Life Advice

Career Tips for Aspiring Nurses

Nursing is a long-standing medical profession. Every year, thousands of people join the nursing field. Nurses provide primary care to patients in hospitals, help complete medical tests, and update medical records.

Nurses must complete postsecondary training and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become licensed nurses. There are multiple steps you can take to help you achieve your career goals. Read on to explore some tips to help you prepare for a nursing career.

Take basic life support (BLS), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and first aid

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Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) must have CPR training to work in their field. Registered nurses (RNs) must have BLS, CPR, and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) training. Completing this training before you enter the field ensures you have the credentials you need for your career. Aspiring nurses also benefit from taking first aid because the training familiarizes students with emergency medical tasks they may perform as nurses. If you find you’re squeamish during first aid training, you may struggle in a nursing career.

Manage your documents for applications and taxes

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Once you start training, you’ll need to document your courses and expenses. You may need to show course documentation and certificates as part of your postsecondary program or job applications. Custom pocket folders are excellent for storing documentation, so you don’t lose records vital for your career.

Taxpayers can also claim the tuition when filing taxes. Purchase tax return mailing envelopes for submitting your tax records. Choose between a white envelope, an envelope with a design, or a tax software envelope. You can also opt to use an income tax records envelope to store receipts throughout the year, ensuring you claim all expenses when you file your taxes.

Complete a relevant training program

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Although you may aspire to be a nurse, you may not have the funds available to attend college and complete your degree. You can work towards your career goal and gain relevant experience by completing a medical secretary program. It’s possible to earn a medical secretary diploma in just eight months of postsecondary training. Accredited programs offer credit for prior training, eliminating their need to repeat training.

Medical secretary programs benefit aspiring nurses because students learn medical terminology. Medical secretary programs also cover medical office procedures, ensuring nurses who work in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and dentists’ offices are familiar with office procedures. Medical secretaries learn how to do medical billing and update electronic medical records, which nurses may also perform. You can gain relevant, practical experience working in a medical office while completing postsecondary training. Once you earn your nursing credentials, you’ll have professional connections to help you find a nursing position.

Set a career goal

There are multiple types of nurses, and it’s a good idea to learn about the different nursing roles and options to determine what type of training you need for your nursing career.

Nursing assistants can earn a certificate after a few months of postsecondary study. They provide patient care and work under the supervision of nurses and other medical staff. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports nursing assistants earned median annual incomes of $30,830 in May 2020 and could expect job opportunities to increase by eight percent between 2019 and 2029.

During the same 10-year period, the BLS reports that LPNs and LVNs will see job prospects increase by 9%, while opportunities for RNs will grow by seven percent. The BLS also indicates LPNs and LVNs earned median annual salaries of $48,820 in 2020, while RNs took home $75,330. LPNs and LVNs can enter their field with a certificate or diploma and a nursing license. RNs typically have an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree.

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) include nurse practitioners (NPs) who assess and diagnose patients. NPs must have a master’s degree. The BLS projects opportunities for NPs to increase by 52 percent between 2019 and 2029. The median annual income for NPs was $111,680 in May 2020.

Once you set a career goal, you can pursue the appropriate training for your career.

Aspiring nurses should take relevant programs in CPR and first aid to prepare for their careers. They may also benefit from gaining practical experience working as a medical secretary.