5 things to know if you’re considering a career in nursing

(PennLive) Thinking about a career in nursing? Here’s 5 things you should know:

  1. Know your acronyms: The nursing field is full of acronyms for titles and certifications. Understanding what they stand for will help you better prepare for your education and career goals. Popular ones are RN, Registered Nurse; BSN, Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing; MSN, Master’s of Science in Nursing; and CRNP, Certified Nurse Practitioner
  2. Weigh your education options: Whether you’re entering a nursing program from high school or part-time while balancing a family and job, it’s good to know what education options you have and what the requirements are for each level of degree. In addition to courses taught in regular classroom settings with day and evening options, many schools offer their programs online.
  3. You need a license: In order to become an RN in Pennsylvania, you must have a minimum of an associate degree in nursing from an accredited college or university approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. You then may either apply for licensure by examination or by endorsement.
  4. A BSN is preferred: With the Institute of Medicine’s call for 80 percent of all nurses to have a BSN by 2020, many employers are requiring their nurses to have this degree. It’s a good idea to plan for this when looking at nursing programs. If there is an employer you wish to work for, check to see what sort of education incentives they offer for nurses to complete their bachelor’s degree in what are called RN to BSN programs.
  5. You have to want it: While a lot of efforts have been made to make nursing programs as accommodating as possible, it’s safe to say coursework will still be at times incredibly intense and time consuming. Make sure you’re fully committed and in it for the right reasons.