Did you enjoy science in high school? Are you a good leader, calm under pressure, a quick thinker who isn’t squeamish? Do you work well with all kinds of people and love helping others? Are you seeking a career that “travels well,” and will be in great demand for the foreseeable future? Then a bachelor’s degree in nursing might be for you.
Nursing programs are exacting. They must be: when you’re a nurse, lives depend on you! So hold yourself to high standards, even in high school. Science and math classes will help you hone your analytical skills. English and foreign languages will develop your verbal and written communication abilities. Many hospitals and nursing homes offer volunteer programs; seek them out, to see if nursing is for you. If you are an adult searching for a new career, rest assured your life experiences will be an asset; many nurses begin as nontraditional students.
There are over 700 nursing programs offering bachelor’s degrees in the US, so you’ll have plenty to choose from! Your program should be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and by your state. Consider the area of the country in which you wish to work. Make a campus visit and talk with alumni and, if possible, visit the facilities where you’ll have your practicums or research them on the web. Investigate financial aid and job placement services.
Most students find nursing demanding, but rewarding. You will discover that many colleges require you to apply to the nursing program after a preparatory freshman year; a certain GPA will be expected for admission. You will take classes to develop your analytical, social, computer, and communication skills, such as mathematics, sociology, and composition. You’ll also load up on science courses: anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, and physiology. Most of your coursework will be directly related to nursing and include practicums (practical experience).
Some examples are: obstetrical nursing, mental health nursing, community health, health appraisal and nursing management. You will do most of your practicums in a hospital setting, but you may also work in nursing homes and clinics. Practicums allow you to experience the serious, real-life challenges you’ll face as a nurse, while providing you with professional guidance on how to handle them. Some nursing programs will also provide you with the opportunity to do original research.
You’ll need more than good grades and a degree to become a nurse. You’ll also need to pass a licensing exam: the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse). Once you do, you will be in demand. Nurses are needed in all medical fields: home health care, obstetrics and gynecology; surgery, psychiatric care, pediatrics, community health or school clinics, doctor’s offices, the military, just to name a few. You may decide to continue your education to become a nurse practitioner, a nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist. Whichever you choose, you’ll find being a nurse is a satisfying, deeply rewarding life. Find the degree in nursing here. You can find all the BS in nursing degrees in one location.