Nursing Professions

The nursing field extends many opportunities to be a very important part of the healthcare team. Nursing involves direct patient contact and varied skills and abilities. A nurse has a unique opportunity to ensure that they care for a patient’s comforts and needs, and can make a difference in every patient’s life. Various challenging opportunities are available under the broad category of nursing.

A wide range of career opportunities is open to registered nurses. Many nurses choose to specialize once within the field of nursing. One specialized field that nurses can go into is nurse anesthesia. As anesthesia specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists administer more than 65% of the twenty-six million anesthetics given to patients each year. They have licensed and certified registered nurse anesthetists in all fifty states. To become a nurse anesthetist, it is necessary to first become a registered nurse.

There are four ways to become a registered nurse. It is possible through a two-year community college, earning an associate’s degree in nursing, or through a three-year hospital-based nursing school, earning a diploma. Other possible ways include a four-year university program, resulting in a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing, or the B.S.N., as it is commonly called. For those who have a bachelor’s degree in another subject, there is a generic master’s degree in nursing, a two or a three-year program beyond the bachelor’s degree. In the future, the B.S.N. is being considered the minimum qualification for a satisfying career. The two-year associate’s degree and the hospital-based diploma programs are rapidly closing around the country, and student nurses are being encouraged to enroll in four-year universities.

Nursing education includes classroom instruction and supervised clinical experience in hospitals and other health facilities. Students take courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other behavioral sciences, and nursing.

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