Massachusetts Center for Nursing
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becoming a nurse

Are you thinking of becoming a nurse? Nursing is an exciting and challenging career choice. It offers men and women an abundant and expanding choice of practice specialties and settings.

Nursing challenges you to develop your:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Decision making skills
  • Teamwork & team building skills
  • Creativity
  • Communication skills
  • Educational preparation
  • Mastery of technical skills & procedures
  • Humanity

In return, as a nurse you gain the opportunity to make a difference in the life of every person you meet.

There is a tremendous need for nurses in all practice settings.

Few careers offer so much!

There are several ways to begin your career in nursing. First, you must choose a career entry point - Nursing Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse, or Registered Nurse. Geographic location, previous work experience, educational credentials, shift and work schedules, and specific duties all affect salary levels. Check with individual employers to learn more about a particular position and their compensation packages.

Nursing Assistant (NA) - Nursing Assistants help patients with basic care activities such as bathing, and dressing, feeding patients or serving meals and walking. They work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse. Nursing Assistant positions require the least amount of formal training. Nursing Assistants have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and expand their employment options by becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, CNA. To become certified, you must successfully complete a 75-hour CNA training course and pass a competency exam. Search the MCN School of Nursing Program Database or visit: www.longtermcarecareers.org/train.php for more information on CNA Training programs.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) - LPNs are licensed by the Masachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. The LPN participates in direct and indirect nursing care, health maintenance, teaching, counseling, collaborative planning, and rehabilitation to the extent of his or her experience. To become an LPN you must complete a one-year LPN program at a community college or a vocational school, and then pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Search the MCN School of Nursing Program Database to find LPN programs.

Registered Nurse (RN) - RNs are licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. RNs develop, implement, evaluate, and modify plans of care for individuals, families, and communities including the coordination and management of resources for care delivery. RNs work to support a restoration of health or provide comfort and death with dignity for their patients. You must decide which kind of nursing program you want to attend - a two-year Associate Degree Program or a four-year Bachelor Degree Program, (BSN). Either program allows you to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The BSN degree allows you greater career flexibility and upward mobility. Search the MCN School of Nursing Program Database to find RN programs.

Search the MCN School of Nursing Program Database to find the nursing program that fits your needs. Visit the MCN Frequently Asked Questions section to learn more about nursing in Massachusetts.

Practice Settings for Nurses
While the career possibilities for nurses are almost endless, most nursing positions are in one of the following categories:

Hospital Care
Home Care
Long-term Care
Occupational Health
Public Health
Other

Career Changers- Do you have a college degree in a field other than nursing? Are you dissatisfied with your current career choice? Have you become aware of the excitement and benefits of a career in nursing? Becoming a nurse is an excellent second career choice. Explore the options nursing offers you.

Financing Your Education
School is expensive, but there are financial scholarships, resources, and programs available to help you pay for your education. The MCN Scholarship Database contains information on nursing scholarships. The ** Financial Aid Resource Guide ** and ** Summary Table of Scholarships, ** developed by the Boston Private Industry Council, is a reference for financial aid planning.

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