However, the first step to qualifying for the many nursing jobs available is earning your credentials as a nurse. There are several opportunities to get involved in the nursing career whether you want to start out directly as a Registered Nurse (R.N) or you want to gain some experience first with a background in nursing.
Three different types of credentials basically exist for those who want to work in nursing jobs. The first is the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). This credential is basically a certificate and qualifies you to work in a hospital, nursing home, or other healthcare setting as an assistant to a Registered Nurse. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, you'll be responsible for patient care duties that require little more than basic knowledge of the nursing field.
Some of the duties that these assistant jobs in nursing perform include drawing blood, checking patient's vital signs such as heart and breathing rate, as well as other basic duties involved with patient care. For example, dressing, changing, and bathing a patient may be on the list of duties that a CNA would perform under the direction of a Registered Nurse. In other words, working as a Certified Nursing Assistant essentially allows you to view what it's like to work as an R.N. without actually becoming one.
The second credential that you must consider if looking for jobs in nursing is the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) degree. This degree is the step up from a certified nursing assistant (CNA), but directly below the Registered Nurse. These individuals have gone through one to two years of practical nursing school, much more than a CNA. As a Licensed Practical Nurse, you'll be given duties such as taking vital signs, giving shots and injections, administering wound care, as well as taking other directions as needed from a doctor. For employment considerations, working as an LPN is more practical as well as more valuable than a nursing assistant.
How a Registered Nurse is Different
The Registered Nurse is the highest of the nursing credentials you can earn. The Registered Nurse has gone through additional years of school beyond what is required of an LPN. The Registered Nurse has earned her bachelor's degree in nursing degree (BSN) as well and graduated from an accredited program. As an R.N., you can give medications and have more control over a patient's care plan than you would otherwise. You'll take direct orders from a doctor in these nursing jobs and work side-by-side with him to formulate a plan to get the patient well.
Nursing Work Settings
There are many different places you can find jobs in nursing whether you are working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or a Registered Nurse (RN). Granted, your opportunities expand if you have a BSN behind your name as a Registered Nurse. For example, hospitals may be more inclined to hire a CNA instead of an LPN because these two roles typically fulfill many of the same duties with the exception that employers can pay nursing assistants less since they are less-qualified than an LPN. On the other hand, LPNs are more qualified and have more autonomy than an assistant ever would.
Apart from hospitals and nursing homes, one field which is growing is the home health care employment setting. Home health care jobs in nursing can be found for nursing assistants, practical nurses and especially registered nurses. These types of employment settings will be either working indirectly for a hospital or for an independent health care company that provides these patient services.
As you can see, there is no shortage for the need to hire quality nurses and the opportunities are many for those who want to get nursing jobs. Taking any of the steps to qualify for these jobs in nursing takes careful thought as you need to be sure that this field is the right match for you. Still, nursing is perhaps one of the most versatile career options as you can choose to become an assistant first with very little educational experience or even go full force into the nursing field with a bachelor's degree working as a Registered Nurse.