Healthcare is among the top jobs in the market these days and as such, it is no wonder more and more people are studying to become nurses, not just for the financial stability it offers but also to give in to their instincts to care for others. Nursing is a noble profession that is given to long working hours but in the end rewards one with the fulfillment from having contributed significantly to the welfare of others.
Those who want to enter nursing should be aware of what it takes to become a nurse and what qualities they need to have in order to be a success in this profession. In addition to having a bachelor's degree in Nursing or an Associate Degree in Nursing, which is a two-year degree offered by community colleges, you also need to pass every course-required exams and get some clinical experience in any hospital, clinic or nursing home in your area and finally pass the national licensing exam known as the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN.
It is also recommended that you pursue further education by specializing in a particular nursing field as while it is not required, being certified for a specialization increases your chances of getting a higher salary and more job security. Some fields that you can specialize in include pediatrics, gerontology, critical care and ambulatory care to name a few.
These days, nurses are torn between wanting to apply for work directly at hospitals or to be part of nursing agencies that supply staff to healthcare facilities. Nursing agencies usually contract nurses on a temporary basis and make them available for hire during extremely busy periods at the hospital or as substitutes in the absence of hospital staff. Nursing agencies also provide healthcare workers to those who want to be taken care of in the privacy of their own homes.
Unlike full-time hospital work where nurses are given their shift schedules with little or no input from them, nurses who work for nursing agencies are allowed to specify the days and hours in which they choose to work. The agency is also able to match their schedule and skill sets with any facility that requires itAgencies recruitment As far as salary goes, nurses who work for nursing agencies get paid at least $10/hour or more than full-time hospital staff nurses. This is also partly to cover for the travel expenses they incur when they have to fulfill job duties out of town. Also, agency nurses can work two twelve hours shifts and make as much as those working five days a week at the hospital.
Another benefit of working for nursing agencies is being able to have some time to further your nursing studies and possibly take up graduate studies to become clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners. Also, working for nursing agencies allow you to maximize your income with extra shifts, be better positioned for career growth as you are encouraged to discuss your professional options with agency recruitment consultants and to take advantage of upgrading your skill sets through free training while you earn credit for your previous education and experience.