Nursing is among the fastest growing job fields in the nation today, and the demand for registered nurses is immense, showing no signs of slowing down. With an aging society and not enough healthcare workers to fill the gaps, nurses of all fields and specialties will be called upon to help those in need, tend to those who suffer and even diagnose those who are ill. If you have ever considered the nursing profession, look into taking nursing courses and hit the ground running; they hold the power to change your life.
There are many ways nursing courses can benefit you. In 6-12 weeks you could be a certified nursing assistant, or CNA, if you already possess your GED or high school diploma. CNAs are less glorified than other nursing roles and are known by many other names such as orderlies, nurse’s aides and home health aides. However, the CNA is on the front line with the most hands-on care and provides extremely vital services to the health industry. This title requires sympathy, skill and deep compassion. This is an excellent way to take some nursing courses and see if the field is for you. In a short time you are able to start working and helping others, drawing a salary while learning more and deciding if you want to go forward with more schooling, stay where you are, or decide nursing is not the career for you. As a CNA, you will be called upon to:
- Display basic nursing skills
- Learn anatomy and physiology
- Bathe, feed and otherwise groom patients
- Understand nutrition
- Offer support and understanding
- Practice infection control
- Assist with medical equipment
- Take vital signs
The Bureau of Labor Statistics asserts that there will be a 19% increase from 2008 to 2018 in employment for CNAs and attendants.
Licensed practical nurses or LPNs, which is an equivalent position to a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), a term used in some areas, are those who have taken a one-year course in nursing and obtained licensure to practice their trades, proving they understand patients’ needs in several categories. They generally work under a registered nurse (RN) and serve myriad functions, usually in a generalized capacity. LPNs may be asked to:
- Dress wounds
- Take patients’ vitals
- Give massages
- Assist with bathing/dressing patients
- Assist with standing, walking and lying down
- Administer enemas
- Give injections
- Monitor catheters
- Keep patients comfortable
- Feed patients who need the help
LPNs continue to learn and grow in their profession for life. Some may choose to become RNs through either additional nursing courses or through LPN-to-RN training programs. Some LPNs might also gain credentials in such advanced and specialized areas as pharmacology and IV therapy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job availability to be very high and quite good through 2018, with biggest demand throughout nursing homes and healthcare services. In 2008, LPNs claimed roughly 753,600 jobs and the top three areas of concentration were nursing care facilities (28%), hospitals (25%) and physician’s offices (12%).