Health & Medical Health Care

An Introduction to Nursing Occupations

The job outlook for healthcare occupations continues to rank high, especially for those in registered nursing.
Nursing occupations can range from employment in hospitals, and other ambulatory care and long-term facilities to work in physician offices, clinics, schools, camps, military bases, and even prisons.
Home healthcare is an added occupational option.
Registered nurses administer medicine, maintain health records, answer medical questions, provide information to patients and staff, help with diagnostic tests, assist in operating rooms, monitor medical devices, perform routine duties such as blood pressure checks, practice patient safety, and a host of other health-related tasks.
Nursing careers definitely require specific qualities and the job demands may be higher than that of other occupations.
Individuals must demonstrate compassion, be detail-oriented, effectively communicate, critically think, have physical stamina, and be dependable.
Nurses also need to keep skills updated, renew licenses, learn new techniques, and engage in medical technology.
Round-the-clock facilities, including residential long-term care and hospitals, may require that nurses work ten to twelve-hour shifts, night shifts, and weekend hours.
Moreover, such healthcare occupations do not have the option to stay at home during bad weather or unfavorable circumstances.
Nursing is a broad term that is divided into various sub-categories.
Nursing assistants require the least amount of higher education.
Licensed practical nurses (LPN) work in basic routine health practices and are required to complete vocational training and licensure.
Not to be confused with assistant positions or LPNs, registered nursing (RN) requires the completion of an accredited diploma program, approved associate's, or bachelor's degree.
RNs must pass and obtain a registered nurse license, with specific requirements denoted by each state.
In addition to the standard RN degree, registered nurses may opt to pursue specializations, and often RNs return to school in order to advance professional careers.
Those who have completed a master's program are known as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN).
APRNs include added subcategories of nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and certified registered nurse anesthetists.
Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are often reserved for seasoned nurses who wish to work in leadership positions or pursue teaching and researching careers.
A popular program among healthcare givers, the RN bachelor's degree requires students to complete an estimated 120 college credit hours.
Students first enroll in general education courses with an emphasis on lab sciences.
Beyond general education, students must complete coursework in fields such as: healthcare, anatomy, pharmacology, child care, public health, management, administration, leadership, research in medicine, occupational and patient safety, along with other science research and health-related topics.
Furthermore, most students will need to complete a practicum at an approved facility to gain hands-on experience.

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