Is a Career in Nursing Right for You?
Is a Career in Nursing Right for You?
Over the course of a lifetime, we are faced with a number of difficult decisions—one of which includes choosing a professional career. While the sky is the limit when it comes to settling on a particular vocation, healthcare occupations—such as nursing—have substantially grown in popularity over the past several years. Before pursuing a career in nursing, individuals should evaluate their interests and strengths, and decide if they coincide with the requirements for nursing professionals. Identifying the benefits and drawbacks of being a nurse, learning about different career options, and discovering methods of preparing for transitioning to a nursing career are all important steps for those considering a career in healthcare. In addition, individuals who are interested in learning more about the profession may want to consider interviewing a professional in the field.
What Does a Career in Nursing Offer?
With the baby boom generation getting closer and closer to retirement age, it is no surprise that more and more people have begun seeking medical care. As the number of individuals requiring medical assistance grows, so do the amount of jobs related to the provision of this care. Most professionals agree that there are currently not enough nurses available to provide adequate amounts of high-quality medical care to patients. Due to these nursing shortages, individuals in the healthcare field often receive higher-than-average salaries and benefits. Nurses are also often able to obtain positions in a wide range of sectors, making their profession more versatile than others in the business or manufacturing worlds. As with other careers, there are some drawbacks associated with becoming a nurse. Often, nurses have to work long hours, and can be faced with dangerous situations. While it is uncommon, nurses can face contamination from serious, life-threatening infections and/or contagious conditions.
Nursing’s Popularity Has Perks, Drawbacks— A first-hand view at the busy world of nursing, as well as the reasons that drive students to the nursing field.
Why Go Into Nursing: Interviews with Nurses - Do you have even the slightest interest in nursing? Take a look at some of these interviews with nurses to see if it's a career you'd like to consider.
Is Nursing the Right Choice for You?
While nursing is often seen as a lucrative and respected position, individuals should not enter this career simply for the money or recognition. Instead, those who are interested in pursuing a career as a nurse should have a genuine interest in helping individuals who are sick, injured, or otherwise impaired. Nurses are also traditionally expected to have a great deal of compassion, and should be able to recognize and respond quickly to emergent situations. Individuals who are interested in becoming nurses may want to consider taking an on-line quiz to identify their personal strengths and passions.
Could Nursing be Your Passion? - Quiz for individuals interested in entering the field of nursing.
Characteristics of Being a Good Nurse - This article outlines some of the many attributes of effective nurses.
Critical Thinking and Nursing - Describes how critical thinking is essential in the field of nursing.
Are You Sure? (.pdf) - This document offers students points to think about when considering the possibility of a career in nursing.
The Ideal Nurse Practitioner Candidate - A diagram showing some of the traits that make individuals great nurses.
What are some Different Nursing Career Options?
As discussed previously, nursing is one of the only careers in which professionals can obtain employment in a variety of fields. For example, while nurses traditionally work in hospitals with adults, they may also find jobs caring for children. In addition, positions with school districts, nursing homes, and even community centers have recently increased in popularity. In many cases, the likelihood of obtaining these alternative positions depends on the educational level of the nurse in question. Depending on the amount and level of schooling, individuals can obtain a position as a CNA, LPN, RN, BSN, or NP. Traditionally, salaries and job availability increase along with education level.
Nursing Career Exploration - From the Mayo Clinic, this is an interactive look at some of the responsibilities associated with different nursing positions.
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics - This article gives brief descriptions of different nursing positions, along with a general summary of what one can expect with nursing.
The Nurse Career - This article lists some of the many different specialty areas available to nurses, as well as other information of interest to students who wish to pursue nursing.
Nursing Degree - An article that briefly details the different career options available to nurses.
Exploring a Career in Nursing - A short article mentioning some of the different nursing career pathways.
What to do in High School
It is never too early to begin preparing for a career in nursing. In fact, most experts agree that individuals who are interested in becoming nurses should begin planning their future as early as during their high school years. Not only passing—but also excelling in math and science-related courses, such as biology, chemistry, and physics—is essential for those who hope to enter a career in healthcare. In addition, students who hope to become future nurses should consider volunteering with local hospitals, attending nursing camps, or visiting public health agencies to increase awareness and gain experience. These practices can significantly improve the chances of gaining acceptance to a high-quality nursing program. In addition, excelling in school and participating in extra-curricular activities may also open up scholarship opportunities, thus decreasing the costs of attending a nursing program after high school.
