Nursing is a noble career and graduates of nursing school are urgently needed. In fact, the demand for nurses will likely increase for a variety of reasons. Our population continues to grow. People are living longer. Doctors are becoming more specialized and forced to spend less time with patients, which means that more often patients are spending the majority of their time with nurses than with their doctors. If you are considering a nursing career, then there is plenty of opportunity for you, with great salaries and a variety of work environments.
As a nurse, you can work in a hospital, a doctor’s private practice, a rehab center, assisted living and nursing homes, the military and several other environments. You can specialize in a lot of different areas, such as neonatal, rehabilitation, psychology, and intensive care. It’s never too early to start planning for your career as a nurse. If you are interested in a career in nursing, likely you are already researching nursing schools. There are things you can do now to start planning for your future. If you are a high school student interested in nursing, here are two great ways to plan and prepare to be a nurse.
Take advanced mathematics and classes in the hard sciences
There are a few reasons to do this. First, taking science and math classes, particularly AP classes, will help prepare you for the rigors of nursing school. Second, taking these classes now are a great way to explore your interest in nursing and it may help you decide that it is truly what you want to do. Examples of classes that will pertain to your future nursing career are:
- Chemistry: You will be required to take chemistry in college as part of a nursing degree. It’s good to start wrapping your head around key concepts now.
- Biology: Like chemistry, biology is a part of a nursing curriculum. You’ll take various biology classes in college, so an overview of the subject is nice
- Math classes, such as trigonometry, calculus and statistics: Mathematics helps you develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Skills you’ll need as a nurse. There will be required mathematics courses in college too, so the more advanced you are now, the easier your college coursework will be.
Talk to a nurse
If you know of someone who is in the nursing field, ask them if you can talk to them about their career. If you don’t know a nurse, talk to someone at your doctor’s office. One of the best resources when trying to find out the best path in a nursing career is someone who has already walked that path. Often you’ll get great advice. Ask questions like: Why did you become a nurse? What school did you attend? What would you do differently if you could do it again? Do you have any advice? This is a great way to gather a wealth of first-hand information. You may find that the advice of someone actually in the career you’d like to enter can help inform your choices and avoid certain challenges and setbacks.