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MOVING UP IN NURSING

Posted Apr 01 2011 12:00am
Apr
01

Good afternoon all!  It has been awhile and I’m sorry for the delay – today’s post is actually a guest post by Maryanne Osberg and her contact information is included in the post.  Good to be back!  Stephanie

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If you’re interested in medicine and would like to work in this field, perhaps becoming a nurse is the best way to go.  Sure it’s great to be a doctor, but you must spend at least ten years of your life in school before you get to practice medicine on a full-time basis.  If you want to start earning in a shorter time (yet stay in the field of medicine), nursing is your best bet – you don’t have to go to college for more than four years initially.  Further, you’re all set to begin once you complete the certification program, and best of all, you can move up the ladder in many different directions without having to really struggle.  So, if you’re a nurse looking to advance professionally, you need to become an Advance Practice Nurse.  When you become an APN, you have the choice of choosing to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).

  • NPs work in tandem with primary care physicians and are responsible for providing preventive and holistic care.  Some of them are allowed to treat patients for certain diseases when supervised by a doctor, although their authority to write prescriptions is limited.  NPs can choose to specialize and acquire certification in family medicine, pediatric care (acute, critical, chronic, oncologic and general care), neonatology, gerontology, women’s health, psychiatry and mental health, acute care, adult health, oncology, emergency medicine, occupational health and pain management. 
  • CRNAs specialize in the administration of anesthesia and require certification from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
  • CNSs straddle the fields of nursing and administration to work in close collaboration with patients and their families along with hospital administration to provide the best and most efficient care for patients.  You could become a nurse administrator, a nurse case manager or a nurse researcher.
  • CNMs specialize in advance nursing and midwifery and work in tandem with OB/GYNs to promote prenatal health, assist in or perform deliveries and provide postnatal care. 

All of these professions require you to hold a Master’s degree in nursing or a doctorate. So once you’ve gained a few years of experience in nursing after earning your Bachelor’s degree and completing your RN certification, choose a good online school that offers a graduate program in nursing.  Then you need to decide on your specialized field of work based on the opportunities available and your interest.  Some nurses also choose to leave the healthcare setting and become academicians; with additional education, they become professors or teachers in nursing schools and colleges.

Tips to get ahead in the nursing field faster and with less effort:

  • Know what you’re interested in and which kind of nursing you prefer.
  • Specialize in one particular field of nursing so you gain expertise in those skills and credentials.
  • Continue to learn, both on the job and off.  Online degrees help you boost your academic qualifications and help you meet pre-requisites to climb higher along that professional ladder.
  • Know what you want out of life and choose your nursing sub-field/specialty accordingly.  For instance, if you have children, you might want a job that provides flexible work hours; if you’re a career woman and want to get ahead professionally, then do what it takes to get ahead in the field, i.e. work longer hours, advance with additional qualifications and be certain to show good work ethics.  If you’re in nursing just so you can work in a certain specialty like pediatrics or obstetrics, then choose the right degrees that will allow you to fulfill your dreams.

Satisfaction in nursing is all about making the choices that are right for your circumstances and temperament and doing what it takes to reach the goals you’ve set accordingly.

This guest post is contributed by Maryanne Osberg, who writes on the topic of RN to MSN Online Programs .  She can be reached at mary.anne579@gmail.com

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