Nurses Need to Be Lifetime Learners

If you want to have a long, rewarding, and stimulating nursing career, then you need to realize that your education doesn’t end after you have passed the NCLEX-RN. The occupation of nursing involves a strong dedication to learning throughout your career.

Being able to get an education in nursing is not simple whether you earn a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in nursing, or a diploma through a nursing program. First of all, it can be challenging to even get accepted into a nursing program. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, in the 2007-2008 school year, entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs received 190,483 completed applications, 122,001 of which met admissions criteria. But meeting the requirements for admissions does not equal automatic acceptance; only 80,616 of the applications were approved for admission resulting in a 42.3 percent acceptance rate.

How long you will spend in nursing school depends on what type of program you are enrolled in. Earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing can take from two to four years and accelerated degree programs can range from 12 to 15 months. Throughout a program, students must take courses that involve studying body chemistry, anatomy, and physiology to learn about general health, illnesses, and treatments. After completing a program, you will then have to study for the NCLEX-RN, a required examination one must pass to earn a license to practice nursing within the state. The purpose of this examination is to ensure that one has an adequate amount of knowledge to practice entry-level nursing. Typically, a registered nursing license must be renewed every two to three years through re-examination or continuing education courses.

The field of medicine is constantly changing, whether it is newly discovered technologies, treatments, or diseases, and as a health care professional, it is your job to keep up with them. In order to advance in your career, you must be willing to continue your education by specializing in particular medical field or pursuing your nursing education on a higher level. Nurses who find that they enjoy working in a specialized area of nursing can choose to become certified in it through professional nursing associations. Becoming certified in a specialization can help someone prove their expertise and help them to qualify for better nursing positions. Nurses who want to work at more advanced levels and hold higher positions can choose to pursue a nursing degree on a master’s or doctoral level. These programs are meant to give someone the education they need to work as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse.

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