Nursing Scholarships—Scholarships designed for use by students considering a career in nursing.
Career Pathways in Nursing: Entry Points and Academic Progress—Tips and suggestions for selecting an appropriate nursing program.
How Should We Prepare Students for Health Care Careers?—Tips for parents and teachers on preparing students for health care careers.
Preparing in High School—Tips and recommendations for preparing in high school for a career as a nurse.
Nursing Scholarship Program—Discusses the benefits and selection criteria for the US Department of Health & Human Services' Nursing Scholarship Program.
Nursing Resource Guide
Ultimate Nursing Resource Guide
It might be time to consider a nursing career if you enjoy helping people. Nurses provide patient care and help to educate families about the care and treatment of specific diseases and physical maladies for other family members. Nurses can choose from a variety of educational paths to further their career; they obtain can undergraduate or graduate degrees or receive certification from a nursing program. Most nurses require a license or certification within the individual state that they work. Each state’s requirements are somewhat different, but most follow similar requirements. To find out more about a career in nursing, review the following resources:
- Job Opportunities: Discover the job opportunities that exist for people with nursing degrees
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Understanding the nursing career
- How to become a Nurse: California guide to becoming a nurse in the state.
- Nursing Career: What it takes to become a nurse
- Career Profiles: The different careers available to nurses.
The United States has multiple organizations for nurses based on the type of care the nurse provides. There are organizations for surgical nurses, nurse practitioners, assisted living nurses, registered nurses, critical care nurses and more. Each organization offers opportunities for job hunting, while others offer opportunities for grants and scholarship for furthering an education in nursing. To find out about some of the many nursing organizations, click on any one of the following links:
- The American Nurses Association: The ANA offers a guide to nursing.
- ACNP: An organization for nurse practitioners.
- National Nurses: A California organization for nurses
- AALNA: Information on the American Assisted Living Nurses Association
- Nurses in the Air: The National Flight Nurses Association.
- Critical Care Nurses: An organization for nurses that provide critical care.
With advances in technology, nursing research has entered a whole new era. The National Institute on Nursing Research conducts research into treatment plans for patients with debilitating diseases. Nurses involved in this kind of research typically have advanced degrees. To understand more about nursing research, visit any one of the many sites below:
- Nursing Research: A nursing study on coronary disease and type 2 diabetes for patient care.
- Research and Nurses: Information on the National Center for Nursing Research
- News on Health and Aging: The government’s website on health and aging news and research
- Centers for Disease Control: An introduction to nurses at the CDC and what they do.
- Surgeon General’s Speech: The role of nursing research with regards to the nation’s
- Understanding New Health Care Laws: Information on the Affordable Health Care Act
Journals and Newsletters
A variety of medical journals and newsletters, some that require a subscription fee and some do not, keep the nurse informed of advances in technology, the biomedical field, health care as well as provide information about new treatment modalities and updates on patient care and vaccines. Several of the sites below provide links to journals and newsletters pertinent to those in nursing:
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Articles about primary care research and direction
- Midwest Nursing Research Society: MNRS Matters newsletter for nurses.
- Journals and Newsletters: A list of publications recommended by Health and Healing.
- PASCAL: Electronic journals and newsletters for nurses.
- Nursing Journals: A list of nursing journals from “A Timely Resource for Advancing the Nursing
- National League for Nursing: A comprehensive list of nursing publications and journals.
Clinical nursing specialists are nurses with advanced degrees. CNS typically have advanced degrees and often oversee the work of other nurses as well as contribute to a patient’s treatment plan. To find out more about CNS, review some of the roles these nurses play at any one of the following websites:
- Health Care Without Harm: The role nurses play in the HCWH movement.
- Nursing Roles: Understanding the difference between clinical and practical nursing.
- Veteran Affairs: Clinical Nursing Program at Veterans Affairs.
