Career Nurses: How to Take Patient Care to the Next Level


Nursing is a field that continues to grow as the need for qualified nurses increases. It also offers excellent career opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) should see a 12 to 15 percent job growth from 2016-2026. There are many options available to individuals interested in pursuing areas of nursing.


What It Takes to Become a Nurse


To become a nurse, you must complete a formal nursing program, which can take from one to four years or more. One-year diploma programs are available for aspiring LPNs, while RNs are usually required to complete at least an associate degree. Career nurses interested in how to take patient care to the next level may choose to pursue bachelor or master degrees in nursing. Nursing programs include nursing courses, lab studies and clinical experiences.


Online Nursing Degrees


With the addition of distance learning, aspiring nurses have more educational opportunities available through online nursing degrees. Although nursing students are required to complete internships in hospitals to obtain hands-on training, most of the other coursework can be completed online. Online nursing degrees are particularly beneficial for the candidate who is already an RN but wishes to advance education or choose a nursing specialty. There are more than 384 online nursing programs in the United States.


Areas of Nursing Specialization


Nursing specializations are probably one of the best ways a nurse can take patient care to the next level. They offer the nurse the chance to specialize in a specific area of nursing while also providing patients with expertise in this area. Some of the areas of specialized nursing include critical care, oncology, critical care, medical-surgical, pediatric, radiology and trauma nurse, among many others.


Many of these specialized areas of nursing can be obtained through online nursing training programs. Once the training is completed, the nurse can pursue certifications in these areas. Registered nurses can also earn master and doctoral degrees and become advanced practical registered nurses in the following areas.


• Nurse midwife


• Nurse anesthetist


• Nurse practitioner


• Clinical nurse specialist


• Nurse educator


Nursing offers individuals not only the opportunity to be part of a rewarding field but also one where they can provide patient care to the highest level. Online nursing degrees make it easier than ever to become part of this industry. If it’s true what they say that doctors treat diseases and nurses treat patients, online nursing training makes this very possible.

By: Lizzie Weakley