Starting a Career in Nursing

There is a growing demand for nurses the world over. This is because of advancements in healthcare that have resulted in an increase in the population segment of the aged and the elderly. Additionally, there has also been a rising demand for professionals who are well trained in critical and acute care management. Nurses who have the required skill sets to handle such exigencies can look forward to lucrative career opportunities. It is therefore small wonder that more and more people are opting for a career in nursing today.

However, life for you if you choose to be a Registered Nurse (RN) will definitely not be easy. It is a physically taxing vocation requiring you to be on your feet for long periods and this one factor is enough to drain even the most physically fit people. You have to constantly be on the edge, working in close consultation with doctors, physiotherapists, surgeons and others providing patient wellness. There will be a range of responsibilities that you will have to take up. You have to record patient data, administer medicines, perform diagnostic tests and plan out a treatment approach and plan. Depending on your level of expertise and experience, you might even have to assist in operations and post operative care.

Fortunately, a nursing career provides a number of entry level choices and you can select one that matches your lifestyle and requirements. You can focus solely on completing your required degrees and diplomas before you become a full time nurse or you can even begin working while simultaneously going through your nursing programmes.

Here then are some of the ways that you can embark on a nursing career.

  • Nursing aide, attendant or orderly – You can start off as soon as you make up your mind to enter this profession. You can work directly with patients in both residential or community settings either individually or under supervision. By being in a patient care environment directly, you pick up the basics and acquire a level of experience and skill sets. This can be taken up while you pursue your regular nursing studies. Once you complete your Bachelors Degree in Nursing or advanced diploma of nursing, this firsthand knowledge of nursing will help increase your earning potential when compared to freshers in nursing just out of a nursing course.
  • Licensed practical or vocational nurse – To become a Licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN), you have to complete an accredited programme from an institute authorised by healthcare statutory and regulatory bodies. These courses can be done online or on campus while you pursue your vocation. Such programmes are usually of two years duration. One of the top institutes in Australia providing a variety of basic and advanced nursing courses is Australian Centre of Further Education. For more details, visit acfe.edu.au. As a LPN or LVN, you will be required to work in hospitals or nursing homes, monitoring patients’ health, keeping records and other allied activities. You can obtain a licence first to work as a LPN or LVN to gain experience while going through the courses simultaneously.
  • Complete your degree and become a Registered Nurse (RN) – Registered Nurses provide a high level of patient care and support to doctors, surgeons and physiotherapists. Your role will include offering treatment and medication, recording patient health data and medical history and overall giving a high level of nursing services. To become a RN you will have to complete a diploma in nursing from an approved institute or an associate degree in nursing or a Bachelors Degree in nursing. If you opt for an online course, you will have to fulfil requirements of supervised clinic experience at a hospital or nursing home to get your licence.

These are some of the options before you to start a career in nursing.