Nursing Overview

iStock_000008307745SmallAccording to the Bureau of Labor StatisticsRegistered Nursing is among the Top Ten Occupations with the Largest Job Growth.

Nurses promote health, prevent disease, and help patients cope with illness. They have a unique scope of practice and can practice independently, although they also collaborate with all members of the healthcare team to provide the care needed by each patient as an individual. Nurses are hands-on health professionals who provide focused and highly personalized care. The field has a wide range of career opportunities, ranging from entry-level practitioner to doctoral-level researcher.

Nurses also serve as advocates for patients, families, and communities. They develop and manage nursing care plans; instruct patients and their families in proper care; and help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health.

Although an entry-level nurse can find a job with a three-year RN degree, there is a growing national movement to require all nurses to hold a BSN. An increasing number of nursing schools are offeringaccelerated bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. There also are a growing number of RN-to-MSNand MSN-to-doctoral programs, designed to meet the increasing demand for more highly skilled nurses in the workforce.

Once you are a professional nurse, you might choose to focus on a particular specialty.  There are numerous specialty options — each of which has its own education/certification requirements and related professional network or organization.  These include:


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