Summary of profession
Nursing is a healthcare profession that focuses on the care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well, and in all settings. Nursing includes the promotion of health, prevention of illness and the care of ill, disabled and dying people.
Working hours, patterns and environment
The largest percentage of nurses work in a hospital or clinical setting, dealing with patients directly throughout their shifts. Shifts are usually done on rotation (mornings and nights) or over 3-day periods, where a nurse may work three shifts (of anywhere between 8 and 14 hours a day) on consecutive days, and then have 2 to 3 days off before the shift repeats. Nurses who work in nursing care or ER facilities may have to work night, holiday and weekend shifts frequently or may have to be on call. Much of a nurse’s shift is spent walking or standing.
Education and Skills
The entry requirements vary from institution and country to country however the basic ones remain the same: mathematics, english language or literature, biology, chemistry or physics and a GPA of 3 or higher. The field of nursing offers several levels of practice, each with different educational requirements.
Nursing programs are offered for:
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Registered Nurse – Baccalaureate degree
- Advanced Clinical Practice Registered Nurse – Master’s and Doctoral degree
- Registered nurses with advanced practice in Education, Research, Administration and Information Technology- Master’s and Doctoral degree.
Job and Growth Opportunities
Opportunities for advancement to Nurse Educator, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Manager (or Assistant Nurse Manager) and even Director-level positions.