Nursing careers offer a wide range of benefits, including rewarding work, competitive income and increasing employment opportunities. Another benefit of the nursing industry is its range of career options and opportunities for advancement.
If you are interested in starting a career in nursing, it is important to explore the various options available to you, and to plan your education to meet the requirements of your intended career.
Plotting Your Nursing Career Path
Like many other jobs, a career in nursing can take many shapes and paths. Nursing positions are available at many levels, including:
- Practical Nurse: Often noted for their flexibility, Licensed Practical Nurses, or LPNs, are responsible for a wide range of tasks in hospitals, clinics and care facilities. On any given day, an LPN may provide basic patient care, gather information on behalf of RNs and physicians, or educate patients regarding their treatment plan or medical condition. To qualify for employment as an LPN, individuals must complete an accredited diploma/certificate program and pass the NCLEX-PN examination.
- Nursing Assistant: Often working under the supervision of RNs or physicians, Nursing Assistants execute a range of patient care tasks, including administering medications, checking and charting vital signs, and providing basic patient care. To become a Nursing Assistant, individuals must complete an accredited certification program and pass their state’s Nursing Assistant certification examination.
- Registered Nurse: By assisting doctors and healthcare specialists, Registered Nurses ensure the timely and effective delivery of patient care. RNs are responsible for a wide range of duties, including coordination and delivery of patient care, educating patients and supervising Licensed Practical Nurses, nursing assistants and home health aides. Individuals must hold either an ASN or BSN in nursing and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to be eligible for employment as a Registered Nurse.
- Nurse Practitioner: Registered Nurses who complete a masters or doctorate-level program are qualified for employment as Nurse Practitioners. Working in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare settings, Nurse Practitioners diagnose medical problems, order treatments, perform certain procedures, prescribe medications, and refer patients to specialists.
It is important to remember that experience and education are often the keys to opening additional career opportunities within the nursing field. As you earn advanced degrees, the number of employment opportunities available to you are likely to increase.
Earn Your Education at Cambridge
Cambridge is committed to guiding students down the path towards successful and lasting careers in nursing. We offer several nursing programs, including:
- Nursing Assistant Program: Our Nursing Assistant Program is designed for students interested in seeking an entry into the nursing field. In as little as five weeks, the Nursing Assistant program prepares you to take the Nursing Assistant certification examination and begin a career in the nursing field.
- Practical Nursing Program: The Practical Nursing Program prepares students to sit for and pass the NCLEX-PN examination. Upon successful completion of the program and passing the exam, students are qualified to seek work as an entry-level Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).
- Associates in Nursing Degree: Our Associates of Science in Nursing program prepares students for Registered Nursing careers. The 96-week program offers a mix of classroom instruction, hands-on training at clinical healthcare facilities and mentorship from experienced instructors.
- RN to BSN Program: Our RN to BSN program is designed specifically for Registered Nurses who are licensed, employed and interested in career growth. Turn your RN into a BSN to explore additional career opportunities.
Whatever your nursing career goals may be, you’ll find the education, training and instruction you need at Cambridge. To learn more about each program, or to discuss your career goals, contact an advisor today.