- Clinical Nurses:: The National Association of Clinical Nurses
- Advanced Nursing Degrees: Clinical Nurse Specialists hold advanced degrees.
- Clinical Nurses: Their role in rural hospital environments.
Many organizations, associations and governmental websites provide information and resources to nurses to keep them apprised of changes in health care laws, keeping alert to Medicare fraud and much more. Review any one of these free resources for more information:
- Scholarship Overview NHSC: Information on Available Scholarships through the National
- Health Care Workforce Center: The state of Massachusetts offers loans to nursing students.
- Health Care Law: Keys to understanding health care law.
- Medicare Fraud: The government’s fight against Medicare fraud affects all health care professionals.
- Flu: The steps to caring for someone that has the flu.
- NSNA: The National Student Nursing Association provides scholarships and grants to nursing students.
Nurses Through History
Women Nurses Throughout History
Florence Nightingale lit the way for other women to follow her example after answering a higher calling to serve as a nurse in the Crimean War. Since that time and throughout history, women have answered that same call and have served as nurses in several of this country’s major wars and conflicts.
American Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
It was the needs of the wounded noted by General Horatio Gates to Commander George Washington that finally brought in the services of nurses into the American Revolutionary War of 1775, one nurse to 10 patients. It took an act of Congress to allocate the nurses officially and then a matron to supervise 10 nurses and oversee 100 wounded. Prior to this, organized nursing during wars didn’t exist.
- Lost to History: Nurses in the Revolutionary War.
- Pennsylvania Nursing History: From an Almshouse to a General Hospital.
- War and Nursing: The call for nurses during the Revolutionary War.
- Military History: America’s first nurses in the Revolutionary War.
- Military Medicine: Women served as nurses in the U.S. beginning with the Revolutionary War.
The Civil War (1861-1865) and After
Women nurses were found on both sides of the Civil War where they served tirelessly in hospitals or close to the War’s brutal battlefields and fronts. History tells us of Dorothea Lynde Dix, who served as the Union’s first superintendent of female nurses during the Civil War. She was nicknamed “Dragon Dix” for her stern ways, but she would convince the military of the importance of women providing nursing services, forming the first “nursing organization” during the war. Dix believed in treating patients equally, no matter the side of the war on which the solider served.
- Dorothea Dix: The Union’s Superintendent of Female Nurses.
- Civil War Nurses: The highlights of Civil War nurses from the Museum of American History.
- The Story of Three Civil War Nurses: Louisa May Alcott, Georgeanna Woolsey and Sophronia Bucklin served as nurses during the Civil War.
- Medicine and Nursing in the Civil War: Nursing in the Civil War – a brutal job.
- Clara Barton: Nurses in the Civil War received little to no training.
Spanish-American War (1898) and beyond
The first female “Contract Nurses” were appointed during the Spanish-American War after the Surgeon General received the authority to do so from Congress in 1898. During this time, over 1,500 women became contract nurses under this authority. This led to the creation of a “Chief of Staff” system and the understanding of the importance of having nurses corps trained in military procedures available and on call. By 1901, the Army Reorganization Act passed Congress that included the Nurse Corps as a permanent group under the Medical Department. The Surgeon General was also required to keep a list of qualified nurses able and willing to serve during emergencies, resulting in the establishment of the first “Reserve Corps” of female nurses.
- Contract Nurses: The first “Contract Nurses” brought many women to the Spanish-American War.
- Anna Barbara Heldman: A 38-year public health nurse who served in the Spanish-American War.
- The American Red Cross: Women from the Red Cross contracted with the army during the Spanish American War.
- The Army Nurse Corp: Nurses of the Spanish-American War
- Mary Gladwin: A Red Cross nurse honored for her work during the war.
World War I (1917-1918) and after
Only 403 nurses were on active duty when the U.S. entered World War I in April of 1917. As the war continued, over 12,000 nurses would be involved in the war and stationed around the world. Base hospitals were established overseas to provide care for the war wounded. Women who served in WWI were neither commissioned nor held officer status and encountered many difficulties when working with war medics who would not accept a woman’s authority. After the war, it was decided to give nurses “Relative Rank,” to avoid this problem – but women were still paid less than men and didn’t have the same status as males in the same ranks.
