Dr. Andrea Houser joined the University of Providence’s School of Health Professions in August 2022 as Associate Dean of Nursing. With over 20 years of experience in clinical nursing and nurse education, Houser is well-versed in the current workforce trends – including critical competencies and practices graduating nurses must have to succeed in the fast-paced healthcare and nurse environment. In this article, Dr. Houser offers her advice to those considering a career in nursing.
If you are considering a career in nursing, here are some pieces of advice that may be helpful:
Do your research: Learn as much as you can about the profession, including the various roles and specialties within the field, the educational and licensing requirements, and the job outlook in your area.
Consider your motivations: Think about why you want to become a nurse. Are you motivated by a desire to help others? Do you have a passion for science and healthcare? Did you have a personal experience with healthcare that inspired you to pursue this career?
Develop essential skills: Nursing requires technical skills, such as administering medication and performing procedures, and soft skills, such as communication, empathy, and critical thinking. Look for opportunities to develop these skills through coursework, volunteer work, or other experiences.
Get the proper education: Choose an accredited nursing program that meets your needs and fits your schedule, like the University of Providence. Consider other factors such as program length, cost, location, and the universities reputation. Also, consider the level of degree that fits you. Do you want to be a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN) Associate Degree, RN-Baccalaureate Degree, or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)? Carefully consider the degree path that’s right for you.
Prepare for licensure: Nursing requires recent nursing graduates to pass a licensure exam, including the Nurse Practitioner Certification Board Exam or National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), to practice as a nurse. To put yourself at an advantage of passing, complete all your college coursework and clinical practicums. Be sure to study and prepare for the exam thoroughly in advance.
Seek mentorship and networking opportunities: Connect with experienced nurses and other healthcare professionals who can provide guidance and support as you navigate your nursing career. Consider obtaining some work experience in healthcare first to find out if you want a healthcare career.
Stay current in your practice: Nursing is a constantly evolving field. It is essential that nursing students and actively practicing nurses stay current with the latest advances in research, technology, and practice. Participate in continuing education and seek out opportunities for professional development.
While becoming a nurse can lead to a rewarding and fulfilling career, it also requires hard work, dedication, and a commitment to lifelong learning. You can succeed in this challenging and essential field with the proper education and mindset.
Whether you’re a currently practicing registered nurse looking to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a soon-to-be high school graduate interested in the nursing profession, or ready to take the next step into
Advanced Practice Nursing or Nurse Education, UP has a substantial collection of nursing programs to help you achieve your goals. Visit our nursing program page to learn more.