find a school

Nurse Career

Nurse Career


 A Nursing Career is a Path with Many Choices


Nursing is as historic and honorable a profession as you can find.  Since medical treatment has become more than a guessing game, nurses have been an integral part of it.  The doctor makes the diagnosis, prescribes treatment, and the nurse makes it happen.  As medicine has grown in complexity, so have the options in a nursing career.  The Canadian Nursing Association, for example, provides certification for no fewer than seventeen specialties within the category of nursing.  A nursing career can take you in many medical directions; while a career as a nurse practitioner will take you as close as you can get to being an M.D. without going to medical school.


The choices in a nursing career relate to one or more patient care specialties. Category divisions are roughly defined but generally relate to the type of facility; the area of the body; the population (i.e. children, the elderly) or a particular disease. RNs may combine specialties from more than one area—for example, pediatric oncology or cardiac emergency—depending on personal interest and employer needs.


Advanced Nursing Careers


Most RNs work as staff nurses, providing critical health care services in hospitals, clinics and similar settings.  However, some RNs opt for additional training and develop nursing careers as advanced practice nurses, who often are considered primary health care practitioners.  A nurse practitioner is an RN who has undergone additional training and is certified to act as a primary care giver in many instances.  Nurse practitioners are also licensed to prescribe certain types of medication. The most common areas of specialty for nurse practitioners are family practice, women’s health and pediatrics


Clinical nurse specialists provide direct patient care and expert consultations in one of many of the nursing specialties such as those listed above.  There is a special training and nurse career course in anesthesiology.  Nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia, monitor patient’s vital signs during surgery, and provide post-anesthesia care.  

Nursing Careers and Education


Many Registered Nurses begin their careers as Nurse's Aides or Licensed Vocational Nurses.  Those are two positions that do not require extensive training.  People holding credentials in those vocations provide the less skilled services in a hospital or clinic setting; many of them work in assisted living facilities or as day care personnel for people who are elderly or incapacitated by an injury. 


A Registered Nurse can gain certification through training provided at the technical school level or with an associate's college degree.  Training for nursing - that is, the ability to pass the certification exam - and college degrees do not always coincide. There are bachelor degree programs that are designed to prepare the student for a nursing career. 


Making the Most of your Nursing Career


Increasingly, people in pursuit of nursing careers choose to take the time to obtain the baccalaureate because it opens the door to specialization and advanced forms of nursing.  So many RNs are going back to school while they are working to obtain a bachelor's that many schools offer programs designed to lead from an RN to a bachelor's degree.  Kaplan University is one of them.  From that point, specialization in work as a nurse practitioner, a clinical specialist or even nurse management is within reach.

View Schools by State

Online Schools:

Please select a state from the drop-down list to view campus based schools available to you.

Matching School Ads