The type of nurse you should be depends on three main factors. To help you decide on a specialty, determine what you want to invest in education, which areas of practice suit you best, and where you want to live and work as a nurse.
Are you interested in nursing but unsure about what kind of nurse you should become? We can help! Nursing specialties span many practice areas and finding which is best for you can be tricky. Luckily, Xavier University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program empowers you to “try on” different roles and find your calling as a nurse.
Nursing Career Paths
When it comes to nursing career paths, there’s nearly no limit to what you can choose. Consider these three main factors as you determine where you want your nursing journey to take you.
How long are you willing to spend furthering your education as a nurse? The Xavier ABSN program can help you earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in as few as 16 months.
However, if you want to level up your nursing education to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or even a Doctor of Nurse Practice (DNP), you’ll need to devote more time to education.
An MSN makes you eligible for advanced practice nursing roles like nurse practitioner and nurse midwife. A DNP is the highest level of nursing education and empowers you to be a leader in the clinical setting through patient care, research, and even policy implementation. A DNP will be required by 2025 to become a nurse anesthetist.
Specialization goes hand in hand with education, as nurses often need to hold certification and gain experience hours within their chosen specialty. If you already have an idea of what specialties you may be interested in, that’s wonderful! If you’re thinking, “Which nursing specialty is for me?” don’t worry.
The Xavier ABSN program is designed to teach you the core nursing knowledge you need to become a confident registered nurse (RN). Part of that curriculum is your clinical rotations. During this time, you’ll work in many areas within the hospital and other health-care facilities. As you learn about these specialties and see patients under the guidance of a clinical instructor, you’ll be able to effectively “try on” these specialized roles to better understand where your preferences lie.
Clinical rotations can take place in several areas, such as:
- Adult health
- Community health
- Mental health
Once you know which areas you want to work in, you can tailor your career toward that area. For example, if you like working in obstetrics, you might interview for jobs in hospital maternity units after you graduate. Later, you might even look into becoming a certified nurse midwife, leading you to gain your MSN in that area.
Location preferences are essential to your nursing journey in more ways than one. Consider the clinical setting where you want to work, and also think about the state, city, and region where you want to live.
Where You Want to Work
Nurses can work in a multitude of different locations. Your first step will be determining if you want to work in a hospital, clinic, or non-clinical setting.
Nursing offers plenty of specializations in hospitals and clinics, but there are many careers where nurses function in other spaces. Registered nurses can work in schools, homes, summer camps, or even on cruise ships. They can use their knowledge and experience to become legal nurse consultants, working with attorneys and in courts of law. Nurses can also become forensic nurses, aiding crime scene investigators and victims of crimes.
There are countless avenues to take when you have a BSN and some experience as an RN. So the setting you want to work in holds a lot of weight when determining your career aspirations.
Where You Want to Live
Similarly, the region you want to live in also comes into play. When you earn your BSN and pass the NCLEX, you’ll need to get a state license to practice as a registered nurse. The requirements can vary from state to state. However, you can apply for a multi-state license, also known as the Nurse Licensure Compact. This license qualifies you to practice in any compact state, including Ohio.
In this blog, find out more about how you can hold a nursing license in multiple states.
Another thing to think about when choosing where you want to be a nurse is the career opportunities available in the region.
If you enroll in our Cincinnati-based ABSN program, you’ll get first-hand experience with the top-notch health-care careers available here in Ohio. You’ll complete your clinical rotations at one or more of the following:
- Bon Secours Mercy Health
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
- The Christ Hospital Health Network
If you enroll in our Cleveland-based ABSN program, you’ll complete your clinicals at the renowned Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic is ranked the No. 1 hospital for heart care and is one of the country’s top hospitals on U.S. News & World Report’s best hospitals list for 2022 to 2023.
Where you get your first job as an RN matters, and Ohio has some of the country’s most renowned and respected health-care employers. At Xavier University, we can help you discover what kind of nurse you are meant to be.
Answer the Call to Nursing
If nursing is your calling, our second-degree Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is the answer. If you’re ready to begin your first semester of nursing school at Xavier University, contact our admission team today!
ABSN 101 Guide
Download our ABSN 101 Guide to help you successfully navigate the accelerated path to nursing.