Associates degree for better nursing opportunities?
Would earning my Associates degree be more helpful in finding better nursing jobs? Being a RN sounds like a great career, and all i would need is an Associates and some experience. could getting my associates open up more technical careers within the healthcare industry to better learn about critical care?
However, if that is not a possibility for you, get your Associates Degree and then go into a Accelerated BSN program.
I do agree with the suggestion of trying to get your Bachelor’s degree if you can as many places of employment prefer this over an associates.
Dr. Colette Forde’s Answer
Working in critical care starts and ends with your patient. Without patients you will not need technology, so the patient remains front and center of any work that includes technology. There are expanding opportunities to work solely with technology in healthcare. You can work in informatics which means working with a team focused on improving their electronic medical record, making documentation easier for front line providers. You can work work full-time with databases, generally in the field of quality improvement. More examples include virtual nursing , one of the more commonly known one areas focuses on virtual nursing in an ICU. You work in a remote location with a team that includes intensivists, and experienced ICU nurses, monitoring a caseload of ICU patients, covering ICUs in different hospitals. You have the ability to call one of the frontline nurses and/or MDs to the bedside when you are alerted to clinical deterioration, servicing as a second set of eyes. This allows for more rapid intervention, possibly averting significant clinical events.
You will need extensive clinical experience at the bedside as an ICU nurse in order to secure one of these positions. Technology in healthcare is a rapidly growing field and is found in home care as another example. Many hospitals have introduced the use of robots to undertake tasks that do not require licensed staff i.e. delivering meal trays, delivering medications to the floor, etc., This is just a snapshot of the use of technology but for many of these positions, the more diversified experience you gain at the bedside, will allow you to more closely align with integrating and upgrading technology that delivers solutions and reduces unnecessary tasks and documentation for front line providers. Finally, a Master degree and/or a Masters degree in nursing informatics is currently the basic level of education for any nurses wanting to work full-time in informatics in many areas of the country.
Dr. Colette Forde recommends the following next steps:
As it relates to the field. Once you become an RN there is nothing that needs to open up for you really. You’ve satisfied the requirements for the career and will have proven that you are a competent nurse therefore all you’d need to do after that is apply for a critical care position. Some nurses would encourage new nurses to get some experience in another specialty before diving into the critical care but it is not a requirement that you do.