Understanding the Many Possible Paths of a Nursing Career  

Understanding the Many Possible Paths of a Nursing Career  
September 18 09:26 2017 Print This Article

Do you want to pursue a career in nursing? There are several paths you can choose to reach that goal. There are a number nursing programs out there that can lead to the nursing field and even into nursing specialties, of which there are many.

Before Becoming an RN

The main goal for many who want to pursue a nursing career is to become a registered nurse. A lot of it depends on what you would like to accomplish as a nurse. For example, you can go to school, train, and receive your license as a CNA.

You can go from there to becoming a licensed practical nurse without going any further than that. Both the CNA and the LPN position are good, with a good job outlook and plenty of opportunities.

In fact, you can often use LPN experience and credits on your path to becoming an RN if that’s your goal. You can also go straight into an RN program.

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 Staying As an RN

No matter what path you take, many people obtain and stop at the RN stage. The registered nurse is what most people think of when they consider nursing. Even if you stop at the RN stage, it’s not a dead end. There are many opportunities to specialize as a registered nurse.

You can choose to go into specific or niche fields or find underserved fields that need nurses. Remember that every area of healthcare requires nurses. So you can always continue in a field that speaks to you.

 Paths Beyond RN

Once you become an RN, there’s even more advancement avenues available to you. In general, there are three main graduate paths you can take from RN.

  • BSN – Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • MSN – Master of Science in Nursing
  • DNP – Doctor of Nursing Practice

With each level of nursing you want to pursue, the job outlooks grow and the salary increases. With each new level, you also must take on more responsibility when it comes to care.

With a BSN, you can become an RN or take on a specialty as an RN. With an MSN, you can become a nurse practitioner or a certified nurse of a specific discipline. For example, you can obtain certification and become a Certified Nurse Midwife. With your doctorate, you can move into things like managed care director, clinical researcher, and a creator of procedures.

At every level of nursing, there’s a ton of opportunity to branch out and acquire new skills. Whether you want to just get into the field, or go all the way, so you can influence medical policy, it’s up to you.

There are many paths available to you before, during, and after becoming an RN. Choose nursing programs that will make you ready for both immediate and future positions in nursing.

 

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Virginia Mitchell
Virginia Mitchell

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