Nurses earn a mean annual wage of $67,930, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and
the demand for compassionate and skillful nurses is expected to grow by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020. The journey to become a nurse requires a bachelor's degree or an associate's degree, which means two to four years in the classroom as well as clinical experience in a hospital or clinical setting.
If you are a busy mom already juggling kids and work, finding the time to complete a nursing degree may seem impossible, but the wide selection of online Nursing programs available and the recent expansions in learning technologies are making this career path more feasible.
There are online programs available that allow students to study both the science and art of nursing. In addition to covering diagnoses, anatomy, drugs, and other science-based topics, aspiring nurses can also learn interpersonal skills like how to be sensitive to patients and their families. These programs appeal to busy people who don't have the time to attend classes during conventional hours, but they are often used by nurses who are ready to take their career to the next level as well.
Masters in Nursing
Nurse practitioners armed with masters degrees can diagnose, treat, and manage a number of diseases and conditions, according to the National Library of Medicine. Nurse practitioners work in cardiology, women's health, or other areas of health care, and they usually earn more and have more responsibilities than their nursing peers. Some nurses even use their master's degree as a launchpad into the administration side of healthcare.
Thanks to simulations, many student nurses can now bypass the requirement to shadow professional nurses. This makes pursuing a nursing degree easier for students who are juggling multiple responsibilities or nurses who live in remote areas with few shadowing opportunities.
Advance Healthcare Network reports that nurses can simulate oxygen delivery, work with infusion pumps, and practice other procedures in simulation learning centers. In addition to making learning more flexible for students, simulations also give nurses the chance to think more critically in a safe environment. Students can take a few moments to be extra thoughtful about a situation, without the pressure of worrying that they may lose a real patient with the wrong decision.
Apps Lighten the Load
With your bag already packed to the brim with sippy cups, extra clothing, and other kid-related supplies, you probably don't even have the energy or the strength to haul a massive bag of nursing textbooks around with you. Luckily, there are a host of apps, designed to lighten the load for nursing students.
Apps like Nursing Central have copies of essential reference books like Davis' Drug Guide, selected MEDLINE journals, Taber's Medical Dictionary, and others on them. Essentials for busy students, these apps also prepare aspiring nurses for the use of apps professionally. Recent studies indicate that 90 percent of healthcare professionals avoid misdiagnoses and prescription mishaps when they double check things with apps, according to Medlineplus. Studies like these prove that much of the technology that can help busy people to get nursing degrees will soon be popping up in professional settings as well.