Tailoring Nursing Ambitions: Students’ Guide to Selecting a Nursing Career

Nursing is an increasingly popular job role among aspiring professionals in today’s world. The reason so many people are now pursuing nursing careers is because of the stability and room for career growth in the field.

However, there are a wide variety of nursing roles that your students can pursue. As such, you should expose students with an interest in healthcare roles to the many different nursing career paths they have available to them.

Here is a student’s guide to selecting a nursing career.

Understanding One’s Career Goals

Before committing to a specific nursing education program, students must have a clear idea of their career goals. This will help them pick the perfect school and program, whether that’s an online program or a traditional degree path, for their specific needs.

However, choosing a nursing career path isn’t always a walk in the park. This is particularly true when students aren’t clear about the options they have. For this reason, it’s vital that you acquaint your students with the wide variety of nursing careers that they can pursue.

Different Nursing Careers

From entry-level roles to advanced roles, there are many different roles that nurses can inhabit. Here’s a rundown of different nursing careers that students should be aware of.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses play an important role in the modern-day healthcare system. These healthcare professionals work in a wide variety of settings, from hospitals to clinics, and provide robust care to patients.

One reason that many healthcare professionals start their careers as registered nurses is because it provides stability and room for career growth. As such, those eyeing an advanced nursing career in their future can start their career journeys as registered nurses.

To become a registered nurse, one must first complete an accredited nursing program. This can either be an associate-level program or a bachelor-level one. After completing these educational requirements, one will have to take a licensing test in order to be qualified to work as a registered nurse.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

As has been noted, becoming a registered nurse gives one a great foundation to grow into more advanced roles. One such advanced role that nursing students can work toward inhabiting is that of advanced practice registered nurses.

The most common types of advanced practice registered nurses are nurse practitioners. These professionals can specialize in different types of practices, such as family practice, women’s health, or gerontology.

One reason many aspire to become advanced practice registered nurses and nurse practitioners is because of the lucrative salaries that these in-demand professionals can command. Another key reason many aspire to step into these roles is the increased autonomy and greater level of impact that one can have on patients.

To become an APRN, one should begin with the same steps as becoming a registered nurse. After, one will likely have to gain several years of experience as an RN and then continue one’s education by obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP.

Travel Nurse

Another advanced nursing position that many healthcare professionals aspire to step into is that of travel nurse. In essence, travel nurses are registered nurses who travel to different locations and facilities to lend their services.

These nurses can command premiums on their services because they must travel on short notice. However, it must be noted that these nurses often experience strain on their relationships due to the frequent traveling they must do.

Despite the challenges of the role, many find the ability to travel and help people an exciting and fulfilling career path.

To become a travel nurse, one must first become a registered nurse. After this, it’s vital to gain several years of experience in nursing before one becomes eligible to become a travel nurse. Typically, travel nurses will go to an agency that provides them with various job opportunities across the country.

Connecting Students with Working Nurses

Beyond providing guidance about different types of nursing roles, it can be incredibly helpful to connect your students with other nursing resources as well. Specifically, connecting students with working nurses can help them gain a deeper understanding of various roles and what they can expect in their potential careers.

Students Can Find Fulfillment as Nurses

As a counselor, you’re in an amazing position to help students find fulfilling career paths that benefit their lives. In particular, you have an opportunity to show them how a nursing career can provide them with stability and room to grow as a professional.

Ultimately, being able to clearly explain these different roles and what they entail will help you get your students excited about a career in the healthcare space. As such, do your best to familiarize yourself with various nursing paths so you can be a useful and effective nursing resource to your students.