As we reported on August 26th 2021, a number of community leaders received special acknowledgement for the work they did in Queens communities to support their neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic is not over yet, with vaccination giving us a chance to begin returning to normalcy, people in the area are now beginning to look to the future.
If you were inspired by the work our nurses and doctors did during the worst of the outbreak, or if working in your local community to help others during the pandemic made you think you might enjoy a career in nursing, here we look at how you can take the first steps to becoming a nurse – including what the fastest ways to achieve it are.
Is Nursing Right for You?
The pandemic really highlighted just how hard people in the healthcare industry work, but also just how important and rewarding their work can be. Having lived through these strange times, it seems impossible that anybody could be under any illusion about how much demand there is placed on nurses. However, if you are someone who wants a challenging and interesting career where no two days are the same, great career prospects, and a job that can make a real difference to people’s lives, then nursing could be the perfect choice for you.
There are, of course, lots of different specialisms and disciplines in nursing, so if you have a particular interest in a certain field like family health, women’s health, community outreach work or emergency healthcare, then you can forge a career in that field. As we saw during the pandemic, however, no matter your specialism, there may well be times when all medical professionals are called to pull together on a certain situation, and so all nurses are trained in the same fundamentals before branching into specific medical disciplines. This means your first step as a non-nurse is to get a nursing degree, such as a BSN.
If you are considering becoming a nurse as your first career, and don’t yet have a bachelor’s degree in another subject, you can simply look into starting a nursing degree as you would any other college course. However, if you already have a degree in something else, there are also accelerated BSN programs that you may be eligible for that can help you change careers into nursing more quickly. These will be discussed further later in the article.
Studying Nursing Online
Online study programs were already seeing a huge upsurge in popularity before the pandemic, and now they are bigger and more accessible than ever. As online study became the norm during the outbreak, colleges and other learning facilities increased their focus on providing the best possible remote learning options and experiences. It may be surprising to learn, but nursing is one field where online study has been a well-established choice for some time now, and this means there are lots of great course options to achieve a BSN or other nursing qualifications. For example, leading universities like Baylor University offer a range of online nursing degrees.
Some courses are 100% online, whereas others require a short stay on campus during the course of the program, so this is something to think about when you are selecting a course.
Why Do Your Nursing Degree Online?
There are many advantages to online nursing degree for non-nurses, and these go far beyond those associated with social distancing during the current climate. Doing an online degree can seriously reduce the costs of getting qualified, as well as making it easy to fit your studies around things like family commitments or other work.
Online degrees are now as well respected as degrees gained the traditional way, and with most students currently doing some or all of their college studies remotely due to the coronavirus, it is likely that they will become closer and closer to the norm as time goes on. This is as much the case in nursing as in many other professional fields.
Of course, if you want the full college experience, there are plenty of ways to study nursing on campus, but for many people – especially mature students looking for a career change – online study makes getting a nursing degree viable when it may not have been before.
Accelerated BSN Programs
If you already have a degree in another field, an accelerated BSN program can help you gain what you need to begin a nursing career as quickly as possible. These courses can last from three to 10 weeks of intensive study, and the school will usually help you find a clinical placement to complete your training. If you’ve been inspired to become a nurse or are looking for a change of career in the currently changing world, this can be a very attractive option.
Advantages to a Nursing Career
Once you are accredited and ready to start working in nursing, there are plenty of options in terms of how you can advance your career, such as moving more into leadership and healthcare coordination, becoming a family nurse practitioner, or taking on a specialism in a field that is important to you.
Some senior nursing positions can be extremely well paid, and there are also advantages in terms of it being a role that is in demand everywhere, and is not likely to ever stop being needed. This means being a nurse makes it fairly easy to find work, even if you want to relocate later in life.
Nurses have played a bigger role than ever in our lives and communities in the last couple of years, and if you want to join their ranks, there are plenty of ways to begin your training. Why not look into online nursing degrees online today and start planning your bright new career in the healthcare industry? You never know where it may lead.