Health Care Worker’s Career
Job Description for Registered Nurses
The American Nurses Association (ANA) (2016) describes services, which a Registered Nurse (RN) offers. Nurses assess both the patient's and the family's status of health and mind their needs. Moreover, he or she provides education, counseling, and other pertinent services aimed at curing or preventing disease as well as promoting health. Also, RNs should implement the planned treatment through various ways such as administration of medication and wound care in addition to scheduling this care itself. Furthermore, these nurses interpret patients information and make relevant critical decisions. Roles of supervision and coordination of care through collaboration with other health providers fall under the mandate of RNs. They conduct research that not only contributes to the existing knowledge but also improves existing medical practice procedures.
RNs scope of practice involves patient and family assessment, provision of interventions, evaluation as well as rehabilitative, counseling, and teaching services (Texas Board of Nursing, 2013). Also, health maintenance and illness prevention as well as administration of prescribed medication belong to their duties. Apart from supervising and teaching of nursing, RNs delegate authority to colleagues and develop nursing care plans. Moreover, their scope of practice entails supervision, administration, and evaluation of nursing policies, practices, and procedures.
ANA (2011) outlines RNs Code of Ethics that describes what is morally right in practice. RNs develop both respect and compassion for worth, inherent dignity, and uniqueness of each person. The primary role of nurses is to take care of patients. Also, in addition to striving to protect safety, they advocate for rights and health of patients. Nurses have the responsibility to maintain competence and enhance professional growth and development. Accountability for individual nursing practice and provision of qualified treatment as well as collaboration with other care providing professionals and public are some of the things in the Code of Ethics. Furthermore, nurses participate in advancing the profession through making of contributions to education, administration, practice, and knowledge development.
Education /Registration/Certification for RNs
In the US, there are three approaches to becoming an RN. Before qualifying, one should complete a bachelor's or associated degree program in a recommended school of nursing (Nursing programs in the US, 2016). In rare occasions, a diploma in nursing can help a person to qualify as an RN. After the completion of education, one is eligible for licensure. Licensing requirements vary from state to state. However, the common thing is that all of them require individuals to pass the National Council Licensure Examination before practicing. A practicing license is a professional certification, which RNs acquire upon passing particular examinations.
One can get an Associate Degree in Nursing at several community colleges in the US, and it takes from 15 months to two years (Nursing programs in the US, 2016). On the other hand, training for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) lasts four years. Many universities and colleges such as Felician College and the University of Massachusetts offer this program. The cost of training for RN is relatively high. Two-year programs may entail an average cost of $5,342 per semester (An explanation, 2016). Those doing a BSN program can pay an average tuition fee of $8,904 every semester. Furthermore, there are many other expenses, especially for buying books and nursing attire.
Other professional requirements include the need for specialization. Nurses should choose their particular areas of work. Some of professional fields of specialization are pediatrics, geriatrics, palliative, and critical care nursing (Nursing programs in the US, 2016). The occupation also requires nurses to be competent in offering quality care (Numminen et al., 2014). According to Numminen et al. (2014), they should keep learning throughout their careers to gain more useful knowledge. Maintenance and improvement of comprehension and skills are important requirements for qualified RNs. The profession further demands from nurses offering care with a commitment to ethical values.
According to AMN Healthcare (2013), nursing job opportunities are abundant. The US has over 3.1 million nurses, of which only 2.6 million works in nursing field while the rest are on non-nursing positions. Employment opportunities for RNs increase today with estimated rise of 26% from 2010 to 2020. This gain is secondary to the continuous shortage and greater demand for nurses. The profession is growing since training of nurses is rising to match the demands and curb the current deficit. Currently, it has seen an upsurge of young nurses who cope well with new technologies. For instance, AMN Healthcare says that RNs new generation impresses electronic medical records that positively affect productivity, job satisfaction, quality of patient care, and time management.
Locally, the US advertises many nursing jobs for RNs. Wanted Analytics revealed that, on average, the US locally advertises over 535,500 positions for them in a period of 90 days (Zappe, 2014). Simple mathematics gives an average of 5950 job adverts for a single day. Experience for RNs is essential in their practice as most health care institution prefer experienced professionals. Several research works have established that nurses with practice offer more qualified care to patients and community as a whole (McHugh & Lake, 2010). As a result, the consumers of their services get optimal satisfaction.
Amounts of salaries for RNs in the US vary depending on the level of education, experience, and the work location. The lowest amount they receive at the entry level is averagely $46,000 per annum (Peckham, 2015). However, Peckham asserts that the common salary is $79,000 with some of them getting up to $98,000 yearly. RNs have many opportunities to advance their careers. They can move ranks all the way to being a manager in the unit (Adeniran, Bhattacharya, & Adeniran, 2012), in which education and experience play a big role. RNs can reach a higher level academically to become an advanced registered nurse (APN). Moreover, nurses rich in experience and education can become consultants for various institutions, like hospitals and insurance firms, as well as be instructors in schools of nursing (Adeniran et al., 2012).
Students are eligible to join most of the professional nurses' organizations at a fee. They subscribe for ANA for $10 yearly while members of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) can do it for free (ANA, 2016b). However, they can join the NSNA at a subscription fee of $50 annually. There are several professional journals for RNs. There are ones, which ANA produces among the examples including The American Nurse Today that costs $18.95 per copy and Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, which is free for RNs (ANA, 2016b). Fortunately, ANA members receive all the mentioned journals for free. According to ANA (2016b), two professional journals are addressed to ANA-8515, Georgia Avenue-Silver Spring in the US.
RNs must undertake Continuous Education Units (CEUs) to maintain an active practicing license. The requirements for each state in the US vary depending on the number and duration of CEUs. For instance, other than paying the license renewal fee, the State of California legally demands from RNs to complete an average course of 30 hours for every two years (Board of Registered Nursing, 2016). The number of CEUs isn't limited to the given one but issuing of certificates after training is necessary to act as proof of renewal of the license.
RNs can earn CEUs through their professional organizations at a discounted fee or even free of charge. For instance, ANA through The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) administers over 35 specialties as well as advanced practice certification examinations every year (Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA), 2012). Members get discounts on fees for specific exams. Furthermore, the professional organizations network in cooperation with other relevant institutions increases professional interaction and opportunities for gaining CEUs. For instance, ANA has formed a partnership with TNA that offers CEUs (TNA, 2012).
Reflection/Personal Career Plan
Looking into the professions requirements, I am one of the people who can fit into it. Being a student in the field pursuing a degree in BSN, I am on the right path of gaining the professional membership upon graduation and doing the licensing examination. The reason is that it demands professionals trained in nursing. That notwithstanding, I am eager to serve humankind, which is a main requirement for nurses while delivering care. Due to my ambitions for career growth, I will fit into it because it allows moving through the ranks after gaining experience and relevant education requirements.
My personal career plan addresses on how I will gain entry into the nursing profession as well as how far I will progress while working. To join the profession, I will train and acquire a BSN after which I will sit for the licensing examination. These things are important for qualification as an RN. After the acquisition of a valid practicing license, I am planning to enter the job market applying for positions in hospitals. Getting employment there will be essential in offering quality care. Moreover, I will undertake some courses relevant to the profession that will enable to change my area of working from the hospital to the schools of nursing. In this case, the plan is to do a masters degree in nursing education and a doctorate in philosophy. Additionally, I intend to move through ranks until I become a director of the nursing school. Having achieved this, I will offer quality services in addition to enhancing my learning and research skills among others.
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