Working as a nurse can be a very rewarding job in an emotional way. You help people get better, and may even meet a lot of interesting individuals. But all good things have their downsides, such as the different levels of nursing, potentially long work hours, and the equally strong emotional impact when you see a patient in severe condition, or even dying. Both women and men can work as nurses, and it’s a job that is almost always in high demand, whether it’s in public hospitals or private facilities. If you’re planning to become a nurse, it’s important to know that there are several levels of nursing that you could be working at.
What are levels of nursing?
Simply put, levels determine your responsibilities as a nurse. Certain levels may have you working as an assistant to another nurse, while others will have you directly taking care of patients and their medical conditions. Of course, depending on what level of nursing you choose, your income will also be larger or smaller. The more responsibilities and training are required of you, the higher your income and work hours. So before you choose between levels, it’s important to think about what kind of responsibilities you are able to hold, and how much of your free time are you potentially willing to sacrifice for your job and your patients.
Examples for levels of nursing
Regulations and requirements vary greatly depending on which state or country you’re living in. Today we’ll focus on the levels in the US healthcare industry. Levels of nursing in the USA are typically designated by acronyms such as CNA, LPN, RN or APRN. For example, a CNA certified nurse is an assistant to other nurses in higher levels of nursing. CNA nurses typically handle cleanup duties involving hospital beds and patients, such as changing sheets or bathing patients if necessary. CNA’s can work in medical facilities or as home nurses. The LPN certified nurse is one step higher in levels of nursing. LPN nurses have longer education periods, typically available in colleges, and have greater responsibilities and authority. LPN nurses can administer drugs and are responsible for patient care, but they must always follow the instructions of senior nurses or certified doctors, and may never make their own decisions regarding patient treatment. RN and APRN nurses have some authority about the medical treatment of patients, but they still have to follow treatment instructions made by certified doctors.
How to decide on the right level of nursing
Before you even decide of what level nursing you’d choose, you need to ask yourself if you like caring for people. The higher your level of nursing, the more responsibilities and patient interactions you will have. The education process for higher levels of nursing is also more demanding, but that’s just the first step of your path. The most important test will be how you handle the emotional impact of working as a nurse in a medical facility. As previously mentioned, the job may offer great emotional fulfillment, but you may also witness great tragedy.