Ask any patient in the doctor’s office or hospital and they will tell you, nurses are the backbone of the health care system. They do more then take temperatures or patient blood pressures. Nurses are probably the biggest advocates of families coping with emergencies and other illnesses. Quite simply, it can be said nursing is one of the most respected professions in the medical field.
What skills are required to enter the nursing field?
Considering that nurses not only deal with the medical aspects of patient care, they often need to work on short-tempered patients and worried families. A nurse not only needs technical skills, an understanding of anatomy; general science knowledge; physiology; customer service and people skills. The ability to communicate in a life crisis situation is essential. Nurses need exceptional problem solving skills.
What are the different types of nurses?
There are a multitude of nursing careers available; the following are probably the most common.
Nurse practitioner (NP) - A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has furthered their education and has earned a Master’s degree. They have been trained to diagnose and manage common medical conditions and a broad range of health care services. Often patients visiting a doctor’s office may be seen by the nurse practitioner instead of the doctor. They collaborate with doctors and can provide some of the same care as the doctor, as well as referrals. Nurse practitioners can also prescribe medication and order testing.
Registered nurse (RN) – A register nurse as attended and graduated from the nursing program of a college or university. They are also required to pass a national licensing exam. Registerd nurses care for the sick and injured the same as a nurse practitioner, but not at the same level. Each state has a Nurse Practice Act which describes the scope at which a registered nurse is allowed to perform
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – As with the other nursing professions, licensed practical nurses care for patients. They provide the most basic care such as taking vital signs, giving injections, assisting patients with their personal hygiene and feeding.
Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) – A certified nurse midwife is a registered nurse with specialized advanced training. They provide advanced care for women before, during and after childbirth. For a registered nurse to become a certified nurse midwife, they must become complete an accredited study program, including a college degree, along with a masters or other accredited program before passing the exam from the American College of Nurse Midwives.
So, why nursing?
Nurses, regardless of their capacity, are the backbone of the healthcare system. They promote health; help to prevent disease and help patients and families cope. While some careers offer the opportunity to occasionally do good, nurses do good every day.
For additional information on nursing careers, visit American Nurses Credentialing Center