Caring and curing are found on two ends of a stick, on opposite sides of the coin; however, there is just a thin line between them with an important word that binds them together – passion. Nursing is a career with a passion for caring, which is what defines it and differentiates it from medicine, which is all about the passion to cure. Though different, both are needed in making a person’s disease process easier to bear and faster to go away. Experiencing an illness myself, I am very much accustomed to encountering both of this, but I chose caring more than curing, nursing over medicine. The American Nurses Association (About Nursing) defines nursing as, “… the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.” Nursing is a profession and as such, before being able to practice in the field one must obtain a license through passing a licensure exam known as the NCLEX-RN (Registered Nurses). Passing the licensure exam is just one out of the myriad of requirements needed in pursuing this career path, and I plan to ace every one of them.
Before entering the nursing program, there are several educational requirements that one must have in order to proceed. One could either choose obtaining a nursing degree through a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing offered by universities or colleges that takes 4 years to finish, an associate degree in nursing offered by community and junior colleges that take 2 to 3 years, or a diploma offered by hospitals and takes about 3 years to finish (Registered Nurses). One could choose either of the three, finish their education without failing grades, attend the required number of clinical hours and upon graduation, they may choose when to take their licensure exam. Academic requirements are not the only important thing to consider when entering this career. Some natural abilities or aptitudes that one must possess include, as aforementioned, being caring, sympathetic, responsible, and detail oriented (Registered Nurses). Nurses have the ability to direct or supervise other nurses and healthcare professionals, be able to correctly assess the condition of their patients, and determine whenever consultation or referrals are needed (Registered Nurses). Most importantly, one has to have the ability to emotionally cope up with the stresses of dealing with human suffering, emergencies, among many others (Registered Nurses). These requirements seem to be overwhelming at first, but I plan to be in this career whatever happens. As there is no definite way to develop these natural abilities, I will read as much literature as I can and utilize whatever I learn from them during my clinical practice under my preceptor’s supervision. As for the academic requirements, I deem that I will not have any problems with my studies as I always see to it that I get my requirements done on time and I read lessons and study for the exams. People who enjoy this career seem to be passionate about their jobs and have self-esteem and confidence, and I think I possess those too. Because caring nurses are needed in any healthcare setting, there are currently 2.5 million registered nurses employed, earning an average of $30 hourly or $62450 yearly (Occupational Employment and Wages). Albeit the country is experiencing a recession, there is no official proclamation that the healthcare industry is extremely affected by the current situation. In fact, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration, once the recession ends, those nurses who previously were not employed because their spouses were and they can afford not to work will retire again, and the number of retiring nurses are increasing and they will do so when they are already financially stable (Thrall). This means that more and more nurses are needed. It is apparent that most nurses are females, but looking from a male’s perspective, this trend is about to go the other way. According to an article by Shrieves, male nurses are increasing in number; in fact, male enrollees in community colleges have gone up by 5%. This is important because most males are now recognizing a female-centric profession and is good for diversity of the profession, and financial stability in a recession-proof job is the reason men are attracted to this profession (Shrieves). Every profession needs a professional association, and the nurses have the American Nurses Association. This association encourages registered nurses to become a part of team that advances the nursing profession and fights for the health care of country (About Nursing). The association also offers to its member’s ways to broaden and enhance nursing knowledge and give career opportunities (About Nursing). They also have significant members-only discounts on a wide variety of services and products (About Nursing).
Becoming a nurse entails that one has earned the degree, passed the licensure exam and has joined the American Nurses Association. Once I get into a good college, I will graduate and fulfill all requirements, I will review for the licensure exam and once I have passed, I will find a stable job. I will take continuing professional education courses to ensure that I am up-to-date with the latest techniques and protocols in work. I will probably take up a Master’s degree, but I’m way too ahead of myself because for now, the most important thing is to develop the basic requirement needed to enter the career – passion for caring.
American Nurses Association, “About Nursing.” ANA. 2004. American Nurses Association. 15 Jun 2009 <http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/CertificationandAccreditation/AboutNursing.aspx>.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Registered Nurses.” Occupational Outlook Handbook. 2007. US Department of Labor. 15 Jun 2009 <http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocoso83.htm>.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment and Wages.” Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2008. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. 15 Jun 2009 <http://www.data.bls.gov/egi-bin/print.pl/oes/current/oes291111.htm>.
Shrieves, Linda. “Growing number of men drawn to nursing profession: Economy may be one reason why more guys are becoming nurses.” McClatchy – Tribune Business News 16030692112008 1-2. Web.15 Jun 2009. <http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1603069211&sid=2&Fml=3&clientid=20670&RQT=309&VName=PQD>.
Thrall, Terese Hudson. “The Return of the RNs.” Hospitals and Health Networks 83(4)2009 22-24. Web.15 Jun 2009. <http://web.ebscohost.com/delivery/…>.