Selecting a Nursing major is basically selecting a future in medical care. Registered Nurses are trained and licensed professionals who take care of the sick, the bedridden, the terminally ill, the old, the young – very few individuals will go through life without being cared for by a nurse. There are several ways to get into nursing – anymore students are getting a bachelor’s of science in Nursing, while before it was more commonly an associate’s degree.
Nursing majors like people, which is good because they often see people at their worst. Nursing majors are interested in how the body works and are passionate about health and well-being. They are nurturers and givers – they like taking care of other people.
Doctors are known as the medical gurus, but nurses are the ones who spend the most time with patients. People skills and the ability to show compassion are some of the most desired traits in nurses, beyond competence in the technical part of the job. Nurses are good communicators – they can communicate with a patient no matter how ill or distressed, and they can communicate clearly with doctors and other nurses to make sure the patients are well cared for.
Squeamish around blood? Can’t stand the thought of needles? Get the heeby-geebies over all things medical? A Nursing major is not in your cards.
As a Nursing major, you’ll take classes in chemistry, anatomy, biology, nutrition, statistics, ethics, physiology, etc. You’ll learn how to care for everyone, from newborn babies to geriatric patients. In your classes you’ll learn everything about diseases, patient care and procedure, and during clinical rotations you’ll put everything into practice.
Nursing jobs are available almost everywhere. Hospitals and doctors’ offices are the most obvious place, but nurses also work at nursing homes and schools. There are jobs for nurses working directly in people’s homes. Nurses can work in emergency rooms, operating rooms, labor and delivery rooms, etc.
There are plenty of jobs in the nursing field, but there’s a shortage of room in nursing schools. You’ll want to have good grades and test scores to be competitive enough to get in. It also wouldn’t hurt to get started on the resume now – volunteer at your local hospital or nursing home. Also, most nursing schools won’t consider you unless you’re already a Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.). Ask your guidance counselor about courses available to become a C.N.A.
As a Nursing major you’ll spend your last several semesters doing clinical rotations. Make sure you are prepared for those rotations – don’t expect to be able to look up all the answers while on the job.