- Deployed as Nurses: Young girls and women worked as WWI nurses.
- Base Hospital 21: More than 60 nurses worked at this hospital during WWI
- Voluntary Aid Detachment: Women serving as nurses in WWI.
- Hospital Units: The American Red Cross, medical schools and nurses work to establish hospital units in WWI.
World War II (1942-1945)
Many nurses were killed during this war and several served as prisoners of war stuck behind enemy lines. Nurses assisted in many theaters and fronts during the war, often called to be surgical nurses and work with doctors, as they performed new procedures on the wounded. New ways of conducting surgery or medical treatments often developed out of need during wars.
- Cadet Nurse to Army Corps: A nurse stationed in the U.S. during WWII.
- The 38th Evac Unit: This hospital unit was called into service in 1942.
- Army Nurse Desegregates Hospital: After serving in WWII, Nurse Louise Cavagnaro desegregates Johns Hopkins.
- Good Care: One doctor tells of poor patient care prior to nurses’ arrival in WWII.
Post-World War II (1947-1950)
After World War II, laws changed across the country for nurses. New York created the first laws that required nurses to receive mandatory licensing. The Regular Nurse Army Corps was officially created by Congress in 1947. Nurses in the Army Corps would serve in the Army National Guard, the Air Guard and the Army. The law also allowed for women nurses to receive the same status as men, finally doing away with the “Relative Rank” of nurses. Women nurses could receive a permanent rank and an officer’s commission equal to that of other male officers.
- Interview: An interview with a nurse who served in WWII and after.
- Shortage of Nurses 1948: Nursing shortage after WWII and beyond.
- Mandatory Licensure: New York enacts the first laws requiring nurse mandatory licensing for nurses.
- Nursing Organizations: This Dallas Nursing Association formed shortly after WWII.
- Nursing Shortage: The war causes a nursing shortage.
Korean War (1950-1953)
Not as many women were sent to serve in the Korean War because of its brutality, but those who did serve were close to the fighting. Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals were first developed during the Korean War. Called M.A.S.H., units, the hospitals were able to be put up or taken down in a day. A movie and well-known television series was built around the history of the MASH units. Medical technology changed because of the procedures used in the MASH units.
- Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals: MASH units formed during Korean War
- Military Nurse: Gladys Pinckney serves in WWII and Korean as a nurse.
- Korean War: Less women nurses sent to the Korean war.
- MASH: These units provided rapid care with the help of nurses.
- Medical Technology: MASH units changed nursing and medical technology.
Medical units containing Army nurses were deployed during the Vietnam War buildup in the beginning. Nurses served at the few field hospitals available at the beginning of the war. In 1970, the first female nurse received a promotion to Brigadier General during the Vietnam War. Col. Anna Mae Hays, 13th Chief of the ANC, was the first woman nurse to achieve this rank. After the cease fire in 1973, over 5,000 nurses left Vietnam to return home.
Elderly Health Issues
It’s very common for new medical problems to develop as people age. Elderly health issues can be caused by the simple and unavoidable act of aging, by injuries or lifestyles people had younger in life, or a combination of both. By seeing a primary care physician regularly, you and your doctor can work to prevent some of these issues, or to catch them early so that treatment can begin at the earliest phase, sometimes even before the onset of symptoms.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia
Dementia, or a loss of brain function, can occur in people of all ages and is a symptom of various diseases. However, the majority of people with dementia are the elderly. As people age, they normally become a bit more forgetful at times but an excessive amount of forgetting over a long period of time may be a sign of dementia. It can also be a sign of mild cognitive impairment, which can be a transition phase from regular forgetfulness to dementia. Having mild cognitive impairment does not guarantee that you will get dementia. Between 50 and 80% of all elderly dementia cases are actually cases of Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that impacts daily life and will worsen over time. While some causes of dementia can be treated, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but the symptoms can be treated.
