Nursing is a profession of service. It requires dedication, compassion, the ability to perform in stressful situations and make decisions quickly in a high-risk situation. Lives are on the line and nurses are required to interact with patients, maintaining the required standard of care and to also follow orders of doctors, whether those be in person or over the phone after the nurse has presented a patient’s case thoroughly.
Nursing offers many areas of specialization. Nursing programs typically require a general understanding of the nursing profession. Once those courses are completed most degree plans allow for a focused amount of coursework designed to create a specialty that nursing students intend to work through during at least a part of their career. Examples of some specialties include maternal/child nursing, oncology, emergent care and pediatrics. Maternal/child nursing requires special focus on pregnancies, delivering babies and care of mother and baby after delivery. Oncology nursing provides special focus on treating patients who are battling cancer. The terminal possibilities of this illness and the many forms, which in which it occurs, require additional background and education. Emergent care focuses on the quick thinking skills needed to assess and treat patients in an emergency room, surrounded by chaos and often being the first health care professional to render care. Pediatrics is another specialty because it deals with treating children. Because of their size and emotional, cognitive and physical development, special care must be taken for each method of treating children.
Nursing can be done at many educational levels. Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), which requires minimal education. There is then the Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN), which offers a four-year degree. Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) offers a broader view towards healthcare and touches on theories and management. As the degrees advance beyond bachelor’s, the concentration typically turns towards leadership, healthcare and management courses. This is because with advanced education in this field comes advanced responsibility and the ability to have a greater impact on the healthcare field.