An introduction to the world of nursing
Nursing is described as an art and a science. Art is a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice. Nurses learn to deliver care (wound care, assessment, foley insertion etc) artfully with compassion, caring, and respect for each patient’s dignity. As a science, nursing practice is based on a body of knowledge that is continually changing with new discoveries and innovations.
The patients and their families are the center and focus of a nurse’s practice. Being a nurse is a privilege. Nurses care for patients with variety of health care needs; it is for this reason nursing programs are considered rigorous, because being a nurse requires the knowledge and the skill to effectively deliver safe and effective care. The reward from the nursing profession is personal and professional. Personal because having the ability to help some can be very satisfying. In addition to being satisfying, the job stability makes nursing worthwhile. Professional, there are many areas in which a nurse can practice and lot of opportunity for professional growth.
Understanding the career opportunities available in nursing are important when making the decision in becoming a registered nurse. The career opportunities are endless; registered nurses can work in clinical practice (healthcare organization), education, research, administration, law, and even entrepreneurship.
- Administer medication
- Dress wounds
- Insert tubes (foley or nasogastric tube)
- Assess the patient
- Implement doctors order
- Evaluate the outcome of the implementation
- Document care
- Teach in the academic setting (prelicensure nursing students)
- Didactic (lecture) or clinical
- Teach in the clinic setting (License nurses)
- Certification courses
- Conduct research (requires a PhD)
- Coordinating clinical care.
- Assuring participant safety.
- Nursing Supervisor
- Nurse Manager
- Forensic nursing
- Expert witness
- Business owner
- Assisted Living facilities
- Nursing Schools
- Real estate
- Congress man / women
- Councilman / women
While nursing is rewarding, it is equally demanding. Performing a list of specifically skills is not nursing. Because of the autonomy nurses have, critical thinking plays an important role in the nurses’ daily duties. The nurse should be professional in their practice and even when they are off the clock. To exemplify a professional behavior, the nurse should act professionally when administering quality patient-centered care in a safe; the nurse should be prudent and knowledgeable. Part of professionalism is taking responsibility and accountability to oneself, the patients, and colleagues.