Nursing is a diverse and rewarding discipline that combines compassion with sophisticated health technology. Nurses evaluate, diagnose, and treat health problems. They help people meet basic health needs, adapt to physical changes, recover from illness, and die with dignity. You knew all that. The profession offers a variety of employment and career opportunities. Nurses are employed in clinics, hospitals, schools, corporations, the military, and in private practice. Of course, you probably knew that, too. You may not know that job prospects in nursing are, in a word, awesome. “Bursting at the seams” doesn’t adequately describe the current magnitude of the need for nurses. The bachelor of science in Nursing is the basic professional degree in nursing and it provides the foundation for graduate study (which you can pursue if you want to, but is by no means required for job security). If you major in Nursing, you’ll take traditional science and liberal arts courses as a first-year student and probably begin clinical rotations at hospitals and other health care facilities during the second semester of your sophomore year. In practice, what that means is you’ll start working at a hospital doing the kinds of things that nurses do. You’ll receive patient reports, treat patients, and administer everything from medications to endotracheal suction procedures – the whole nine yards. In the course of your college career, you’ll receive a substantial amount of practical, hands-on training. One of the important things to know about the field of Nursing is that there is a national standardized test involved. All would-be nurses are required by law to take the National Certification Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) after graduating from an accredited nursing program before they can be officially registered.
Admission to many nursing programs is competitive, to say the least. If you want to get an edge, you should take as many high school science and math courses as possible. Advanced placement biology, chemistry, and physics classes will prove especially helpful.