In this paper, I explore my chosen major and potential career that I believe is fulfilling and lucrative. After completing my college education, I intend to work as a Registered Nurse. In this sense, the major that will help me achieve my career goals is Nursing (RN). The college I intend to enroll for my nursing degree is Pacific Lutheran University situated in Washington D.C. However, prior to registering for the degree program, I plan to take my prerequisite courses at Pierce College, which is also located within the state of Washington D.C. Personally, my decision to choose a career path in Nursing is influenced by an interest to work in clinical settings. I began to show interest in nursing as my preferred career line at age 13 while watching the medical drama series, ER on television. Since then, I have often made efforts to inquire about the nursing and what I should do to practice as a registered nurse in the near future.
Nursing as My Chosen Career Line
My lifelong goal is to work as a registered nurse having developed an interest in the field back in my formative years. Over the years while visiting the hospital for treatment, I have come to realize that the work of a registered nurse in ensuring a patient achieve positive health outcome is critical. More than often in clinical settings, nurses carry out the bulk of work and are closer to patients than general practitioners because they spend considerable time them (Hagerty, Bonnie and Kathleen 148). Visiting hospital settings occasionally since my formative years has also provided me with insight on the essential role of nurses in practice settings.
In some hospitals that I have visited, it is evident that poor patient outcome is primarily contributed by shortages of nurses who are expected to assist specialists in a wide range of roles necessary to improve patient outcomes. As an individual, I find it fulfilling to help other people, especially those experiencing a difficult situation that may affect their quality life such as illness. As such, I believe choosing a career path in nursing will provide me with an opportunity to help patients with a wide range of health problems and care needs. In ensuring that hospitals cater to the pressing needs and wants of patients, nurses assume many roles.
The Role of Nurses in Clinical Settings
According to Needleman and Susan, the roles of nurses in a clinical setting range from assessment, planning, evaluation to advocacy (631). With regard to assessment, nurses are tasked with the role of providing an initial and ongoing assessment as well as interpreting patients' information and data necessary to provide quality medical attention. Nurses also assess patients' abilities such as physical, social and psychological that is necessary to manage their health during their care or before discharge. Correspondingly, nurses also collaborate with significant others such as family members to identify patients' needs by analysis the provided data or information. They are also in charge of identifying and communicating patients' needs and wants to an interdisciplinary team of practitioners in healthcare settings to ensure appropriate care is provided. Additional aspects of the assessment carried out by nurses in clinical settings include continuous monitoring of patients' response to various treatment interventions (Needleman and Susan 633).
Nurses are also expected to identify deviations from the anticipated treatment outcomes as well as assessing changes in patients' status. Nurses further undertake the planning responsibilities for patient care. For instance, they are tasked with developing, coordinating and giving updates on a plan of care for patients, which in most cases, is based on evidence and incorporates the input patients, family members, and interdisciplinary healthcare team. In the planning process to promote appropriate patient care, nurses also assume the role of developing and coordinating discharge as well as education plan necessary to meet patients' needs, to facilitate healthcare promotion and coordinating resources used in care settings. On the other hand, intervention as a role carried out by nurses encompasses duties such as establishing a therapeutic relationship with patients as well as their family members (Bodenheimer and Laurie 1016). Nurses are also responsible for initiating and coordinating therapeutic interventions that are in tandem with their stipulated scope of practice and competence levels.
On the same note, nurses are also tasked with prescribing interventions such as medications and diagnostic tests on patients. They are also responsible for ensuring that ongoing patient evaluations are properly implemented. Nurses also provide counseling to patients necessary to promote their health and wellbeing. In addition, they also play an important role regarding giving information and instructions to patients to enable them to understand healthcare practices as well as processes. On another note, nurses also liaise with the community to improve patient outcomes. They also assume supervisory and evaluation roles related to care provided by other practitioners in clinical settings (Bodenheimer and Laurie 1017). Similarly, they are tasked with evaluating nursing activities and treatment interventions using data and evidence-based practices. With regard to advocacy roles among practicing nurse include, supporting patient care provided in a person-centered manner.
The Requirements to Enroll for a Nursing Major
Enrolling for a nursing major in college require one to have passed through high school and attained a high school diploma. After high school, students aspiring to enroll in a nursing program can graduate with a nursing diploma, an associate's degree or bachelor's degree. Also, depending on one's career goals in the field of nursing, further studies are also available at masters and graduate level. Further, enrolling for a nursing degree requires prospective applicants to possess certain qualities that can ensure they succeed in the field. In essence, the minimum requirement for the majority of nursing programs is a high school diploma. As such, a high school student with intentions to enroll in a nursing program is required to take up subjects that include Biology, Chemistry, English, and Mathematics. In addition, students in high school with plans to enroll for a nursing major are expected to seek opportunities by volunteering at healthcare facilities where they can start to demonstrate their commitment in the field (Gary 439).