There is no known cause for Parkinson’s Disease at this time, but several risk factors seem to be involved in determining the chances of getting it. Genetic mutations or exposure to certain toxins can cause the neurological changes that bring about Parkinson’s. However, the risk for experiencing the onset of Parkinson’s increases with age. More men have Parkinson’s than women and the reasons for this gender difference is still unknown. Parkinson’s affects the nervous system in such a way as to cause involuntary movement or slowed movement depending on the progression and the person. It is a progressive disease but can be managed with the right medical care. It’s important to know the warning signs of Parkinson’s Disease so that it can be caught early so be aware of tremors in hands or the lower face that seem to come on gradually but worsen, a change in handwriting, or a decreased sense of smell for certain scents.
Having Type I Diabetes as an older adult, usually means you’ve had it for quite some time and are managing it with medications, diet, and daily insulin injections. Type I indicates that the pancreas makes little to no insulin on its own. As we age, the risk for complications with Type I diabetes increase, so it’s important to manage diabetes carefully. Type II Diabetes is more common, but also harder to diagnose. Because Type II is usually the result of several risk factors and is usually found in older adults or the elderly it may not be found as quickly as Type I. The easiest way to prevent Type II Diabetes in the elderly is to maintain a healthy weight, avoid excessive intake of sugars, and to see a primary care physician regularly so they can monitor any changes in your glucose levels. Managing elderly diabetes is possible with the right treatment and support.
Hearing loss, whether mild or chronic, affects over a third of the US population over 65 and the percentage continues to rise within older age brackets. As the human body ages, it naturally sees some decline in cognitive and functional abilities, and hearing loss is thought to be either a symptom of that decline or another ability that sees decline with age. There are other factors that may contribute to hearing loss, such as a buildup of earwax or a bone growth that can be corrected by a doctor. If it does appear to be just age, then hearing aids may be suggested to improve quality of life.
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that makes them brittle and weak. It’s most common in women who have already gone through menopause but there are several other factors. Taking certain medications over a long period of time, having another disorder that can put you at risk, or having a family history are all factors that can’t be controlled. However, minimizing the risk for Osteoporosis or managing it after it has set in is easy with a few lifestyle changes. It is important for all elderly people, not just women, to keep their bones healthy by not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, getting regular exercise, and ensuring a diet containing enough Vitamin D and Calcium to support bone strength.
The types of cancer that are diagnosed for elderly patients are just as varied as those diagnosed in younger patients. However, the elderly are ten times more likely to get cancer and fifteen times more likely to die from that cancer than those who are younger (under age 65.) The types of cancer seen are usually those caused by lifestyle choices like smoking or by a genetic predisposition. There are thought to be many reasons why the elderly are so susceptible to cancer, but a large factor in the cancer mortality rates has been found in a lack of preventative screening or treatment for those over a certain age. Speaking with your regular doctor about screening for any cancers that may be common in your family or common for your age, race, or lifestyle can go a long way toward diagnosis and treatment.
Heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease, is mainly seen in the elderly and is caused by a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a process of plaque buildup in the arteries. This process, as well as the heart disease caused by it, is usually seen in older adults. The plaque buildup takes time, but it is also usually caused by other risk factors that also affect the elderly. One in four deaths each year in the United States is caused by heart disease, but there are preventative measures and management techniques. The biggest preventatives for heart disease are to stay healthy by not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, getting regular exercise, and eating balanced meals to maintain a healthy weight.
Career Guide for Nurses
Career Guide for Students: Nursing
With more than 2 million registered nurses currently working in the United States, it is hard to imagine there is a shortage underway. Nursing is currently the nation’s largest health care profession and as the baby boomer generation reaches maturity, more nurses are in demand to meet growing health care demands. The economy may be sour for some, but certainly not for nurses. There are numerous opportunities for nurses beginning at the entry level all the way to those with post-graduate degrees. Whether beginning with a diploma program through a hospital or working on a doctorate degree, the nursing field provides stability, many opportunities, an excellent salary, and lots of room for advancement.
Nature of the Work
Nursing involves a variety of skills and there are many specialties that affect the nature of the work nurses perform. In general, nurses treat and educate patients and the public regarding a variety of health care issues. Nurses also serve as educational resources for patients, their families, and the public. Duties performed by many nurses include performing tests on patients, assisting by analyzing test results, reviewing and updating patient’s medical records, administering various medical treatments and pharmaceuticals, operating various instruments and machines associated with medicine, and many times offer grief services. Other duties performed by nurses vary according to specialty and some nurses choose to enter the managerial side. These nurses may spend their time governing or managing a team of nurses, rather than performing day-to-day nursing tasks.
