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Healthcare

What Is a Nurse?

Nurses create plans of care, while collaborating directly with patients, patient’s family members, therapists, physicians, and team members to improve quality of life and treat the illnesses of their patients. This healthcare profession focuses on the care of families, individuals, and communities, so they can maintain, attain, or recover quality of life and optimal health. Many nurses administer care beneath the jurisdiction of physicians, which has led to the idea of nurses as subordinate. However, in certain settings and depending on their training levels, nurses can practice independently. Nurses differ from other healthcare professionals in their approach to training, patient care, and the scope of their practice. In the U.S, depending on state regulations, advanced practice nurses can even go so far as to diagnose health problems and prescribe therapies and medications.

What Do Nurses Do?

A nurse provides patients care. It is the largest healthcare profession in the United States, but has many specialties within it, from geriatrics and palliative nursing for end-life patients to working in the NICU with newborns.

Nurses work in structured environments. In the hospital setting, they follow strict protocols when handling patient care and coordinating with staff members and doctors. They help prepare patients for surgeries and treatments, they administer medication, and help surgeons and doctors with procedures and daily tasks. Nurses also educate patients by sharing their knowledge about lifestyle and health changes.

How to Become a Nurse?

Becoming a nurse requires graduating from a nursing program in order to become licensed. Most employers hire nurses with at least a bachelor’s degree because they receive a more comprehensive education. However, an associate’s degree takes less time to complete and will theoretically allow them to enter the workforce earlier.

Most classes on the track of pursuing a nursing degree are focused on mathematics and science, biology, medical terminology, and the ability to memorize information is a must. Additionally, passing drug screening and a background check are also near-guaranteed requirements for anyone in the healthcare industry, given the fact that healthcare workers are entrusted with life or death situations.

How Much Does a Nurse Make?

Nurses typically make between $40k and $86k a year. The average salary for a nurse is $60k a year. The greatest factors that affect salary for this occupation are experience, training, and location.

Minimum Salary: $39,803

Median Salary: $60,468

Maximum Salary: $85,921