If you’re considering a career in nursing, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the number of options that are available when it comes to the nursing program that you apply for, and how a new career will work in practice, but you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to consider when choosing a nursing program, including which course will be right for you and the practicalities you’ll need to be aware of.
The Skills Required In The Nursing Industry
Although nursing is a highly rewarding job that will allow you to form relationships with a diverse range of patients and their families, it is a role that demands a high skill set thanks to the personal nature of the care you’ll be providing. Because of this, it’s helpful to think about your own skillset and how it could be applied to a role in nursing.
For example, if you’re great with children, you might want to consider specializing as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, which would see your role involving caring for children from newborn to teenagers. If you find your strengths lie in building a long-term relationship with a variety of people, then working as a Family Nurse Practitioner might be more suitable for you.
By researching the key skills required in the different areas of nursing, you can decide which path will be best for you as you enter the industry, so that you can specialize in an area close to your heart. This will also help you to make the most sensible decisions around the programs you apply to and the schools you consider.
The Importance Of Accreditation
Before you even apply to a nursing program, it’s vital that you check the accreditations offered by the institutions you are considering. The school you choose to attend should be accredited by the NLNAC or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. These bodies consistently review the programs offered by the institution to ensure that they are providing the appropriate level of expertise and quality required for the learner. Official accreditation is also important if you are applying for financial aid to fund your study – employers who provide this type of support prioritize nurses who have qualified through an accredited body as it shows that the school has upheld the standards of the national education curriculum.
Choosing The Right Program
Nursing is a large industry that covers a variety of practice areas, and there are a few different routes that you can take to become qualified. Some of the main programs that you can consider include:
- Associated Bachelor’s Degree In Nursing (ABSN):
The ABSN is by far one of the most popular routes into the nursing profession for good reason. This program is perfect for individuals looking for a career change, as it can be undertaken regardless of the subject of your first degree and has been designed with students from non-nursing fields in mind. While you will still learn the core nursing curriculum required, this accessible program draws from the skills that you bring from your real-world experience to create a well-rounded, qualified nurse, and many program providers include clinical placement services as part of the learning experience, so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running.
- Associate Degree In Nursing (RN) to MSN:
Once you’ve become a registered nurse, you can progress onto your MSN degree and become a nurse practitioner, during which you can concentrate on a variety of specialties according to your passions and interests. Whether you want to be a Family Nurse Practitioner or specialize in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, moving from your RN qualification to the MSN offers you a wealth of opportunity to cement your future career. The MSN can also open a lot of doors for further study if you plan to apply for a Doctorate program.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP):
If you’re approaching the next stage of your nursing career with some study experience already under your belt, then the DNP might be for you. This program requires you to have completed your MSN, but it is invaluable in the skills that you will develop and the knowledge that you’ll attain. By learning about the policy implementation and systems that underpin the nursing profession, you’ll complete the DNP prepared to enter leadership roles in advanced practice.
Once you’ve decided which route you’d like to take, you need to think about the mode of study of your program and whether it is suitable for your lifestyle. For many individuals, an on-campus program might not run too smoothly alongside any other commitments like childcare or a part-time job, so the option of online study makes life a lot easier.
Online study is growing in popularity among those that aren’t looking to uproot their life and live on campus, especially as more and more reputable providers begin to offer high-quality courses that can be taken from anywhere.
If you’re considering a change of career to this rewarding field, then there are some fantastic Wilkes online nursing programs that you can consider for a reliable entry route into the profession. If you are a disciplined person, and you know that you can keep yourself accountable when the going gets tough, then online school is a fantastic way to get the qualification that can prepare you for the next stage in your life without spending nearly as much as you would for in-person tuition, and it allows for much more flexibility around your other lifestyle commitments.
Ultimately, choosing the right nursing program can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t know too much about the industry just yet. However, by following this guide you can place yourself in the best position to succeed in your new career and hit the ground running. Online study is a fantastic alternative to traditional in-person learning that will allow you to progress in your career ambitions without sacrificing the security of your day job, so this is a great idea to consider which can save you money. As long as you’re confident about which qualification you need and are certain that you’ve chosen a reputable, accredited institution, then your dream job is well within reach.