- Nursing (PDF)
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Registered Nurses
- Nursing Career Overview
- Nursing: A Career to Consider
- What is Nursing? (PDF)
Education requirements for nurses vary according to the type of position sought after. There are basically three types or strategies used to enter the nursing field and to become a registered nurse. These include a diploma program offered through a hospital, an associate degree in nursing, or a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree. A bachelor’s of science in nursing degree usually takes four years while an associate degree in nursing takes between two and three years. Hospital based diploma programs often take up to three years to complete. Those who plan to advance in their careers will find that a bachelor of science degree is preferable and then attaining a post-graduate degree will provide the greatest opportunities. Many fast track based programs that enable those have a diploma or associate’s degree to obtain their bachelor of science in nursing. These are often referred to as RN to BSN programs and are a very effective way for hospitals to ensure their nursing staff is well trained and highly qualified. As health, care demands have increased, so too has the need for nurses who are trained in advanced skills.
As there is increasing demand for highly educated
- Nursing: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
- Helping Veterans Transition to Careers in Nursing
- National League for Nursing
- National Institutes of Health Office of Science Education explores Nursing education
- American Midwifery Certification Board
There are many opportunities for employment for nurses, and the field offers incredible room for advancement. A variety of fields hire nurses such as dentists, hospitals, clinics, there are positions in nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, working on ambulances, in emergency rooms, holistic nurses that assist with treatments such as acupuncture, or biofeedback, hospice and critical care nurses and more. There are additional job opportunities that do not involve working directly with patients. Some nurses use their degree to work in fields such as legal, criminal, or forensics while others may go into research. Nurses may choose to approach the business side of the field or become administrators. There is always room for career advancement and nurses may choose to continue their education or develop more specialties that provide additional employment opportunities as well.
- The Nursing Career
- Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives, and Physician Assistants in Physician Offices (PDF)
- What Every Nursing Student Needs to Know When Seeking Employment (PDF)
- Home Health Care Nursing (PDF)
Job Outlook (include projections, earnings/wages here as well)
The health field, and nursing in particular, has a very strong job outlook. Current estimates from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics show that the nursing field is on a fast track until at least 2016 and some projections estimate 2020. The demand for nurses is related to the baby boomer generation that is growing old and in need of more health care services. Other factors that attribute to the demand is the fast pace of technological advances that ensure more medical conditions may be treated. As more breakthrough developments are made, more people seek the services of health care professionals. It is interesting to note that there is faster growth for nursing positions in areas such as outpatient and medical facilities, rather than in hospital settings. Hospitals are discharging patients faster than before which has caused a greater demand for nurses in other areas, however, the stability of a hospital’s workforce does not negate or counteract the overall demand for nurses. According to current projections, registered nurses and those with a bachelor’s degree, masters, or doctorate who are licensed and in good standing will not have difficulty finding work.
Nursing salaries vary upon specialization, the degree attained, and the area where the nurse works. Many registered nurses state they earn an average of $55,000 per year or more. Nursing wages can range from $25,000 per year for someone just starting out to over $200,000 per year for nurse managers in charge of anesthesia. Not only does nursing provide a lucrative salary, but it also offers a number of benefits and bonuses.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook Registered Nurses (PDF)
- Registered Nurses Career Outlook
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Nursing jobs vary depending upon the field or specialty in which a nurse has trained. Though there are many similarities within the nursing field in general, there are differences depending upon the area in which a nurse is focused. One nurse may specialize in forensics and assist rape victims or handle physical evidence from a crime scene while another nurse may be a certified midwife and assist in the care of pregnant women and delivery of babies. Some examples of nursing jobs include nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, critical care nurses, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, home health care nurses, occupational health nurses, perianesthesia nurses that assist after surgical procedures, holistic nurses, and emergency or trauma nurses. Registered nurses may work in one area then decide to specialize in another area. Often a nurse will undergo additional, specialized training to work in another area.
