Becoming a nurse is one of the most rewarding vocations an individual can get into due to the nature of the role and how it helps others. Through partaking in educational courses and programs, such as nurse practitioner programs, anyone with a high enough GPA can follow this exciting career path that’s currently sky rocking in demand.
In fact, there’s no other profession more in demand in several states than nursing, and this can be attributed to a few things. The first is that the average population of the nation is rising, meaning there are more people going into nursing homes or who need some form of care. There’s also an increase in the availability of affordable medical insurance, meaning that a higher volume of people has access to health services, thereby increasing demand and therefore the need for nurses. The final reason is that there’s an increased focus on and acceptance of mental wellbeing, meaning more people are open to the idea of psychiatric treatments and therapy, which require a unique type of nurse.
All of these reasons make nursing, regardless of what type, a very stable and secure industry to get into that virtually guarantees jobs once you’re properly qualified. However, getting those qualifications is a lot easier said than done, as a lot of respected qualifications like nurse practitioner programs require a lot of time and effort to complete. Here’s an insight into how to study nursing.
Before you start
Becoming a qualified and licensed nurse isn’t something that everyone is able to do, as you need to have the right kind of skills, proper training, as well as academic knowhow to make the cut, and get into a nursing school course, be it a bachelor’s or a more advanced degree from nurse practitioner programs. Due to the nature of the work, people don’t fall into the role of a nurse, instead for most, it’s a career path that they’ve wanted to do down for a long time. Before you start a nursing course, you need to be sure that it’s something you really want to do, as it can be tough, exhausting and also take a long time to complete.
You’ll also need to make sure you’re well-financed. Much like other higher education courses and degrees, nursing courses chargetuition fees. As most nurse practitioner programs need around 30-54 credits to complete – with the average being about 45 – it can get pretty pricey as each credit can cost between $225 to $665 with in-state tuition, and out-of-state prices are even more expensive. A nurse practitioner can expect to pay around $31,500 for their education, however, there are cheaper alternatives out there – particularly if you study online.
Requirements to become a Registered Nurse
An RN (Registered Nurse) is a nurse who holds a nursing diploma or an Associate Degree in Nursing. These nurses are there to help physicians provide medical treatment and thus have many roles such as administering medication, educating the patient on prevention and post-hospital treatment as well to monitor the recovery. To get into a course that lets you become an RN, students need a good GPA average of over 2.0. However, it’s best if you have a GPA above 3.0 as this would allow you to continue youreducation and further penetrate the nursing industry. However, even after completing a course, to become an RN, nurses still need to become licensed in the state they wish to operate in. To do this they need to pass a plethora of exams and certifications, and only then would they have the requirements. An RN also needs to have proof of their education and therefore should have transcripts of at least three years in math and science, four in English and two in a foreign language.
Requirements to become a Nurse Practitioner
A nurse practitioner is a nurse who has continued their studies and has gained training in a specific area of nursing thus becoming an expert. To get to this stage a lot more education is required, with the main requirement being that they need to gain a BSN degree from an accredited institution that runs nurse practitioner programs. Most practitioners also have a master’s degree in nursing or medical science as well as certifications in their specialty, to prove that they are both passionate and proficient in their specialist area. It’s also important that these nurses have a license so that they can practice legally, as well as an incredible GPA of 3.0.
Where to study
There are various different ways you can study to become a nurse and enroll in nurse practitioner programs, with each option having its own unique set of benefits. The two main options are going to a nursing school at a campus university, or you can also study nursing online through professional courses.
Studying any type of course at campus is the more traditional college experience that includes students living on campus and them getting a more hands-on experience in their chosen field. A campus-based education means that students can get more interaction in both social terms but also with their tutors. It gives students an opportunity to network and build up useful connections, which can be beneficial. This social lifestyle also helps eliminate feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can really make studying nurse practitioner programs a little easier.
Campuses also have a plethora of different facilities that can enhance your education and make your study experience better. For example, when on campus you’ll have unlimited access to the library, where you can get access to important books, articles, and journals. Some universities also have archives as well as other useful facilities like labs that can really help. There’s also a wide array of different teaching styles on offer at campuses, such as seminars but also guest lectures, practicals, and clinical experience.
There’s additionally a sense of structure that can really help keep students motivated when they study in person at a campus. There are in-person lessons they’d have to attend, which can help individuals create a schedule that’s really hard to create in more the self-paced curricula of online programs.
