leave a little bit on yours too. Caring for people of all ages is what makes a nursing role so versatile and exciting, as no two days are the same. When patient care is at the root and core of everything you do, you will never have a terrible day. There will, of course, be those days when you feel drained and too tired to think straight, but this happens in every job, and in other jobs, they will not get the rewards and satisfaction that you should be feeling daily.