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Nursing Career

Careers in Nursing - What's the Difference?

Description of Occupation - Nurses work to promote health, prevent disease, and help patients cope with illness. They are advocates and health educators for patients, families, and communities. When providing direct patient care, they observe, assess, and record symptoms, reactions, and progress; assist physicians during treatments and examinations; administer medications; and assist in convalescence and rehabilitation. Nurses also develop and manage nursing care plans; instruct patients and their families in proper care; and help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health. Nurses may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens and potentially hazardous materials.

Nurses need an aptitude for science and math. A respect for others, integrity, good communication skills, and acceptance of responsibility are essential. The ability to problem-solve and to commit to rigorous academic and clinical safety standards are necessary for success in nursing.

Positions in nursing require certain essential qualifications. A sample list is included on the Admission Criteria document. Additionally, submission of a PA Child Abuse History Clearance and/or State Police Criminal Record Check is generally required for employment.

Nursing requires the ability to apply knowledge of the human biological sciences, social and psychological sciences, and communication arts to provide health care must be demonstrated. Observation and problem-solving skills are used in planning and giving nursing care, and evaluating patients' responses to care. The ability to work well with others and to provide effective health teaching are needed skills. Safe administration of medications, use of equipment and various biomedical devises are required.

Places of Employment and Outlook -Overall job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be excellent, but may vary by employment and geographic setting. Nurses work in many settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, long-term care centers, clinics, outpatient surgical centers, home health, occupational settings and schools. Advanced practice nurses may work independently.

Salary Range for Geographical Area - $63,600 median salary in Pennsylvania 2012 (BLS)

Educational Advancement - Many graduates seek a bachelor's degree with a major in nursing. Continue your education with a BSN from Alvernia College, Drexel University & Online, Eastern Mennonite University, Eastern University - St. Davids, Immaculata University - Accelerated & Online, Indiana University of PA, Millersville University, Penn State University - Harrisburg, Mont Alto, York, and York College, which facilitate continuing education. Advanced practice in a nursing specialty requires a master's degree.

Related Websites For Additional Information About The Profession
Career Infonet with salary and job outlook statistics, career video and licensing requirements - great nursing career resource
Careers for Nurses
National Accreditation Commission for Nursing Education (ACEN) formerly the NLNAC, National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission
PA State Board of Nursing

Forensic Nursing

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