- About Critical Care Nursing
- International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists
- Guide to Hospital Nursing Residency Programs for B.S.N.s
There are multiple nursing associations one may join that provide a nurse with plenty of resources, information, and helps keep the nurse up-to-date regarding changes in the field. Nursing organizations are based upon specialty and each type of nurse may find an organization to join. In addition to specialized nursing organizations, there are general type associations that address the nursing field as a whole. Nursing associations provide many benefits and all nurses are encouraged to join associations and network together. As these organizations are a vital component to the field, you may find that your organization becomes an important resource throughout your nursing career.
Florence Nightingale - A Nursing Prodigy
Florence Nightingale is probably the most well-known figure in the history of nursing. She was referred to as the Lady with the Lamp, due to her practice of carrying a lantern as she made her way around the wards. Taking her name from her birthplace in Italy, Florence grew up in England and is most famous for her work during the Crimean War when she improved the standard of nursing care by improving hygiene in hospitals. She raised nursing to the level of a profession and influenced the founding of the British Red Cross movement, which provides volunteers to carry out health work throughout the world. Florence Nightingale is less well known for her equally important work with medical statistics, where she invented colorful graphic ways of displaying health information which persuaded the authorities to reform the way hospitals were run.
Florence was born in 1820 in Italy but her family later moved to England. In 1837 she thought that she heard God speaking to her in the garden of her home, asking her to carry out his work. Her early life was a sheltered one, living as the daughter of a wealthy English family, but Florence was unhappy and had to fight to become a nurse. After training as a nurse, Florence gained work in a nursing home located in London's Harley Street. By 1854 the Crimean War had begun and Turkey, Britain and France were all fighting against Russia. Florence went to Turkey to manage the nurses in hospitals run by the army. In a hospital in Scutari, near the capital of Turkey, Florence and her nurses were not welcomed at first by the doctors working there. After an influx of injured soldiers arrived all of the nurses were soon working flat out.
The conditions in the hospital were poor, with 10,000 men lying in dirty and rat-infested surroundings, some in corridors rather than the actual wards. The roof leaked, drinking water was scarce and the food was appalling. Florence and her team set to work, cleaning the wards and kitchens and preparing nourishing food for the patients. Florence also saw to it that the supply of drinkable water was increased and the sewers were mended. As a result of all the changes she made, the survival of the patients in her care increased dramatically. Another nurse, Mary Seacole, made her own way to the Crimea taking medicines and supplies with her. Mary met Florence Nightingale and, in her day, was as famous as Florence for her outstanding nursing work during the Crimean War.
When the war ended, Florence returned to England where she became involved in training nurses, setting up her own school in London, and publishing numerous articles and books. The training school received funding from the British public who were extremely grateful for all of Florence's work during the war. Florence's training was very influential and her ideas were eventually taken up by all hospitals, raising the standard of nursing care in Britain. She was one of the first proponents of evidence-based medicine and believed that public health policy should be guided by knowledge derived from medical statistics; she successfully used her own statistical evidence to convince the British authorities that hospital reforms were necessary in order to lower mortality rates. In Florence's later years she suffered from ill health which was brought on by her efforts in the Crimea. Her achievements were recognized by the British State and she received the Royal Red Cross from Queen Victoria in 1883; in 1907, she was awarded the Order of Merit, becoming the first woman ever to obtain this honor. She died in 1910 in her home in London.
The following links provide more information about Florence Nightingale, her life and work.
Anatomy Learning Center
Nursing Students: Anatomy Learning Center
Anatomy refers to the study of the structures within the human body while physiology is an examination of how they function. Understanding human anatomy and physiology is essential for those entering the health care industry. Having a solid understanding of anatomy is a required to obtain positions as physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses or doctors, in addition to health care-related jobs in pharmaceutical or medical device sales. The depth of knowledge required increases as the level of patient involvement rises with regard to medical testing, diagnosis and treatment. Human anatomy is a medical-related vocabulary shared across the health care field and enables efficient communication between patients, nurses and doctors. Acquiring an understanding of how the body’s organs and physiological systems relate to one another facilitates effective testing, diagnosis and treatment. The majority of students struggle with understanding human anatomy and the body’s related physiological responses, such as the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, urinary, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, nervous and reproductive systems. This page serves as a supplemental guide for students in order to increase their level of understanding with regard to anatomy and physiology by providing graphics, tutorials, animations and videos, in addition to various dissections of the body’s organs.
