So you’ve decided you want to pursue a career in nursing? That’s great! If you’ve always had a passion for helping people and you love to learn more about how the human body works, a career as a nurse is a premium option for you. This is an incredibly admirable career path that involves rigorous study and clinical practice before you get out into the field on your own. You’ll need to pursue a nursing degree and get a specific license before you can begin work in this field on your own.
There are plenty of different ways you can pursue this kind of education, and it’s important to know what to expect as you begin your journey through nursing school. No matter what nursing specialty you want to go into, you’ll end up taking classes in all areas to help you become the most well-rounded practitioner you can be. Plus, learning about all the different areas will allow you the opportunity to truly decide what interests you the most to pursue that future path.
Before you dive into your schooling, though, it’s important to understand what kind of program will best fit your needs. Some learners are incredibly hands-on and need to be in the classroom from day one. Others may enjoy the flexibility of an online program that they can complete at their own pace.
Perhaps you’re already practicing as a nurse and want to go back to a graduate program to get a master’s in nursing or a specific specialty. Wilkes University masters programs offer flexible courses of study for applicants to explore. You can gain new insights into the field and grow your experience with inpatient and outpatient services through the kinds of graduate degree programs offered by Wilkes. Find extra success in your field by committing to your education and finding the right path for you. Once you do start your degree program, whether at Wilkes University or anywhere else, here are some courses you may end up taking.
1. Understand healthcare as an industry, including health insurance
It is impossible to understand the healthcare industry without knowing something about health insurance. Private health insurance comes in many shapes and sizes and can determine the way you handle a patient’s physical health. Different treatment plans will be available to you based on someone’s specific health coverage. Learn how to compare plans and navigate things like deductibles, premiums, and primary care practitioners so you can help your patients with advanced knowledge of these nuances. Chances are patients you encounter at a clinic or hospital will be a tad confused about their specific health care options, so it may be up to you to navigate their insurance plan and set them up with the best care team.
2. Learn about psychology and mental healthcare
Health conditions span throughout all areas of the body. This means that mental and behavioral health is equally as important as physical health. Therefore, you’ll end up taking psychology classes as well as courses to help you understand mental health issues. This will also help you come at issues as a more compassionate and empathetic nurse overall. At the end of the day, you are treating so much more than just your patient’s body, but you are also helping to ease their mind. Whether it’s a kid nervous about getting a shot or a patient who was just diagnosed with cancer, you’ll be better prepared to comfort them in light of those issues when you have a background in psychological medicine.
3. Study the ethics behind nursing
Working as a nurse is very different than working in most fields. You’re going to come up against many ethical questions you may not face in a career in marketing or interior design. You’ll be dealing with life or death situations, having to keep confidential information, and having to keep professional codes of conduct in the workplace. This is why many nursing programs will include a course on nursing ethics for undergraduate majors. Beyond just learning health information, you need to learn how to best protect that health information in your profession. Learning ethics helps you become a better nurse.
4. Be ready to take plenty of biology classes and specialty courses.
As a nurse, you are going to be working with the human body, plain and simple. This is why many of your classes will be based on biology. You’ll be taking classes like biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy, and physiology. These are all the basic course information you’ll need to help with treatment programs down the line. Once you have the basics down, you’ll move into specialty courses for specific subsets of the population. You’ll have to take women’s health and the basics of pediatric care. You’ll also have a rotation where you learn about geriatric patients, and one that focuses on mental health. Having knowledge of biology during all times of life will play an important role in your future career.