What is a Nurse?


Nurses are professionals in the health care field who combine the fine art of caring with scientific skills and knowledge.

What is a nurse?

A nurse is a highly trained and skilled professional who cares for the sick and infirm. A nurse helps to educate patients in issues of healthy living and wellness
as well as any current or chronic disease process and treatment. A nurse performs treatments and procedures as prescribed by physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
Nurses combine the fine art of caring with scientific knowledge and skills acquired throughout their education and careers. Nursing is a lifelong learning experience. Nurses work in many different settings and perform duties related to the setting in which they work. A nurse's Scope of Practice is defined by the level of education and license earned.

Characteristics of Nurses
Nurses need to have a great deal of compassion for their fellow human beings. They have to have good communication skills in both listening as well as speaking and writing in the language of the area in which they practice. Nurses have to be patient and they often have to have a thick skin. Patients are usually ill or concerned about their health status and are not at their best.

Yes, Nurses Have to be Good at Math and Science!
Nurses have to be good at math and science and have to be able to read and write at least at a tenth grade level. Nursing is not just about performing care. It is about understanding anatomy and physiology as well as body chemistry. It is also about understanding disease processes and treatments so as to be able to educate patients in layman's terms.

Documentation is Vital!
Nursing is also about documentation; writing down (charting) findings from their assessments, treatments and procedures performed (including instructions given to the patient) and the reaction or outcomes of those procedures. Communication is vital to successful outcomes for patients. Other nurses and doctors need to be able to pick up a chart and understand exactly what was done and what the outcomes were. Many nurses detest this part of nursing, but it is an essential part. Nurses need to know how to write effectively.

Nursing Education
Nurses are Registered Nurses (RNs) or Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurses (LPN/LVNs) depending upon the education and preparation/training they have received. After graduation from an accredited school of nursing, the sit for a licensing examination. In the U.S this is known as the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN.
Nursing education typically ranges from a 12-15 month program for the LPN to 2-4 year programs for RNs who earn either an Associates degree or Bachelors degree in nursing. RNs can continue their education and earn Masters degrees and even a PhD in nursing. Men as well as women can become nurses at all levels.
Education for nurses is a lifelong commitment. Nurses in the U.S. must renew their licenses every 2-3 years and most states require continuing education courses in order to renew. Learning something new everyday for nurses is one of the perks to keeping a career exciting and invigorating.