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What are the 3 most important things I should know before becoming a nurse? (LPN or RN)

Working conditions, hours, schedule, rewards, challenges, etc. ? #LPN #LVN #Nurse #RN #RegisteredNurse

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Subject: Career question for you

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Regan’s Answer

Hi there! I'm a Nurse Practitioner and practiced as an RN for 3 years before starting my Nurse Practitioner role. To me, nursing is one of the best career paths you could possibly choose. There are so many different options and avenues you can take with an RN license, and you will have continued opportunities to grow and succeed in the nursing profession. Plus, there is always a growing and dire need for nurses. In nursing school, you have the ability to do clinicals on a variety of different settings- labor and delivery, psychiatry, pediatrics, geriatrics, palliative care, etc. In nursing school, you can explore different patient populations and see which population you like caring for the best. From there, you are always able to switch between fields, so you truly never get tired of what you do! Working conditions and hours can be difficult, but it all depends which kind of setting you choose to work in. I worked in the hospital setting for a few years, and I worked 3x13 hour shifts per week, with rotating weekends and holidays. It was physically and emotionally challenging, but then you had 4 days off to recover. I have friends who work in the outpatient setting- at clinics, research, chemotherapy infusion centers, and offices, and they work 9AM-5PM, just like most non-medical jobs.

I have always felt incredibly lucky to be a nurse. Because of our long shifts, we have the ability to be with the patient and their family throughout the majority of the day, and to get to know them on a deeper level than most other medical professionals. You learn the values of communication, empathy, and compassion, and you exercise your ability to think critically and problem solve when obstacles are thrown in your way. No shift is the same. You are always thinking and advocating for the patient- you forget about yourself for those 13 hours. To me, that is an amazing thing. While challenging, the nursing profession is even more rewarding, and there is no field I would rather be in! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I would be so happy to chat!
Thank you comment icon I do apologize for the late response. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I am really looking forward to becoming a nurse and will start school relatively soon! Hope you are staying safe and protected from the new COVID variant and thank you for everything you do! Katherine
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Katherine,

The 3 Most Important Things to Know Before Becoming a Nurse (LPN or RN)

Education and Licensing Requirements: Before becoming a nurse, it is crucial to understand the educational path and licensing requirements for both LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) and RNs (Registered Nurses). LPNs typically complete a one-year certificate program, while RNs can choose between an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. RNs have more advanced responsibilities and opportunities for career advancement compared to LPNs.

Working Conditions and Environment: Nursing can be a physically and emotionally demanding profession. Nurses often work long shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays. They may also need to work in high-stress environments such as emergency rooms or intensive care units. It is essential to be prepared for the challenges that come with providing care to patients in various healthcare settings.

Emotional Resilience and Compassion: Nursing requires strong emotional resilience and compassion. Nurses often deal with patients who are in pain, distress, or facing life-threatening conditions. It is important to be able to provide empathetic care while maintaining a professional demeanor. Additionally, nurses must be able to handle stressful situations and make quick decisions in critical moments.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

American Nurses Association (ANA): The ANA is a professional organization that represents registered nurses in the United States. They provide valuable resources on nursing education, practice standards, and advocacy for the nursing profession.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN): The NCSBN is responsible for developing the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN exams, which are required for RN and LPN licensure, respectively. They offer information on licensing requirements and regulations for nurses.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS provides data on occupational outlook, including job growth projections, median pay, working conditions, and educational requirements for various professions, including nurses.

GOD BLESS!
James.
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Tricia’s Answer

Hi there - such great answers from these other folks.
I’m a 29 yr RN, just got my final MSN (Ed) today!

1. I guess important is hard to answer because it depends on your situation, but actually, that is one of the most important things. Can you treat everyone as individuals without being biased? Can you set aside personal experiences/hurts and be beside people - instead of an authoritarian.

2. How is your emotional intelligence (EI)? You will benefit from being good at responding (thoughtfully) as opposed to reacting (rashly). This will increase your humility, and ability to engage with less apprehension in unknown situations.

3. Do you know how to take care of yourself? Self-care practices are essential to reducing burnout, and your health affects how you can provide care for others.

Man oh man, I love this profession. Welcome. Yay!
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Michael’s Answer

First, I'm not either, but I can offer you advice on what you want to know and that's get some time in the hospital with someone that works in this job field. You can find a person in your family circle or friends and setup an interview type conversation. Think about the questions you want to ask and write them down so you have structure in the conversation. You've got a good start in this question. After you get some input, ask if you can see what it's like actually working in the medical field. See what type of medical fields are out there (e.g., oncology, pediatrics, emergency, surgery, etc.). Think about what you like to do (and what you don't). Understand what it takes to get the skills you need. Some disciplines of nursing require specialized training.
Thank you comment icon Thank you very much for your comment Michael I really appreciate it :) Katherine
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