Nursing, like medicine, is anchored in the principles of science and arithmetic, but it is not often considered as a STEM job, despite the fact that nurses use math, biology, and technology on a daily basis. Nursing also follows the STEM guiding principles in that it uses these disciplines to solve real-world problems.
What exactly is STEM?
STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and covers all subject matter that come under these four important categories. There are other important variants of STEM (including STEAM, STREAM, and METALS) since these ones are not very popular, STEM is by far the most often used.
The name comes from talks in the United States regarding the scarcity of competent graduates for high-tech jobs. To solve this shortage, governments and institutions around the world have made luring students to STEM courses a top focus since its inception. If you have a bachelor’s degree in a STEM topic and are searching for a job in that profession, it may be easier to immigrate to another country.
Why Nursing is not a Stem Major
Currently, the United States government does not recognize nursing as a STEM-designated occupation. Nursing’s recognition as a STEM profession could result in additional funding for nurse education in the United States, addressing nursing shortages in both clinical and academic settings. Because of their STEM knowledge, professional nurses are positioned for careers not only in the health sector, but also in business and industry. As a result, new invention development will help to boost STEM growth in the United States and create worldwide market economic competitiveness.
Diverse definitions or perspectives of STEM education from various federal government bodies may be a contributing cause in nursing’s exclusion as a STEM degree and profession. For example, in 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) included degrees like Food Service Technology to the list of qualifying STEM professions. Nursing programs’ exclusion as providers of designated STEM approved curriculum may be due to a misunderstanding of what comprises STEM educational programs and degrees as defined by a government agency, rather than the content of the nursing curriculum itself.
Nurses use science, math, and cutting-edge technology in the assessments, diagnosis, and planning of patients’ care. Nurses use scientifically-based interventions to treat sickness and maintain human life, as well as to assess the outcomes of the care they offer.
Nursing’s formal recognition as a STEM profession by the US federal government has the potential to raise funding for the profession and expand the range of career options for nurses in industry and business. As a result, nursing may be able to reduce nursing shortages and gain national and international reputation as a profession that contributes to the science of improving people’s health through STEM knowledge in academia, industry, business, and clinical settings.
How to Become a Registered Nurse
Consider your possibilities for a nursing degree.
You should consider your overall career aspirations before enrolling in nursing school. Because there are two major educational paths to becoming an RN, you’ll need to figure out which one is ideal for your schedule and long-term goals.
The Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) program is for individuals who want to get out into the workforce as quickly as feasible. However, while this path may appear interesting at the time, if you wish to work in some hospitals or in specialized nursing roles, you may need to return to school to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
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While this may appear to be a deterrent, certain businesses may be willing to help their ADN nurses obtain bachelor credentials. Working ADN-RNs can earn their Bachelor’s degree through a completely online RN to BSN program.
A four-year Bachelor’s degree program is the other option for becoming a registered nurse. BSN-certified nurses are qualified for more employment than ADN-certified nurses, including research, consulting, and administrative positions.
Enroll in a nursing program
Once you’ve settled on a degree path, you’ll need to discover a nursing school that matches your objectives and enroll in a nursing program. We’ve already discussed how to get into nursing school, but here’s a quick recap.
After graduating from high school, you’ll need to study nursing programs and then fill out an application, which will normally require you to gather letters of recommendation, write the required essays, and more. You’ll almost certainly have to take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) and prepare for your entrance interview as well.
It may appear that a lot is expected of you right away, but if you break each step down and tackle it one at a time, your path to nursing success will begin to take shape. The amount of time and attention you put into each aspect of your application can help you get into the school of your dreams.
Nursing coursework and clinicals must be completed.
It may appear that all of your hard work is over once you’ve been accepted into nursing school. However, the following phase of your life will be spent developing and honing the core information and abilities that effective nurses demand. You can anticipate training in chemistry, biology, anatomy, nutrition, and other subjects.
In addition, you will be required to complete a series of nursing clinicals in order to obtain hands-on experience and see what it’s like to work as an RN. Clinicals allow students to apply what they’ve studied in a real-world healthcare setting, and they’re an important capstone to your education as you learn how to get started in the field of nursing.
Pass the NCLEX-RN exam and complete the prerequisites for licensure.
You’re almost there on your way to become a nurse if you’ve made it this far. As soon as you cross the finish line with your degree in hand, things will start to look up. Passing the NCLEX-RN and meeting all state licensure criteria are the only things standing between you and a lucrative career as an RN once you’ve crossed that graduation stage.
Any aspiring nurse must pass the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination). You’d be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN with either an ADN or a BSN. Passing the NCLEX-RN is a requirement for gaining state licensure in any state where you wish to work.
The NCLEX-RN consists of 75-145 questions that assess your knowledge of all aspects of nursing, and as you might guess, critical thinking and memorization are essential for success. Because this is one of the more essential tests you’ll take, expect to spend considerable time studying and preparing for it. But don’t worry—in your degree program, you’ll learn everything you need to know. You’ve conquered the most difficult hurdles by passing the NCLEX-RN. However, extra administrative criteria for obtaining licensing, such as passing a criminal background check, may exist in some states.
The Benefits of a Nursing Career
Assisting others in achieving wellness
The satisfying nature of caring for people and assisting them in achieving health and wellness is one of the most major perks of becoming a nurse. This effort is at the heart of the nursing profession; many people choose to become nurses with the stated goal of delivering compassionate, comprehensive care while also saving lives.
Opportunities for ongoing education
While nurses may specialize in a particular sector, the healthcare field is constantly evolving to offer alternative techniques, novel treatments, and fresh research that can help nurses revolutionize the way they care for their patients. As a result, nurses are expected to stay current with industry developments and be able to continue acquiring new skills throughout their careers.
Opportunities for travel
Nurses are in high demand across the country—from metropolitan to rural areas, nurses are needed to care for injured and unwell people. As a result, as a nurse, you have the freedom to work wherever you want. Furthermore, some nurses work as travel nurses, which means they fly across the country every 13 weeks to begin employment in a new location. Nursing may be an excellent career choice for those who enjoy traveling.
Prospects for Employment
Because of a greater societal emphasis on preventative care, the BLS predicts that RN employment will grow by 7% over the next decade, from 2019 to 2029. During that time period, this expansion will result in the addition of around 221,900 employment. As a result, the career prognosis for nurses in the United States is fairly promising. In fact, the BLS predicts faster growth than the national average for all jobs.
Possibilities for specialty
As previously said, nurses have a wide range of specialized options within their sector. These alternatives enable nurses to explore a wide range of subfields during their education and training in order to choose one that interests them and best meets their needs. Having access to speciality possibilities might improve your overall professional satisfaction when you have this level of career customisation.
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Opportunities for advancement in your career
As a nurse, you may be able to pursue a variety of career progression options. Depending on your interests and aspirations, you could be able to move to the position of shift leader, floor manager, or higher management. In addition, it is typical in the area to transition from nursing to another healthcare career, such as physician assistant or nurse practitioner.
Most nurses are proud of what they do because they provide critical, life-saving work that helps healthcare patients to have confidence in their treatment. On a daily basis, playing a supportive position of such importance and influence can provide you with greater satisfaction than in other industries.
Recognition as a top professional
Nurses often enjoy a certain measure of professional recognition and praise in addition to pride. Nurses earn a professional status that allows them to practice in the field after completing lengthy licensing processes. Others can perceive their professional validity as a result of this, and nurses are often thought of as highly qualified, knowledgeable, and trustworthy professionals.