whats it like to be a nurse?

just wondering what nursing is like ?is anybody a nurse, because i would to take a career pathway in nursing and i would like to know everything there is to know abotu nursing.

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One Response to whats it like to be a nurse?

  1. rosieC says:

    Nursing is a career filled with endless personal and professional rewards. If you choose nursing, you are choosing to spend your life helping others, using skills that blend scientific knowledge with compassion and caring. There are few professions that offer such a rewarding combination of high tech and high touch.

    With the aging population growing steadily, there will be no shortage of jobs for nurses well into the future. The average age of nurses is growing, meaning that more nurses are retiring, thus furthering the nursing shortage. So, as the current crop of Baby Boomer-age nurses nears retirement, fewer trained nurses are in the pipeline to replace them. This translates into more job opportunities with the potential of higher starting salaries.

    What do nurses do?
    Nursing is a blend of science and technology with the art of caring and compassion. Every day on the job nurses use the science they learned in nursing school. And, when employed, they take continuing education courses on a regular basis to keep up with the latest in the medical and nursing sciences. Nurses work closely with doctors and other health care professionals, and serve as the advocates for patients and families.

    Ongoing advances in technology – which are helping people live longer, healthier lives – have made nursing even more rewarding to those who like developing their skills in this area.

    Nurses do:
    Assessments: Nurses gather information about the patient’s physical condition, emotional state, lifestyle, family, hopes, fears, etc.
    Diagnoses: Nurses identify the patient’s problems or needs, which often are emotional or spiritual, as well as physical.
    Planning: Nurses find ways to address these problems and set specific goals for improvement. Whenever possible, nurses encourage patients to participate in planning their care.
    Implementation: The nursing plan is put into effect. For example, nurses may administer medications and treatments, or teach patients how to care for themselves; e.g, showing them how exercise might improve their flexibility after surgery.
    Evaluation: Nurses regularly review the results of the plan and make adjustments when necessary.

    Nurses care for patients in the following ways:
    Nurses help bring babies into the world, and they take care of new moms before and after childbirth.
    Nurses help sick and injured people get better, and they help healthy people stay healthy.
    Nurses perform physical examinations.
    Nurses give medications and treatments ordered by doctors.
    Nurses are concerned with the emotional, social, and spiritual conditions of their patients.
    Nurses teach and counsel patients, as well as family members, and explain what they can expect during the recovery process.
    Nurses provide health care teaching and counseling in the community.
    Nurses observe, assess, evaluate, and record patients’ conditions and progress, and they communicate patient condition information to doctors and other members of the health care team.
    Nurses help patients and families determine the best mix of health and social services – hospice, home care, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and others.
    Nurses design and complete quality assurance activities to ensure appropriate nursing care.
    Nurses help terminally ill patients die with dignity, and they help family members deal with dying and death.

    The job market
    Today, there is a significant nursing shortage, and statistics show that the need for nurses in years to come will only become greater.

    Here is why:
    Because advances in health care are helping people live longer, there are more elderly people who need care.
    The number of people who are sicker and in need of more skilled nurses is growing.
    More nurses are needed outside of the hospital setting.
    The current nursing workforce is aging. As more nurses retire (many are expected to retire over the next 10-15 years), more will be needed to replace them.
    So, nurses today – particularly those with a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) – are almost guaranteed jobs right out of college and can be assured of a secure career well into the future.

    Income potential
    The typical starting salary for entry-level RNs is $44,600, says Joe Kilmartin, director of compensation for Salary.com. Compare this to average starting salaries for new graduates in:
    Accounting – $43.269
    Marketing – $33,873
    Economics – $24,667
    Teaching – $31,704
    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual earnings of registered nurses were $52,330 in 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $43,370 and $63,360. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,200, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,760.

    Salaries increase as nurses gain experience. When you consider the pay a nurse receives for working shifts and overtime, many nurses make much more than their base salaries. Nurses who go into management and advanced clinical practice can earn even more.
    Clinical Nurse Specialists make about $41,226.
    Nurse administrators average $45,071.
    Nurse anesthetists earn about $113,000.
    Nurse practitioners average $71,000.

    Nursing opportunities

    Nurses today have more options than ever before about what kind of work they do, where they do it, and when they work. About 50 percent of nurses in Maryland work in hospitals. The rest work in many other settings, including:

    Long-term-care centers (rehabilitation, nursing homes, hospice)

    Community health clinics

    Freestanding outpatient and surgery centers

    Medical offices (eye doctors, dentists, obstetricians, surgeons, and others)

    Home care (visiting nurses, private duty nurses)

    Nursing schools (as professors)

    Corporate health centers (occupational safety, consultants, educators)

    Insurance and managed care companies

    Other companies (pharmaceutical, medical technology, biotech, and others)

    Research centers (research nursing)

    Schools (including K-12, university clinics)


    Peace Corps and international service organizations

    Hospital regulators (conducting surveys, inspections)
    Nursing opportunities in hospitals

    Where do nurses work in hospitals? Practically everywhere! They work in:

    Patient care units at the bedside
    Operating rooms, trauma centers, and emergency rooms
    Medical records or other hospital offices
    X-ray and other diagnostic units
    Intensive care units
    Surgical and recovery units
    Same-day surgery centers
    Pediatrics, caring for children
    Hospital nurseries or neonatal intensive care units, caring for newborns
    Obstetrics, helping new moms give birth
    Psychiatric and drug treatment centers
    Helicopters and ambulances, caring for patients in transport to hospitals

    Working hours

    Nurses have lots of flexibility in their working schedules.

    Nurses can work days, evenings, or nights.

    A nurse’s shift can be 8-12 hours.

    Some nurses work 36 hours in 3 days or 40 hours in 4 days (then have 3-4 days off).

    Some work part-time or only on weekends.
    Generally, though, nurses work 40 hours per week like other professionals

    Tuition varies widely depending on whether you attend a private or public college and whether you are a resident or non-resident of the state. Financial aid is available from numerous sources, as are scholarships. Check with your guidance counselor to determine which sources are right for you, and visit the Financial Aid/Scholarship section of this site.

    Graduates must pass a national licensing exam to become an RN.
    The exam is offered through the Board of Nursing from the state in which you plan to practice. Some
    states require continuing education every 2 yrs to maintain a nursing license

    If you choose to become a nurse, you will discover a career filled with endless personal and professional rewards. Good luck!

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