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Career In Nursing

A Career Rich in Options and Opportunity
A Career That Will Challenge Your Mind
And Touch Your Heart


Registered nurses are independent professionals, licensed by the state and legally responsible for their own practice. Their role in health care combines science and technology with the more personal arts of healing, counseling and education.

A career in nursing is open to men and women, young people graduating from high school, and adult learners re-entering the workforce or changing careers. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the nation will need at least 2,575,000 by the year 2020.

Nursing offers its practitioners enormous flexibility. Nurses are among the few professionals who can choose to work almost anywhere in the world. Jobs are available in urban centers, small cities, resort towns, suburban communities and rural areas, as well as in the armed services, the Peace Corps and overseas. Nurses are among the few professionals who can select their schedules and modify them to fit their own changing needs. Nurses can work full or part time, by the day, the week or the month. They can work eight or 12 hours a day and select from night, evening or day shifts. 



Nurses work throughout the hospital, from patient-care units to executive offices. Although most are staff nurses, their roles may be strikingly different. A neonatal intensive care nurse suctions a critically ill infant weighing less than 2 pounds. A psychiatric nurse calms a man suffering from hallucinations. A nephrology nurse monitors a young man who has received a kidney transplant. A utilization examines patient records for reimbursement costs. An orthopedics nurse teaches an elderly woman how to manage the cast on her broken leg. A discharge planning nurse reviews records to determine what services a patient will need when he or she returns home. An operating room nurse assists at open heart surgery. The emergency room charge nurse aids a trauma victim. A staff development specialist explains infection control procedures to newly hired employees. An oncology nurse administers chemotherapy to a teenage leukemia patient. An obstetrics nurse guides a first-time mother through the birth of her child.

Advances in health care technology, the aging of the population, and rapid social change have increased the need for nurses in traditional specialties such as public health nursing. There are new demands in occupational health, nurse-midwifery, psychiatric nursing, women's health care, sex education, and alcohol and drug abuse treatment. As the health care system continues to change, new opportunities are emerging in case management, home health nursing and primary care. In addition, more and more nurses are involved in research, consulting and private practice.

 

There are now over 75 different specialties in nursing. Some nurses practice in specialty areas which are hospital based; others can be practiced in patients' homes, clinics, universities, offices, long-term care facilities, industries, and community agencies.
  

You can become a registered nurse by graduating from one of several different types of education programs that will prepare you to take the national RN licensure exam (NCLEX). It is necessary to pass this exam before you can practice as an RN. Admission to these RN programs varies, but most require a high school diploma with courses in algebra, biology and chemistry.

 

Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN)
You can earn a bachelor's degree by enrolling in one of the state's public or private four-year college programs. There programs offer a college education with a specialization in nursing. The bachelor's degree is a requirement for all advanced degrees in nursing and, increasingly, for most positions beyond staff nurse level. Special bachelor's degree programs are available to those who have earned a college degree in another field. These programs can be completed in fewer than four years.

 

Earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (AS)
You can earn an associate degree by enrolling in one of the state's public or private two-year colleges. These programs will prepare you for the RN licensure exam and make you eligible for the many thousands of excellent jobs that require RN licensure. Many students earn an associate degree and then continue to pursue their bachelor's degree after they are employed as a registered nurse. Employers often have tuition reimbursement programs that help fund such efforts.

 

Click HERE for a complete list of nursing education programs in Georgia.
 

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