Nursing is a fabulous career for anybody wanting to follow a vocation and enjoys caring for other people. The prospective student will need to be numerate, literate, articulate, and able to deal with people on all levels, both physicians and patients. Having a cool head is a definite advantage as both medical personnel and patients are frequently under a lot of pressure.
Anybody considering following a nursing career must attend nursing school or nursing college in order to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to deal with clinical procedures, equipment and patient care. Types of duties might involve wound care, giving injections, patient support, patient hygiene, patient nutrition, administration of dispensed drugs, feeding, record keeping and taking blood pressure readings. There are of course a number of areas that the individual can specialize in with further training. These might be Geriatrics (Care of the Elderly), Primary Care, Trauma, Operating Room, Oncology (Cancer), Emergency Room, Midwifery, Gynecology (female reproductive system) or Psychiatry (Mental healthcare). There is also plenty of opportunity outside hospitals such as community healthcare programs, vaccination programs, dental nursing, private nursing, military, or even being a ship’s nurse on a luxury liner for the more adventurous.
Hours are usually quite variable and work on a shift system within most hospitals, as patients need twenty-four hour care. Occupational or school nurses can expect to work in line with the company’s hours of business. Private nurses will need to come to agreement with the individual employer over working times. Because of these time constraints, prospective students will need to consider whether they have the ability to cope with changing or interrupted sleep patterns. Another consideration should be levels of fitness. Most nursing requires long periods of standing walking or lifting.
The outlook for employment is good, as the population is aging and needing more long term nursing care. Salaries vary enormously depending on skills, experience, and level of qualifications and the place of work. First job wages range from $20,000 to $30,000 average wages for a registered nurse would be around $65,000 depending on skills and experience. Wages in general are higher in the private sector.