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What was the hardest part about starting nursing?

I've recently decided on nursing and I wanna be sure before I start college.

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Michael’s Answer

Hi Cecilia,

There are different types of Nurses - RN (Registered Nurse), LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse), CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), etc. There are different avenues for Nurses to serve - Emergency Room (ER), Pediatric, Floor, etc. My Mother retired as a Registered Nurse (RN). She was a head RN who looked after patients on the regular floors of the hospital.

RN designation is earned by attending and graduating from a 4 year college program with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. LPN and CNA designations can be earned by attending a 2 year college or vocational program. RNs administer patient medications, treatments and medical and educational advice and information to the patients. Whereas, LPNs and CNAs provide basic nursing care and comfortability to the patient. CNAs work under the supervision of the RNs and LPNs. Travel Nurses will go to different cities and different states to serve in hospitals and medical facilities.

According to Johnson and Johnson, here is a link for Nursing Specialties:

https://nursing.jnj.com/specialty

While in high school, one will need to focus on science and math classes to prepare for a nursing career. Physics, chemistry and biology will be the core science courses. For math, algebra, geometry and statistics will be needed. Both concentrations will enable you to focus and refine your analytical skills for research; complex problem solving; investigative and innovative critical thinking; attention to detail; etc.

Other skills that will need to be built upon center around team building, team work and communication. In any work culture, collaboration among team members, staff and partner departments occur on a daily basis. As a nurse, communication is essential and critical when dealing with patients, medical personnel and other hospital staff. A college course in public speaking, communications and English will help with one's communication and writing skills. While in high school, the debate team will provide the opportunity to sharpen communication skills which are backed with research and factual data and information.

A Bachelor of Science (BSN) in Nursing will concentrate more on math and science courses. This will be earned at a college or university for a duration of four years. Clinical experience is gained while in nursing school at a college or university. Physiology, psychology and anatomy are some additional college courses that are required for one to take to become a Registered Nurse (RN).

Here are the Top 10 Best Nursing Schools of 2023 per www.nurse.org:

https://nurse.org/education/top-10-best-nursing-schools/

- Duke University
- Georgetown University
- Johns Hopkins University
- New York University
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Michigan
- University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)
- University of Washington
- Emory University
- University of Maryland

U.S. News & World Report has additional college listings for the best schools for a Master Degree in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice:

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-nursing-schools

When reviewing colleges and universities, it is best to check the following:

- In-State vs Out of State Tuition
- Internships
- Scholarships
- Career Placement upon graduation
- Course work and offered classes
- Post-Graduate Degrees - Master and Doctoral

Scholarship applications can start to be submitted during your Junior year and will continue throughout your Senior year in high school. It is best to ask your Academic Advisor/School Counselor on the timeline process as well. Scholarship applications will have specific deadlines and requirements to meet in order to be submitted for review and consideration.

You may want to start to compile your resume/portfolio since a majority of scholarship applications will require academic grade point average (GPA), academic accomplishments, school activities (clubs, sports, etc.), community involvement (volunteer, church, etc.), academic and personal recommendations, etc. There may be essay requirements on why you are a qualified candidate to receive the scholarship, what your future goals are academically and professionally and other questions centering around who you are, your beliefs, etc.

Here are a couple of links for College Scholarships:

https://www.mometrix.com/blog/scholarships-for-college/

https://www.nchchonors.org/students/awards-scholarships/national-scholarships

Also, it will be best to check with the colleges and universities that you will be applying to. You can check with the School/Department of your desired major, the Campus Career Center and the Register's Office for additional information for college scholarships and grants and specific requirements for qualifications.

Best wishes for your education and career path in Nursing!
Thank you comment icon I will just add on a bit. I have an Associates degree (2 years) and am a Registered Nurse. A BSN is preferred in a lot of hospitals but some will hire an ASN and help pay for your BSN. Allison Birchfiel
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Becky’s Answer

Hi Cecilia,

The most challenging part of starting nursing was the science courses, and then, as time went on, I found some of the clinical rotations quite challenging.

Becky
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Shelia’s Answer

Nursing is a fantastic profession with many different paths to explore. As a nurse, you could become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), a licensed practical nurse (LPN), a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), or even a registered nurse (RN). Ever thought about volunteering at a hospital? It's a great way to get a feel for the nursing field and can help you figure out which nursing role suits you best.

It's also important to think about your future in nursing. Do you see yourself working alongside a medical team or in a doctor's practice? If so, becoming a CNA or LPN/LVN could be a great fit for you. If you're interested in earning an associate or bachelor's degree, then becoming an RN could be an excellent choice, offering many opportunities for growth.

Since you're about to start college, why not consider earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing to become an RN? Nursing is a competitive field, so you'll need good grades and a strong performance on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) to get accepted into a Nursing Program. Once you're in, you'll need to pass all your classes and participate in clinical rotations, which will give you hands-on experience in nursing. After you've earned your degree, you'll need to apply for your state license and pass the National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to get your nursing license.
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Shahneela’s Answer

Embarking on a nursing career can be a daunting task, primarily due to the rigorous academic requirements and clinical rotations. Juggling in-depth coursework with hands-on patient care, mastering time management, and shifting from theoretical learning to practical application can be a tough journey for nursing students. On top of that, the emotional toll of witnessing patient suffering and illnesses, coupled with the physical demands of the job, can make the early stages of nursing quite challenging. However, for those who are truly passionate about the profession, the joy of positively influencing patients' lives usually surpasses these initial hurdles.
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