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If you’re thinking about a new career path, health care offers a wealth of opportunities. And nursing is one of the most in-demand jobs out there. Here are some quick notes about how to break into the healthcare industry, even if you don’t have any prior experience.

Understand educational requirements

Depending on what you want to do, your training may be as short as state-sanctioned certification courses, or you might be required to have a degree. A certified nursing assistant, for example, may simply need to pass a quick training course, which will likely be offered through your local hospital, high school, or community college.

To become an RN, you’ll want to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing or other healthcare discipline. This will give you the qualifications and fundamental skills to excel in a nursing role. Schools, such as Western Governors University, have many different programs to get your nursing degree online, whether you want to be on the ground-floor with patients or eventually would like to segue into hospital administration or information management. Nextaff offers opportunities in all levels of nursing care, and the experts here can help you determine what credentials you’ll need to achieve the rank and salary you desire.

Apply for a license

Moving forward, once you complete your education, you’ll need to apply for a license. This is the final step before you can begin your healthcare practice. Depending on what you want to do, your licensing requirements may be fairly simple, or they could be part of a complex process. A nursing assistant, for example, must just pass a competency exam and earn a state-specific license. A nurse practitioner must complete a few different programs and earn certification by an organization.

Adjust your expectations

It’s easy to get caught up believing that working in the medical profession is exciting and glamorous. The truth is that nurses do a lot of work that puts them in close proximity with very unglamorous situations. A nurse might, for instance, perform physical exams or address wounds. It’s hard work,and, as Medical News Today explains, there are more than 100 different nursing disciplines.

Know where you will work

As a nurse, you may work anywhere from a labor and delivery unit to a neurosciences office. There are nurses that work in emergency departments, schools, camps, or in people’s homes as a home health provider. As you progress in your career, there may be opportunities to segue into nurse management and consulting. One of the most well-paying options is a travel nurse. This is an individual who comes in and works temporarily in hospitals, doctors offices, and other settings when there is a great need. A travel nurse may fill a gap during a maternity leave or provide an extra set of hands after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or flood.

Weigh the risk versus reward

Working in the healthcare profession, you may come across more risk than if you worked in an office job. Edgar Snyder and Associates explains that nurses frequently come into contact with biological and chemical hazards. You can expect to get up close and personal with infectious diseases and environmental toxins. You may also be at a higher risk of stress and back injuries due to the physical nature of the job.

On the other hand, being a nurse is highly rewarding. You form relationships with patients and help them heal, and it’s a highly-skilled job that you can be proud of. As your career progresses, you can shape nurses who are new to the profession, and oftentimes throughout your career you’ll be the go-to and advocate for patients’ families. 

Ready for a career change?

A career in nursing is a great way to lend your skills, talent, and compassion to your community. It is an opportunity to have a genuine impact on people when they are most in need. But it’s not a job to enter into lightly, and you have to know what’s expected of you before you earn your degree. Ultimately, if you’re willing to put in the work and get your hands dirty, nursing is a well-paying and respectable career that you won’t regret.

Let the professionals at Nextaff help you on your career path? Contact Nextaff Temp Agency to take the next step.

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