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Career Development | 4/18/2024

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

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Whether you’re passionate about healthcare, seeking security, or craving a meaningful profession, nursing could be a great career for you.

Nursing offers many professional and moral advantages, making it a very popular career path. But is it right for you? In this article, we'll run through the basics of nursing, this career's potential benefits, how you become a nurse, and more to help you decide what your next steps should be.

What Are a Nurse’s Main Responsibilities?

First, let's run through what it's like to be a nurse. These care providers' main responsibilities include: 

  • Assessing and observing patients.
  • Administering medications and treatments.
  • Creating and implementing patient care plans.
  • Performing wound care.
  • Assisting in medical procedures.
  • Drawing blood and taking urine samples.
  • Educating patients and family members about care plans and answering questions.
  • Supervising vocational nurses. 
  • Documenting detailed and accurate patient records.

It's important to note the emotional aspect of a career in nursing. You’ll work with people experiencing varying levels of challenges, meaning you’ll also provide emotional support to them. This is especially true when dealing with severe illness, injuries, or difficult medical decisions.

Ultimately, no two days will ever look the same, but what remains constant is a nurse’s responsibility to patients' health and well-being, no matter what. 

What Are the Advantages of Becoming a Nurse?

Despite the challenges you'll encounter as a nurse, there are tangible benefits to this line of work. Let's break down just a few of the many.

Significant Contribution to Society

Nursing allows you to make an immediate, positive impact on patients' lives. You can offer hope to those who are nervous or struggling via essential medical advice. Despite the challenges nurses encounter, professionals in this field report high levels of job satisfaction because of the sense of accomplishment they get from their work.

High Salaries

Nursing salaries will vary based on where you work, but they tend to be competitive wages. You can earn a nursing degree in two to six years, which means you're looking at an extremely advantageous salary with very little time required to learn. As of May 2022, registered nurses' median annual wage was $81,220, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Flexibility With Work Scheduling

A huge benefit to becoming a nurse is the flexibility within a weekly work schedule. As you begin your nursing career, you may work more hours or be required to work the night shift until you’ve gained enough experience to have more autonomy in your career. To be a full-time employee, you must work at least 36-40 hours per week, but part-time hours are also available to those looking to be on-call for less than 36 hours. 

Many Opportunities for Specialization and Growth

You don't need to stop at the registered nurse role. While a rewarding role on its own, if you're interested in focusing your nursing career in a specific area, there are several paths to choose from, such as critical care, pediatrics, and oncology. You can start as a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse and pursue advanced degrees or certifications to become a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist, among other roles. 

Nurses Are Needed Everywhere

When you graduate with a nursing degree, the world is your oyster. That's because nurses are needed around the globe. Should you choose to become a travel nurse, either for a short- or long-term period, you could enjoy competitive compensation packages, making this decision even more rewarding beyond the opportunity to practice in new locations.

What To Expect From Nursing School

If everything sounds appealing to you so far, it's time to discuss what your nursing education would be like. At Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, several degree options will prepare you for a career in the nursing field.

Undergraduate Nursing School Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Accelerated

A Bachelor of Science (BSN) is an accelerated 32-month program that helps students gain real-world experience while studying and accomplishing nursing courses. The BSN program covers a wide range of materials, from biology and chemistry to pharmacology and community health. What normally takes four years can be accomplished in three, enabling students to jump into their careers even faster than a traditional pathway. Those who complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Postbaccalaureate

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Postbaccalaureate program is designed for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree and wish to gain the skill sets necessary to enter the nursing field. This 16-month program allows students to work alongside professionals during clinical experiences in both classroom settings and within prestigious healthcare centers. The intensive curriculum covers nursing theory, clinical skills, pharmacology, and other essential nursing knowledge areas. Upon completion of this program, learners are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). 

Family Nurse Practitioner Bridge Program - (RN to MSN)

Through the Family Nurse Practitioner Bridge Program - (RN to MSN), students can build on their associate’s degree without needing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This allows a smooth transition from undergraduate to graduate-level coursework. The three-year, part-time program offers clinical experience as students expand their collegiate nursing education. They widen their understanding of the professional nursing industry and move from the bridge program into the MSN-FNP portion of their study, ultimately allowing them to sit for the Family Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Exam upon completion. 

Master and Doctoral Nursing School Programs

Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner

A Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program is a 24-month, part-time course of study that provides students the flexibility to work while earning a nursing diploma. Like the Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Postbaccalaureate program, the Master of Science in Nursing - FNP path offers students the opportunity to advance their bachelor’s degree with a specialty in family nursing. Students become advanced practice registered nurses who are trained to provide comprehensive healthcare services to individuals and families across a range of ages. From delivering primary patient care services to diagnosing and treating a variety of health care concerns, nursing students learn more about what it takes to become an FNP. 

Master of Science in Nursing - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

A Master of Science in Nursing - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program allows learners to achieve a specialty in psychiatric mental health in just 24 months. This part-time, online program helps nursing students build a firm, foundational knowledge of dementia, depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric conditions. Students also dive into the doctor-patient relationship and learn about counseling best practices. After two years, learners are eligible to sit for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification. 

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a program that helps students earn an advanced degree in the hopes of achieving the highest level in the nursing profession. This 24-month, online doctoral program focuses on organization and systems leadership. Those who wish to enter this program must hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, which will give them the foundational knowledge necessary to excel in this course of study. Over four semesters, they'll cover information about local and global healthcare policies, study different methods and procedures in population health, and choose from doctoral-level courses within the School of Nursing. 

Nursing Job Outlook 

After completing your education, you can expect a healthy job outlook for years to come due to several factors, including current professionals switching careers or retiring, as well as an aging population needing increased medical attention. Per the BLS, opportunities for registered nurses are expected to rise by 6% through 2032.

Get Started at MCPHS

MCPHS has helped hundreds of students enter fulfilling careers in the medical sector. Our students take nursing courses from a wide range of industry professionals, allowing them to learn from the very best. 

Here are just a few of the great comments current or past students have shared about their time at MCPHS:

“The educators here set up the labs to be as realistic as possible” - Allan St. Pierre, BS in Nursing. 

“I’m a first-generation student, so school has been everything to me. I think MCPHS has really prepared me for a career. The professors and the students here are all really amicable. The support is there, and it’s felt.” - Michele Bravo-Moran, BS in Nursing.

“I’m a very independent person, and I wanted more autonomy in my career. My work now can be difficult, but it’s very rewarding. I’m helping people rehabilitate their lives.” - Jennifer Onwuka, Doctor of Nursing Practice.

If you think nursing could be a great career for you, start on the right path by applying to our nursing program today. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about the program or the nursing sector.