Congratulations on your decision to become a nurse. The medical field is always in demand, and opportunities abound. But where do you begin? Simply combine the following three approaches, and you’ll be on your way.
Begin by doing a bit of research into the nursing profession. There are many opportunities available to you. Do you want to work in a private practice, home health care, or a hospital? Is there an area that interests you most, such as caring for newborns or the elderly?
A great place to start is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). Enter the search term, ‘nurse,’ and you’ll start to see how many opportunities there are for you in this field. You’ll also find current information on job outlook, salaries, job duties, and education requirements.
As you review the training and education requirements for becoming a nurse, notice the OOH also provides links to professional nursing organizations, such as the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Explore their sites to get up-to-date information not only on career opportunities within nursing, but also what assistance they offer to those like you who are just starting out.
The AACN, for example, has a separate “Student” tab on their website that is packed with information on this career. This section includes a nursing program search engine, scholarships and financial aid, and a career resource center.
Time spent on information websites is time well spent. However, jump forward in your pursuit of a nursing career by getting involved with the profession. Most professional organizations offer a deeply discounted student membership. A membership in even one professional organization will provide you with additional benefits throughout your career. You won’t regret the connections you make with others at various stages of their nursing careers.
Also, consider finding an entry level position. The websites suggested above should help, but the bottom line is finding a job that will connect you to nursing. You could work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA), an orderly, or even a receptionist. The idea is to take a step toward your future profession by gaining some related experience. And don’t forget to check into volunteer and internship opportunities, too.
Each of the above actions may be taken together and continued throughout your professional life. These approaches will help assure not only a good job, but an amazing career as a nurse.