Studying nurse practitioner programs online is becoming a more popular way to gain a nursing qualification due to the manyunique benefits it offers. It’s a very different and perhaps alien experience when compared to campus-based learning but it has it’s own merits and could be the better choice for you.
The first benefit is that an online course can be taken from anywhere in the world, meaning that you won’t have to move state to enroll in some of the top universities in the country. This means that you don’t have to uproot your life for the duration of the course and is a great option for those who might have a young family or work that they can’t give up on. It’s also a far more flexible way of doing nurse practitioner programs as learning can be done at the student’s pace, making it a lot easier to plan and fit around prior commitments.
It’s also a cheaper option, as online credits can be obtained at a cheaper price, reducing the tuition fees by a substantial amount. You can also save money on student accommodation fees as you won’t have to be moving in. It also allows you to work and study in environments that may be more comfortable to you, such as coffee shops and even from the comfort of your own home.
It’s important, however, that those enrolling in an online course have good self-discipline and a sense of responsibility, as it’s up to you to engage with your studies and tackle them at the correct pace. If you lack the right frame of mind it’s very easy to put work off and end up with a lot to do. You also still need to fulfill the practical elements of your degree online, meaning you can’t avoid the clinical trials if you enroll in nurse practitioner programs online.
Nursing school insights
Most prospective nurses need to get through nursing school to gain their qualifications and skills to enter the job market. Nursing school has developed a reputation of being pretty tough and is nothing like you’ve ever experienced or even imagined before. It’s demanding, confusing and full of pressure but by the end of it it’ll turn you into an awesome nurse ready to help society. You’ll also make new friends and form great social bonds, making it really worthwhile. Here are some things you need to know if you’re interested in nursing school.
Attendance is important
It’s not something that’s well known about, but nursing schools have one of the strictest attendance policies in all of education. Even the most robust and legitimate of excuses isn’t enough to save you from the scolding of your superiors. It’s important that you make sure you show up where and when you need to show up, as punctuality is vital in this industry.
You’ll become desensitized
Due to the nature of the profession, you’re going to come across some pretty nasty stuff, ranging from injuries to death and every horrible thing in-between. Becoming a nurse isn’t for the squeamish, but even so, after just a few weeks you will find yourself getting used to some gory stuff. It’s important not to let this turn you into a cynical and cold individual and to find healthy and correct coping mechanisms to some of the traumatic stuff you may be witness to.
You’ll have to spend money out your own pocket
Tuition for nurse practitioner programs is expensive already, but as well at that, there are additional costs that you’re going to have to pay for to make the most out for your education. Things such as textbooks – which aren’t cheap – and even medical supplies need to be purchased and can start to add up. You’ll also have to invest in your own uniform and scrubs when you start your clinical experience. To ensure that you don’t get too down about this, don’t think of it as an expense and instead try to view it as an investment as these items will follow you throughout your medical career. That’s why it’s a good idea to go for more premium items to ensure that they last longer.
The hardest part about becoming a nurse is the studying, as there’s a lot of it and it can be pretty tricky stuff to grasp. Here are some study tips that can help you nail your nurse practitioner programs.
Budget your time
Regardless of the program, a nursing degree is going to make up most of your time, meaning that you’re going to have to sacrifice time away from your family and friends. There will be periods where this isolation and separation may get the better of you and as a result can affect your frame of mind and productivity. It’s important to set just a little bit of time to socialize and relax and unwind as this will help to reduce stress and make you feel more fresh and able to tackle your studies. This can be something as simple as making sure to have dinner with your family, to spending 30 minutes a day exercising. Be sure to take these little moments for yourself.
If you are too passive during a nurse practitioner program, you just won’t get as much out of it, especially during your clinical experience. You need to take the steps to actively learn, so ask questions, learn how to do procedures and act like a student and not a visitor during these vital parts of your studies. Being proactive during a clinical trial can lead to very favorable and positive recommendations that may help a lot when looking for your first job role.
Study in groups
Teamwork is a crucial skill for nurses to learn and master, so a good way to help develop this skill is to work together and study as a group. As a student in a nurse practitioner program, you’ll be going through the same challenges as your peers, so it’s best to all come together, remove any competitive attitudes, and help each other overcome things.