Exploring Different Types of Nursing Specialties and Careers

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Nursing is the care of the sick and infirm. Over the years, nursing has changed and improved; in fact, modern nursing was founded by a woman named Florence Nightingale. She revolutionized hygiene, sanitation, and patient care. Personally, I am interested in a Nursing career because I enjoy helping and caring for people; my entire life, I have loved learning about how the human body works on a cellular level. In the medical field, you treat a patient based on their specific condition and needs, and nurses play a big part. Unfortunately, there are not enough nurses in the world. Nurses are and always have been in high demand; we have and probably always will need them. "By the end of the 1970s, more than two hundred programs spent nine months to two years training some fifteen thousand nurse practitioners in specialties including family, community, geriatric, pediatric, and maternity practice" (1). Nurses help us in more ways than we know, they do the work that most people don't want to, and each one has a different job to do. They are like the cogs in a well-oiled machine, they do the behind-the-scenes work that keeps offices and hospitals running smoothly, but not all Nurses are created equal. There are different specialties of nurses, different degree levels, and different pay depending on what they specialize in.

Nurses can specialize in many different things, and each license to practice is different. Some licenses include; Licensed Practical (LPNs)/ Vocational Nurses (LVNs), Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, and Pediatric Nurses. My personal favorite, and what I aspire to specialize in, is Pediatric Nursing. "? Pediatric nurses know how to talk to children and how to dispel their fears. They also know how to ask children questions about their health, so they can gather complete and accurate information to aid in diagnosis and treatment" (4). Pediatric Nurses work with children from infancy up to teenagers; they watch kids grow up and help them through their growing process. A pediatric nurse needs to know how to come down to a child's level and how to communicate well with them, so they aren't afraid. They are qualified to perform a variety of different tasks, including; physicals, measuring vitals, taking blood and urine samples, giving injections, and more.

I personally want to be a Pediatric Nurse because I love children and how they view the world. They are so special and are our future. Another important type of Nurse is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). LPNs/LVNs care for patients under the supervision of RNs (Registered Nurses) or a Physician; they are qualified to take vital signs, treat bedsores, prepare and give injections and enemas, apply dressings, monitor catheters, and more. "?Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) as they are called in Texas and California, care for the sick, injured, convalescent and disabled in a variety of health care settings" (4).? They are important because they do the type of work that many people don't want to do, such as treating bedsores. I personally have at least two aunts that do this for a living, and though it is hard work, it can be rewarding. Nurse Midwives are yet another type of Nurse, and they work closely with doctors. Nurse Midwives assist with births and are qualified to diagnose, treat, and even refer patients to a specialist. Nurse Midwives also take care of the mom's after they have given birth as well as leading up to giving birth. "M?idwife-attended births accounted for 12.1% of all spontaneous vaginal births in the United States and 8.3% of all U.S. births in total in 2014. Of these deliveries, 94.2% occurred in hospitals, 3% in freestanding birth centers, and 2.7% at home?" (4). I actually have a family friend who is a Midwife, and she gave my sister tips on things to do to make the birthing process less difficult. Another type of Nurse is Nurse Practitioner; they provide care to patients all the way from premature newborns to the elderly.

Most Nurse Practitioners provide primary care to patients. "?Approximately 15% of all nurse practitioners have their own private practices. There are also a number of nurse-managed health centers across the United States, in which all of the health care is directed and provided by nurse practitioners, along with other health care professionals" (4).? ? Nurse Practitioners are qualified to prescribe medications, perform physicals, diagnose and treat patients, give injections, order diagnostic tests, perform some medical procedures, and more. Most Nurse Practitioners even specialize in a certain field. "?Two out of three nurse practitioners provide primary care. Those primary care providers often specialize in family care, women's health, pediatrics, or adult/geriatric care" (4).? Another type of Nurse is a Registered Nurse; they work with physicians and do what any other nurse can and more.

The most common type of Nurse out there is actually a Registered Nurse(RN). "?RN roles range from direct patient care and case management to establishing nursing practice standards, developing quality assurance procedures, directing complex nursing care systems, conducting clinical research and teaching in nursing programs, as well as practicing in many other invigorating settings" (4).? While there are many different specialties of nurses in the world, unfortunately, many people are disheartened by the number of years of higher education they have to spend to get a certain degree in nursing and the debt that can occur during their time in higher education.

