Nursing is the glue that holds a patient’s health care journey together. Across the entire patient experience, and wherever there is someone in need of care, nurses work tirelessly to identify and protect the needs of the individual.
Beyond the time-honored reputation for compassion and dedication lies a highly specialized profession, which is constantly evolving to address the needs of society. From ensuring the most accurate diagnoses to the ongoing education of the public about critical health issues; nurses are indispensable in safeguarding public health.
Nursing can be described as both an art and a science; a heart and a mind. At its heart, lies a fundamental respect for human dignity and an intuition for a patient’s needs. The mind supports this, in the form of rigorous core learning. Due to the vast range of specialisms and complex skills in the nursing profession, each nurse will have specific strengths, passions, and expertise.
However, nursing has a unifying ethos: In assessing a patient, nurses do not just consider test results. Through the critical thinking exemplified in the nursing process (see below), nurses use their judgment to integrate objective data with subjective experience of a patient’s biological, physical and behavioral needs. This ensures that every patient, from city hospital to community health center; state prison to summer camp, receives the best possible care regardless of who they are, or where they may be.
In a field as varied as nursing, there is no typical answer. Responsibilities can range from making acute treatment decisions to providing inoculations in schools. The key unifying characteristic in every role is the skill and drive that it takes to be a nurse. Through long-term monitoring of patients’ behavior and knowledge-based expertise, nurses are best placed to take an all-encompassing view of a patient’s wellbeing.
Nurses work in a variety of settings and specialties. They may choose to practice in hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, ambulatory care, occupational health, and community health centers, schools, clinics, camps, and shelters.
Nurses perform many professional tasks which may differ based on where they work or what area they specialize in. Nursing responsibilities include tasks such as:
■ performing physical exams
■ obtaining medical/health histories
■ providing patients with health promotion, counseling and education
■ administering medications, wound care, and other health interventions
■ coordinating patient care collectively with other members of the healthcare team
■ supervising staff such as LPN’s and nursing assistants
■ taking part in critical decision making
■ research responsibilities
The degree they hold may also dictate which are of specialty they are competent in practicing in. There are over 100 nursing specialties, including:
● Burn care
● Camp or school
● Diabetes care
● Emergency nursing
● Forensic nursing
● Home health
● Labor and delivery
● Medical surgical care
● Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
● Obstetrics and gynecology
● Psychiatric care
● Wound, ostomy and continence care
Why Choose a Career in Nursing?
Nurses have many different motivations for choosing their career, but the majority say it is their love for working with people and their desire to care for others that makes nursing a great fit. If you want a rewarding career, where every day can bring a different challenge and you have the opportunity to improve patients’ lives, then nursing is a great choice.
As we look deeper into the role of a nurse and into factors affecting the healthcare industry, it is clear that there are many additional reasons to choose a career in nursing, besides caring for others. Continue reading to explore some of the lesser-known benefits, and hear what established nurses have to say about their own career choice.
■ Growing demand results in higher wages, job security and job satisfaction
■ Diverse career paths, patient populations, and work environments
■ Nursing is a respected and trusted profession
■ Flexible work schedules
Nursing is one of the noblest profession enabling individuals to save the life of people, spread happiness and add comfort to those who are suffering. It is considered to be a rewarding profession as it gives you the satisfaction that you are easing someone’s suffering.