Wolkowitz and Jeffrey explain that high school students planning to follow a career path in nursing should endeavor to demonstrate their skills necessary to succeed in the nursing profession (501). Among the qualities that prospective nurses are expected to show as proof that they have skills needed to succeed in the field include critical thinking abilities, effective communication skills, organizational abilities and being attentive to details (Wolkowitz and Jeffrey 502). While I possess some of these qualities, I also understand that I need to improve in areas that I am still weak. For example, I do not consider my communication skills to be excellent, which may not serve me well in a field that, requires one to engage others in caring conversation to understand their problem situation. In this regard, I intend to interact more with people from different background in order to improve my communication skills. The university that I intend to enroll for the nursing program is PLU; however, prior to seeking admission at PLU, I will do my prerequisite courses at Pierce College.
As such, to meet the minimum requirements to transfer my credits to the school of nursing at PLU, it means I will have to study hard. I am not good in Biology, and I understand that among the prerequisite courses that I have to pass in order to succeed in transferring my credits to PLU is Anatomy and Physiology. I often listen to colleagues lamenting that most students quit nursing in the prerequisite program for nursing because of failing more than once to pass prerequisite subjects such as Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry or Microbiology. I am also aware that there is a lot of reading especially in Anatomy and Physiology. Subsequently, it means I will have to put more efforts into reading, which I am not good at because I often feel restless sitting down for longer periods. PLU admits applicants from different backgrounds that have proven they have capacities to succeed at the baccalaureate level ("Pacific Lutheran University"). For nursing applicants, one has to pass the prerequisite requirements, which vary based on the program that one intends to apply. For example, the BSN program prerequisite at PLU includes Introduction to Psychology, Anatomy, and Physiology I and II, Organic and Biochemistry, Microbiology. On the other hand, the LPN to BSN program prerequisite at PLU is similar to the BSN program prerequisite with the addition of Statistics.
Opportunities and Challenges I Expect in My Nursing Career
Nursing is a rewarding career; however, there are also challenges in the field, which I expect to encounter. I believe that choosing a career path in nursing will provide me with an opportunity to improve people's lives health-wise, my income status, climb the career ladder, and achieve self-actualization as a chief nursing officer. However, I also expect challenges such as handling patients from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Patients from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds are likely to present with different needs and wants (Taylor 137). As such, I believe I have a herculean task to develop cultural competence to provide quality care to patients from diverse backgrounds. The other challenge that I expect in the field will be how to balance work and family life. Nursing as a profession is demanding and, in some instances, more time is spent at work thus denying one quality time with significant others such as family members and friends respectively (Yildirim and Zeynep 1371). In order to deal with such a challenge, I will have to make efforts to use my free time appropriately to make my social life worthwhile.
I have chosen to study nursing and work as a registered nurse in clinical settings after completing my studies. I have harbored an interest in the profession since I was young and I believe I can use my learned skilled and supervised experience to bring change in people's lives by helping to improve their health and quality of life respectively. I also consider nursing as my preferred career because it is fulfilling and rewarding regarding pay. In this regard, I believe that joining the field will help me to achieve my lifelong career goals as well as attain self-actualization as an individual.
Bodenheimer, Thomas, and Laurie Bauer. "Rethinking the Primary Care Workforce: An Expanded Role for Nurses." New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 375, no.11, 2016, pp.1015-1017.
Gary, Moore. "Baccalaureate Nursing Program Admission Policies: Promoting Success Or
Facilitating Failure?" Journal of Nursing Education, vol. 46, no.10, 2007, p. 439.
Hagerty, Bonnie M., and Kathleen L. Patusky. "Reconceptualizing The NursePatient
Relationship." Journal of Nursing Scholarship, vol. 35, no.2, 2003, pp.145-150.
Needleman, Jack, and Susan Hassmiller. "The Role of Nurses in Improving Hospital Quality and Efficiency: Real-World Results." Health Affairs, vol. 28, no.4, 2009, pp. 625-633.
Pacific Lutheran University. Application School of Nursing. PLU, https: //www.plu. edu/nursing/application. Accessed 27 February 2018.
Taylor, Rosemarie. "Addressing Barriers to Cultural Competence." Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, vol...
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