What should you expect when studying a nursing degree?

If you are the sort of person who enjoys helping others and looking after people who are ill, then nursing may appeal as a career. This is a highly rewarding role and one that offers attractive benefits, such as the $70,000 per annum average salary for US nurses. For many though, entering the role is more about using their compassion to look after those in need and help people get the care they require.

As you would expect from such an important role, you need to get the right qualifications first to move into it. After all, no one would want a nurse treating them who wasn’t fully trained, and no hospital could legally employ you either! This makes getting the right training vital if you are determined to pursue a career in nursing.

Bachelor’s degree in nursing

One of the best qualifications to get is the bachelor’s degree in nursing – luckily, there are some fabulous institutions in the US where this degree is offered. Enrolling on this type of degree course will equip you with all the academic and practical skills needed to work in the nursing profession. Upon successfully graduating, you will also hold the necessary qualifications that are needed to enter the sector and that health care providers are looking for when recruiting staff.

What can you expect when studying a nursing degree?

Of course, before you sign up to study nursing, it is a good idea to get a feel for what to expect. The below should give you a broad view of what this kind of degree within health care entails.

  • Academic work – one of the first things to know about a nursing degree is that a lot of academic work will be required. This can be up to 25 hours per week on top of your practical work and sleeping! You really do need to be prepared for this and the workload it entails. One great advantage with some modern degrees is that the academic learning is done online. This means that you do not have to physically attend a lecture at a set time and can complete the work when you have the chance or prefer. 
  • Practical placements – the next thing to know about a nursing degree is that it will involve practical placements. This should actually be an exciting point though, as it will give you the chance to learn and meet real patients while doing something you love. While the hours on shift can be long, if you enjoy nursing, then it will not be an issue. You will usually spend around ten weeks in one department on placement before moving to another. This ensures a rounded skillset and the knowledge of all areas for when you have qualified. 
  • Assessments – on both academic work and practical work, you will be assessed throughout the course. Naturally, you will need to pass the assessments to the required standard to graduate. If exams or assessments worry you, then this is something to resolve before enrolling. 
  • Emotional experience – there is no doubt that you will find your nursing degree an emotional experience. This could well be happy though and not always sad. While dealing with distressed people may make you sad, there will also be plenty of times that you will laugh. Just be prepared to deal with this and you will be fine. 
  • Make some great friends – one great thing that you should expect when studying nursing is to make a bunch of new friends. When you are all going through the training, it will bring you all together and form a tight bond that will last into the future. Many nurses form life-long friendships with fellow students in this way on a nursing degree. 
  • Get ready to adapt and be busy – studying a nursing degree will keep you very busy! With the practical work and academic learning, you will not have much time for anything else apart from sleeping. Naturally, this is needed to gain the skills required and will be worth it when you qualify. You should also be ready to adapt to change quickly – sometimes, placements schedules can alter at short notice and you need to be able to deal with this.

Nursing is a fabulous career

Although the training can be demanding and high level, becoming a nurse is all worth it in the end. Studying for this kind of degree also has many positive benefits, such as making lifelong friends and developing you personally, which must be remembered. If you enjoy looking after people and want to do so for a career, then nursing is for you.