Each type of Nurse requires a different level of education. Some require only four years of college. LVNs/LPNs usually have to pass the NCLEX-PN, National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nurses, to obtain their license to be able to legally work in the field and complete "?a 1-year nursing program available through community colleges, technical schools, high schools, and hospitals" (3). Registered Nurses must obtain at least an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in nursing and pass the NCLEX-RN, ?National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses,? to receive their license to legally work in the field. "Advanced practice nurses typically need to have completed a registered nursing program, earned RN licensure, and gained experience working as RNs prior to enrolling in Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs" (3). Nursing school can be very expensive, which can be intimidating.

On average, if pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the tuition can range anywhere from "$40,000 to well over $100,000 each year in private institutions and large universities" (6). Fortunately, there are other alternatives to the traditional route of simply going straight to a University or Private institute, such as Community College. A BSN program at a community college costs much less than attending a University or Private Institute. "Tuition and fees in these colleges could range anywhere from $3,000 to about $14,000 a year. In-state students pay less than out-of-state students" (6). Some other options include attending an Associate's program or a give-back program where you work for a certain healthcare group for as long as you attend a nursing program, and they will pay for your tuition. There are also accelerated programs to attend as well, "It can take a year or a year and a half to get an accelerated bachelor's degree. An accelerated master's program can require a three-year commitment. Students first accelerate through a bachelor's degree in nursing, get their license to practice, and then spend about two years on their graduate degree" (2). There are many different things that go into being a nurse, and though it is a long process to become a nurse, in the end, it is worth it; not only is it rewarding, but the pay isn't bad as well.

Each Nurse has a different salary depending on what they specialize in. Pediatric nurses can work in doctors' offices, clinics, or even hospitals, and depending on where they work, their pay will be different. "Pediatric nurses earn $52,000 to $88,850 a year, although compensation depends on the level of education, experience, geographic location, and the type of facility where they work. Experienced pediatric nurses can earn $100,000 a year or more" (4). LPNs/LVNs usually work in hospitals and Nursing homes and work 40-hour weeks, but patients in their field of work usually need around-the-clock care, so most work more. Depending on how much they work, they can earn a "salary of $43,170 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries will vary according to the level of education, experience, geographic location, and the type of facility" (4). Nurses play a big part in healthcare and help patients more than they realize. Nurses do the dirty work in hospitals, hospices, clinics, and patient homes. They are what keep hospitals and such running smoothly. Though not all nurses are created equal, and they all have different responsibilities and jobs, and each one is important. There are different specialty nurses; each has different degree levels and licensure and different pay depending on their specialty. Nurses work hard and do the dirty work that most people would hate doing, and though it is a hard job at times, it is what I want to do with my life and what I personally am passionate about.

Works Cited

  1. 'Nursing in Transition.' ?American Decades?, edited by Judith S. Baughman, et al., vol. 8:1970-1979, Gale, 2001. ?Gale In Context: High School?, https://link-gale-com.lapr1.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/CX3468302817/SUIC?u=azstatelibdev&sid=SUIC&xid=de843d42. Accessed 21 Apr. 2020.
  2. 'Transition Into Nursing With an Accelerated Graduate Degree Program.' ?USNews.com?, 7 Jan. 2016. ?Gale In Context: High School?, https://link-gale-com.lapr1.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A489547935/SUIC?u=azstatelibdev&sid=SUIC&xid=1221b567. Accessed 21 Apr. 2020.
  3. study.com/what_does_a_nurse_do.html. Accessed 21 Apr. 2020
  4. "Registered Nurse (RN)." ?ExploreHealthCareers.org?, explorehealthcareers.org/field/nursing/. Accessed 21 Apr. 2020
  5. "How to Become a Pediatric Nurse." ?All Nursing Schools?, www.allnursingschools.com/specialties/pediatric-nursing/?. Accessed 29 Apr. 2020
  6. Imagine America. "How Much Does Nursing School Cost? What You Need To Know About The Cost Of Nursing School." ?Imagine America Foundation?, 23 Mar. 2020, www.imagine-america.org/much-nursing-school-cost/?. Accessed 30 Apr. 2020
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Exploring Different Types of Nursing Specialties and Careers. (2023, Mar 08). Retrieved May 21, 2024 , from
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