Nurse: perspectives and career path

The retirement of nurses, the growing elderly population and increase in home care all explain the shortage of nurses that Canada is currently experiencing. Governments have decided to do something about promoting the nurse profession, which is the keystone of the health care system. The nursing profession is characterized by the variety of jobs, large responsibilities and excellent career opportunities, even more than previously.

DESCRIPTION

The nursing profession is interesting for the variety of areas (e.g. surgery, neurology, geriatrics) and working environments it can be practiced such as health care establishments, (long-term care centres, CLSCs, hospitals, youth centres, rehabilitation centres), medical clinics, humanitarian aid organizations, the army, prisons, schools and private companies.

Nursing must be exercised according to the values outlined in the Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA).

MAIN DUTIES

  • Assess the condition of patients.
  • Relieve pain.
  • Prevent and control infection.
  • Administer medication.
    Support patients.
  • Comfort patients and their family.

OTHER DUTIES DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF NURSING PROFILE:

Nurse clinician

Coordinate services and care of groups of patients.
Develop clinical tools working jointly with other professionals.

Nurse practitioner

Prescribe medication, examinations and treatments.

EDUCATION AND JOB REQUIREMENTS

There are two ways to get into the nursing profession:

  • the college route
  • via university, with a bachelor’s degree in nursing

Since the profession is regulated, nurses cannot practice unless they successfully pass their professional nursing order’s exam.

SKILLS

  • Show an interest in biology, health and technology.
  • Understand the human body and how it works.
  • Be proficient in evaluation and care methods.
  • Understand health care cultures.

QUALITIES

  • Good teamwork skills
  • Empathy and dedication
  • Good relationship skills
  • Ability to handle stress and deal with the unexpected
  • Openness to change

CAREER PATH

Nursing careers will depend on aspirations. With appropriate training, nurses can specialize in a field, teach nursing, or manage a team of nurses. They can also head into research.

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