- Visible Body
- The Bone Box
- Web Anatomy
- Full Body Dissection
- Master Muscle List
- The Anatomy Lesson
- The Virtual Body
- Interactive Body
- Open Chambers of the Heart
- Medical Anatomy Animations
- Human Physiology Animations
- 3D Interactive Human Anatomy
- Human Anatomy Dissections
- 3D Visible Human Dissections
- Basic Anatomy-Tissues and Organs
- A Guided Tour of the Visible Human
- Atlas of the Human Body
- Artificial Anatomy: Body Parts
- Atlas of Human Anatomy
- Human Anatomy Animations
- Netter Images, Medical Illustrations
- The Science Picture Company
- Musculoskeletal Anatomical Images
- Human Anatomy Learning Modules
- Human Anatomy Dissection Lectures
- Anatomical Object Viewer
- Human Anatomy Laboratory Dissections
- Muscular System Identification Tutorials
- Anatomical Images and Anatomy Quizzes
- BioDigital Human Anatomy 3D Animations
- Removal of the Heart from the Pericardial Cavity
- InnerBody-Your Guide to Human Anatomy Online
- Anatomy Videos of Body Parts and Organ Systems
- Collection of Stereoscopic Images of Human Anatomy
- Resources for Gross Anatomy Education-Images and Movies
- Get Body Smart-Online Human Anatomy and Physiology Textbook
- Removal of the Epicardium and Identification of the Coronary Blood Vessels
- Human Anatomy Pathologies-Thorax, Abdomen and Pelvis, Extremities, and Head and Neck
- Cross-Section Tutorials of the Head, Neck, Upper and Lower Limb, Thorax, Abdomen and Pelvis
- Anatomy, Digestive, Endocrine, Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic and Reproductive Systems Image Bank
Nursing For Kids
Nursing For Kids: First Aid Resources
Do you know what to do when your friend is stung by a bee or your nose is bleeding? Sometimes, these things can happen so it’s a good idea to learn some basic nursing skills. In this article, you will find many great First Aid resources on burns, nose bleeds, choking, CPR, insect bites, animal bites, cuts and scrapes, plus other general information. By learning these skills, you will be much better prepared to face various emergencies. First aid is about using your basic skills along with common sense to keep an injured person safe until help comes. Most times, you will be able to ask an adult for help with first aid but it is also good to know some basic skills so you can help yourself or your friends if someone gets injured.
- The Heimlich Maneuver, What to Do When Someone is Choking
- How to Clear a Blockage for Babies
- Universal Choking Sign
- How to Do the Heimlich Maneuver
- Choking Prevention for Children
- How to Do CPR in Three Simple Steps
- CPR Quiz
- Basic Steps to Perform CPR
- CPR is as Easy as C-A-B
- Animated Slide Show All About Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Cuts & Scrapes
- Cuts, Scrapes and Bruises
- Skin Trauma
- Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises Skin Injuries
- First Aid Cuts & Scrapes
- Cuts and Grazes
- What Causes Nose Bleeds?
- General Information on Nose Bleeds
- Simple Overview of Nose Bleeds
- Does Nose Picking Cause Nose Bleeds?
- How to Stop a Nosebleed
Burns – Chemical and Heat Related
- Dr. Sears - Burns
- Burns and Scalds
- Chemical, Heat-related, and Electrical Burns
- Types of Burns
- Burn Prevention
- A Factsheet on Insect Bites & Stings
- Information on Insect Bites
- Symptom Checker to Find out About Insect Bites
- Do You Know What an Insect is?
- Questions About Allergies to Ant Bites
- Dog Bite Statistics
- First Aid Tips for Animal Bites
- Dog Bite Prevention Page
- First Aid Tips for Dog Bites
- An Overview of Animal Bites
First Aid Resources