During the influenza virus pandemic of 1918-1919, one-third of all nurses in the United States died from the flu. A century later, during the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses are in high demand again, yet vulnerable to the same risks as their predecessors.
Nurses play a vital role in the delivery of healthcare. They comprise the largest group of healthcare workers and provide direct care to patients. Nurses also play an important role in patient education, support, disease prevention, and health promotion.
However, the profession has several challenges, including long working hours and burnout. Nurses must be able to think critically and act quickly to provide the best possible care for their patients. That’s why it’s important to choose a nursing degree that will prepare you for the challenges of this demanding profession. This article will provide tips for choosing a nursing degree.
Consider your educational requirements
Depending on your career goals, you may need to complete a specific educational program to become a nurse. For example, suppose you want to become a registered nurse (RN). In that case, you will need to complete an accredited nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. For managerial and leadership roles, you will have to enroll in a BSN to DNP online bridge program. This will help you balance your studies with your work. However, if you want to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), you may only need to complete a one-year program. So, consider your educational requirements and ensure they align with your professional goals.
Consider your career goals
Before deciding on a nursing degree, you need to consider your career goals. What do you want to do as a nurse? Do you want to work in a hospital, clinic, or nursing home? Do you want to work with patients or specialize in a particular area of nursing? Once you have decided on your career goals, you can choose a nursing degree to help you achieve them.
Nowadays, there are many different nursing degrees available. So, there is no need to limit yourself to a traditional program. You can find a nursing degree that fits your area of interest.
Consider your workload
The workload in a nursing program can be demanding. You will need to complete clinical hours in addition to academic credits. You may also need to work long shifts, weekends, and holidays. Therefore, you need to consider your workload when choosing a nursing degree. Suppose you have a family or other obligations. In that case, you may want to choose a nursing program that offers flexible scheduling options. Luckily, many nursing programs now offer online classes to accommodate working students.
Consider your budget
The cost of a nursing degree can vary significantly. You will need to consider your budget when making your decision. If you cannot afford a traditional nursing program, you may want to consider an online nursing degree. Online programs offer the same quality education as traditional programs but at a fraction of the cost. However, you must ensure the online program you choose is accredited. Nowadays, there are many accredited online nursing programs available.
Consider your location
If you want to attend a brick-and-mortar nursing school, you must consider your location. You may want to choose a program close to home or near your workplace. Alternatively, you may want to choose a program offered in another state. If you choose a program that is not offered in your state, you may need to complete a clinical rotation to obtain your license. Also, you will need to consider the cost of living in the area. The cost of living can vary significantly from state to state.
Consider your lifestyle
A nursing degree can be difficult to manage if you do not have a good work-life balance. That’s why you need to consider your lifestyle when choosing a nursing degree. If you have a family or other obligations, you may want to choose a program that offers flexible learning options. Alternatively, if you are a working student, you may want to choose a program that offers online classes. More importantly, it would help if you ensured that the program you choose is accredited. Accreditation is important because it ensures the program meets the standards set by the nursing profession.
Try to find a program that offers hands-on experience
Hands-on experience is an important part of a nursing degree. That’s why you need to find a program that offers hands-on experience. Many nursing programs now offer clinical rotations. These rotations allow you to work in a hospital or clinic and gain experience. Hands-on experience is important because it allows you to apply the concepts you learn in the classroom to a real-world setting. It also allows you to develop your clinical skills.
Try to find a program that is accredited
The National Council of State Boards regulates the nursing profession. It would help if you ensured the nursing program you choose is accredited. Only accredited programs are recognized by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. This means you will be able to obtain a license to practice nursing in any state. Employers prefer to hire nurses who have graduated from an accredited program.
Choosing a nursing degree can be difficult. But, by considering your career goals, workload, budget, and lifestyle, you can find a program that is right for you. And, by ensuring the program you choose is accredited, you can be sure that you are getting a quality education. So, take your time and choose the right nursing degree for you.