Verification: 14d7391ff1fb1726e3262371e62da4ec294a79a0 The Complete Guide to Choosing a Nursing Career: Everything to Know
Home Health The Complete Guide to Choosing a Nursing Career: Everything to Know

The Complete Guide to Choosing a Nursing Career: Everything to Know

by Shahbaz Ali
Choosing a Nursing Career

During the COVID pandemic, hospitals reported critical nursing staff shortages that persist today. The severity depends on where you live, but there is no doubt that America needs nurses to ensure the delivery of myriad healthcare services.

Beyond being a stable career, nursing affords flexibility and financial stability. (The nursing career salary now averages about $82,000 a year.)

The flip side is that choosing a nursing career can be daunting. There are so many different areas in which you can specialize and various avenues for getting there it can be difficult to know where to start.

The good news is that there are some basic questions you can ask yourself that will help get you pointed in the right direction. Keep reading to find out how to do a self-assessment that will set you on a career track compatible with your personal and vocational interests.

Work Setting

Selecting the environment in which you would like to work will go a long way to narrowing down your options for nursing careers. It is a good idea to think outside the box, and there is no reason to believe that you are confined to clinical settings if you become a nurse.

Public health research and development fields are always in need of people with nursing degrees. You can work for a nonprofit organization or a government entity. These allow you can use your knowledge and experience to improve policies and programs that impact healthcare.

Also, laboratories need nursing staff. A career in scientific research can be stable and rewarding.

You can even work as a legal nurse consultant for lawyers and legal professionals. They need often need testimony or help understanding complex medical information. Keep in mind that these positions often require prior nursing experience.

Even within a clinical setting, there are lots of options. If you thrive in high-pressure environments, emergency departments or surgical settings may be for you. There are many low-stress options, from doctor’s offices to rehabilitation centers.

Populations Served

Another way to begin choosing a nursing career is to focus on the patients you wish to serve. If you have an interest in directly combatting disease, you might focus on oncology or infectious disease.

If you enjoy working with children, a pediatric clinic may be a rewarding option. You also can choose to focus on geriatric care or specialize in working with people with disabilities.

The point is to determine which population best matches your passions and skillset. Having an idea will allow you to determine corresponding nursing career requirements.

Level of Education

A final way to condense your career options is to decide what level of education you plan to achieve. There are many levels to choose from, with corresponding courses in nursing. An associate’s degree only requires two years of study, but nurses can go on to get bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

Whether you are looking for traditional or online nursing schools, all licensed programs require you to take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). This is a standardized exam that tests reading, math, science, and language proficiency. Before studying for the TEAS test, make sure you are ready to take the next steps to apply to nursing programs.

Get More Advice on Choosing a Nursing Career

Now that you have some tools for assessing your personal skills and preferences, you can get the ball rolling on your nursing career. With a bit of honest self-examination, you will make the right choices going forward.

We hope you found this information on choosing a nursing career helpful. If so, be sure to take a look at some of our other education posts, as well as those on business, health, sports, travel, and many other topics.

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