Get­ting on Track to a Nurs­ing Ca­reer

Ta­nia Heath’s Ca­reer Path is Wind­ing

The Washington Post Sunday - - HEALTH JOBS -

In un­der­grad, I had no idea what I wanted to be,” she said. She ma­jored in busi­ness and worked in mort­gage-fi­nance. “Once I started work­ing, I found it wasn’t ful­fill­ing enough. I started grad school ac­tu­ally, and one day I was sit­ting in class and I thought, ‘This is not what I’m meant to do.’

The Bat­tle Creek, Mich., res­i­dent ex­plored her op­tions, and at 30, she com­pleted the first por­tion of a sec­ond­de­gree nurs­ing pro­gram at Ge­orge Washington Uni­ver­sity.

“It is the best pro­fes­sion for peo­ple who want to be in­volved with peo­ple, who want car­ing re­la­tions,” Dr. Jean John­son, dean of the Ge­orge Washington Uni­ver­sity School of Nurs­ing said.

Nurs­ing is the largest health care pro­fes­sion, boast­ing 2.6 mil­lion jobs.

“We also hear that there are spe­cific jobs that they are seek­ing,” Dean Pam Fuller of the Uni­ver­sity of Phoenix Col­lege of Nurs­ing said, adding that po­si­tions in in­for­mat­ics and as clin­i­cal nurse lead­ers are draw­ing stu­dents to nurs­ing and en­cour­ag­ing nurses to re­turn to school. “[Much] of it has to do with the roles of nurs­ing.”

She said there are sev­eral ways to pur­sue a ca­reer in nurs­ing.

In fact, to­day’s stu­dents have the op­tion of pur­su­ing as­so­ci­ate de­gree reg­is­tered nurse (RN) pro­grams, sec­ond-de­gree pro­grams and tra­di­tional four-year bac­calau­re­ate pro­grams. Li­censed prac­ti­cal nurse (LPN) pro­grams are also avail­able, though LPNs have a limited scope of prac­tice. In fact, most hos­pi­tals are mov­ing away from em­ploy­ing LPNs, ac­cord­ing to John­son.

RNs with an as­so­ci­ate’s de­gree can re­turn for bach­e­lor com­ple­tion pro­grams or a mas­ter’s de­gree through a bridge pro­gram. RNs with a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence de­gree can re­turn for a mas­ter’s de­gree and study to­ward be­com­ing nurse spe­cial­ists, nurse anes­thetists or nurse prac­ti­tion­ers.

“One of the goals of nurs­ing is con­tin­ued learn­ing,” Fuller said. “With the ro­bust­ness of health care and technology, it is im­por­tant for a nurse to con­tinue stud­ies.”

Nurs­ing is the largest health care pro­fes­sion, boast­ing 2.6 mil­lion jobs, ac­cord­ing to the Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics. Nurs­ing is also con­sid­ered one of the largest grow­ing fields.

"We have [talked] about the nurs­ing short­age, and in some com­mu­ni­ties, it is still quite preva­lent," Fuller said. "In other com­mu­ni­ties, it is less­en­ing."

John­son said nurs­ing has not been im­mune to the down­turn in the econ­omy.

“There’s no ques­tion that the mar­ket is softer now than it was in the early– to mid–2000s,” she said, cit­ing the an­tic­i­pated mass re­tire­ment of nurses that did not take place over the last few years.

She said new nurses may not have their pick of jobs, but that jobs are out there.

“In the last two years, some of our new grads from our pre-li­cen­sure pro­gram were not find­ing jobs,” Fuller said. “We all feel that’s very short-lived.”

Both Fuller and John­son said that the mar­ket will open up with more re­tire­ments in sight and new health care reg­u­la­tions.

“I think there is a bright fu­ture for nurs­ing,” Fuller said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.