Let’s talk about how to prepare for the NCLEX.

But first you need to know a little about the NCLEX exam.  This can be a stressful event in your path to being a nurse.

The main purpose of the NCLEX is to provide a certain level of standardization for testing competency levels.  In other words, are you a safe and effective nursing professional?

The test is geared for entry level nurses

So don’t get stressed out about knowing absolutely everything there is to know about being a nurse. Though the test is adaptive which basically means if you miss a difficult question, the next one shouldn’t be as hard. Read the rest of this entry

Share

Licensed Practical Nurses are also called Licensed Vocational Nurses.

We have talked about Registered Nurses (RN) and Nurse Practitioners (NP) in some detail in previous posts, so I thought we should talk about Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and give an LPN job description.
Read the rest of this entry

Share

Understanding nursing research could lead you into a great specialty.

Understanding nursing research seems to be a good topic after my last post on informatics.  As I said in the post, as a nurse your focus is in caring for patients and their families as well as promoting education for managing their condition.

Nurse researchers use the scientific method to define criteria to improve patient care, safety procedures, as well as save costs.  There are many other specific areas of research but I see these as the primary three.  Research gets highly specific with studies like The Effectiveness of an Aspiration Risk-Reduction Protocol or Evaluating Central Venous Catheter Care.

Nursing researchers generally need to have a PhD in order to be the principal investigator of a particular area of study.

National funding will often dictate this criteria.  A nurse with an MSN (Master’s of Science in Nursing) may be eligible for a research assistant position.

understanding-nursing-research

Understanding Nursing Research - This can be a Specialty Specific Career Path

The National Institute of Nursing Research is a great resource and funds training opportunities for nursing research.  They provide finding to universities, hospitals, and medical centers.  The NINR also has in-house opportunities so take a look at their site if you are interested in understanding nursing research.
Some other resources that you may want to check out are the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the journal for Applied Nursing Research.

If you are an RN are interested in understanding nursing research then take a look at the sites mentioned above.  If you think that is a career path that is of interest to you, then start pursuing a higher degree such as an MSN or PhD. In the near future I will have some information for you regarding school options, so keep your eyes peeled!  Please, if you have any experience in this area, I would love to see your comments on understanding nursing research.

Share

Nursing informatics is a specialty that combines computer expertise as well as data and information research within the field of nursing.

The end goal is promoting better patient care.

The nursing profession is primarily about patient care and education.  As a nurse you are at the bedside taking vitals, delivering meds, observing patient behavior and symptoms, not to mention dealing with bodily fluids.  Education of the patient, or to their family, on how and what the care should be after they return home is also a large part of the nursing profession.
Something else that is becoming more and more prevalent in nursing is the use of technology.  More and more electronic medical records are being employed, mobile applications are entering the market in what seems to be a daily basis,  new and updated medical devices are also continually showing up.  Nurses need to be able to stay current, understand how to use the information and technology, and be comfortable enough with these things that their personal touch toward patient care is not hindered.

The nursing informatics specialist gathers information on all of the technology mentioned above, and much more. Read the rest of this entry

Share

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) diagnose and treat much like a doctor might.

Nurse practitioner careers are available to RNs who choose to advance their career with an advanced degree, such as a Master’s degree, as well as clinical training.   They will help patients manage their illnesses at clinics, hospitals and medical offices.

Many times you will find nurse practitioner careers leading to Read the rest of this entry

Share

Registered nurses (RNs) currently fill about two and a half million jobs in the health care industry.

A majority of those positions are in hospitals.  There are many activities in a registered nurse career no matter what the specialty.  You treat and educate patients, you record their symptoms and medical history, you provide moral support for their family members and explain to them any home care needs for post-treatment.

You work place situation is always changing, keeping you on your toes.  You must keep up to date on changing technology, new treatment criteria, not to mention the ever changing needs of your patients.

Yes, a registered nurse career will definitely keep your mind active!

RN duties vary drastically from one position to the next and are generally specific to the demographic of the patients and where the work is being done.  By this I mean that an RN on the Labor and Delivery floor of the hospital is going to have different daily tasks than a geriatric nurse working in an elderly care facility.  I know that seems to be pretty obvious when stated that way, but in my experience many people new to nursing dont consider this fact. Read the rest of this entry

Share

There seem to be as many types of nursing careers as there are nurses these days!

Below is a list of the 3 most common education levels with a little explanation about them.  Within these levels are many types of nursing careers.  Varying specialties, work environments, and certifications combine with these education levels to create hundreds of nursing career paths. Today I will just be talking about the education levels but we will be talking about various careers in the future. Read the rest of this entry

Share