Just as there are many types of personalities in people, there are many careers in nursing to fit each one’s individuality and disposition. As you embark upon your quest to obtain your online degree in nursing, you may or may not have a career goal set in stone just yet. With that in mind, you may choose to spend your career administering bedside care or perhaps, work your way up to management or become an educator of nursing. There are so many to choose from so, let’s take a look at a few, beginning with the starting position.
A Staff or Bedside Nurse works as part of a team providing bedside care to their patients. Most likely, they are considered Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). As a bedside nurse, you will be responsible for measuring a patient’s vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, respiration and pulse rate, in addition to, assisting with bathing, dressing, eating, toileting and brushing teeth. A CNA also is responsible for transporting patients from the bed to the wheelchair and for collecting urine and stool samples, as well as, changing bed pans and linens. The LPN is allowed to administer medications and communicate information to the patient. The CNA and the LPN reports to the Charge Nurse. A LPN generally requires a two-year associate degree with classroom and clinical setting participation and a passing grade on the NCLEX-PN exam. A CNA requires a training program that covers basics and the passing of a competency exam.
A Charge Nurse is typically called a Registered Nurse (RN) and they are responsible for the day-to-day patient care on a specific shift and nursing unit. RN’s assist the doctor in providing the best possible care including dispensing medication and monitoring the patient’s recovery. They are to uphold all policies and procedures as required by the facility and possess strong clinical and leadership skills. A RN reports to the Nurse Manager or Head Nurse. An online Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) is recommended.
A Nurse Manager, also known as the Unit Manager or Head Nurse, is usually responsible for more than one unit at a time and oversees the everyday operations including patient care and financial budgeting. They work closely with physicians, patients and unit nurses. An online Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) is required and an online Master’s degree is recommended for this management position.
Perhaps a role in leadership is your career goal. Like that of the Head Nurse, several other positions may apply at this level. The Director of Nursing Services (DONS), also known as the Director of Patient Care Services (DOPCS) has a large administrative role and some clinical detail. This position requires an online Master’s degree and reports to the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO).
The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), the Chief Nurse Executive (CNE) or the Director of Nursing (DON) is the highest ranking nurse. In this capacity, you are responsible for all nursing services and the administrative role that goes along with it. The CNO reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the facility. The educational requirements for this career usually involves owning an online Master’s degree or Ph.D.
As you can see, there are many roles for you to choose from and work towards, not to mention the specialty careers in nursing that are also available. If you are interested in learning more about nursing options, please check out our Top Online Nursing Degree Programs.