Is Nursing School For Me?
What do Nurses do?
Nurses are one of the largest and fastest growing health professions in the United States. They are the first line providers of primary patient care, including preventative and restorative health care. 62.2% of RNs work in hospitals but many are employed in a wide range of other settings. Nurses work in collaboration with a team of health care providers but they can also practice independently within their defined scope of practice. Some nurses may also advise and work as consultants in the healthcare, insurance, or legal industries. Nursing science is multifaceted including biological, psychosocial and cultural components.
One of the most common paths to professional nursing is through obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), although students can also train to become registered nurses while earning an Associate of Science degree at a community college, typically in a three-year program. In order to practice all RNs must be licensed which requires meeting a minimum number of hours of clinical experience and passing state board examinations (NCLEX-RN ) before earning the title of RN.
Nurses with a BSN can go on to obtain an advanced degree (masters or doctorate) in nursing and become advanced practice nurses. Advanced practice nurses (APN) include nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists and nurse anesthetists. Nurses with more education usually command higher salaries and can practice independently including opening their own offices. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), “Mounting studies show that the quality of APN care is equal to, and at times better than, comparable services by physicians, and often at lower cost.”As UC Berkeley does not have a nursing major, many students who are interested in a nursing career have two options to explore:
A list of individual programs by state for both options can be found on the AACN website (PDF). For some, accelerated master’s programs are more attractive because they allow non-nursing baccalaureates to obtain their BSN in the process of getting their MEPN, and can generally be completed in as little as three years. Field experience is a requirement for many accelerated nursing programs.
Here are some ways you can find out what nurses do:
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