Explore a Career in Nursing

Explore a Career in Nursing

This course will help you discover what it takes to become an LPN or RN and all the exciting and rewarding opportunities that await you in the different fields of nursing. You’ll also get information on different types of nursing and specialties and things you can do with additional education.
6 weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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  • Details
  • Syllabus
  • Requirements
  • Instructor
  • Reviews

Details

Are you interested in a career that's meaningful and challenging with a great salary, benefits, and opportunities for advancement? You should think about becoming a nurse! No segment of the economy is growing faster than the healthcare industry, and nurses have more options than ever before. 

As you progress through the course, you'll learn about several different fields of nursing—from traditional bedside work to critical care areas, like the OR and ICU, to lesser known branches of the field, like nursing informatics. Basically, there's a nursing specialty for everyone, whether your dream is an adrenaline-fueled job in a fast-paced emergency department or a desk job working for the government. You'll also gain information about what you can do with a graduate degree in nursing, and take a quick peek at some of the other medical positions you might be interested in, like radiology technician or physical therapist. If you've ever thought about nursing, now is the time to find out more!

Enrollment Options:
Instructor-Led
6 weeks Access Course Code: ecn
Start Dates*Oct 16 | Nov 13 | Dec 11 | Jan 15
*Choose start date in cart
$115.00

Syllabus

In this first lesson, you'll discover some of the many benefits of becoming a nurse. The lesson will discuss the different pathways to getting a nursing diploma or degree, and then you'll look at the pros and cons of each. It will also talk about some things to think about before you seriously consider nursing school, like prerequisite classes and some of the skills that can help set you up for success. Got math? Are you a good multitasker? Do you like talking to other people? Great! If not, it's never too early to start practicing!

This lesson is a crash course in medical basics. Without getting too detailed, it will discuss some common medical acronyms, and you'll learn how to decode intimidating medical terminology. It will talk about the different types of doctors, equipment, and tests that nurses encounter and then finish up with an introduction to medical math. It sounds a little scary, but this lesson will serve as a foundation to understanding the ones that follow. The information presented here can be helpful whether you work in the medical field someday or just want to know a little bit more about what's really happening when you or your loved ones go to the doctor.

This lesson is all about nurse training. First, you'll take a look at exactly what happens in nursing school—from the coursework to the clinical rotations to the exams. But school is just the beginning! After graduation, there's the NCLEX licensing exam, where you'll demonstrate that you've learned enough to be a safe and competent nurse. Then, it'll be time for your first nursing position, where you might enroll in a nurse internship or residency, or you might receive additional training in your department. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a good idea of the different types of training you might go through on your path to becoming a nurse.

Today you're going to look at the three most common job settings for new nurses—hospital acute care, outpatient clinics, and long-term care facilities. You'll learn about the different specialties you can pursue in each area, the colleagues you might work with, and what working as a nurse in these three areas is really like.

Many people consider ER, OR, and ICU nursing the most exciting fields of nursing! This lesson will discuss what it's really like to work in these settings—and how this compares to what you see on TV. You'll learn how ERs triage patients, what it means to scrub or circulate in the OR, the different types of ICUs, and a whole lot more.

There are certain fields in nursing that require more care and compassion than others. This lesson will discuss psychiatric nursing, hospice nursing, case management, and health coaching. These positions are less likely to be adrenaline-fueled, but they're rewarding in their own ways. These are careers that focus on the counseling and patient advocacy roles of nursing. The lesson will discuss psychiatric hospitals and substance abuse centers and the people you'll work with there, as well as some of the most common tasks in working with patients who are dying and those who are looking to maintain good health and healthy practices.

This lesson is about careers that focus on the research, education, management, and change agent roles of nursing. You'll look at research nursing, informatics nursing, and legal nurse consulting. Although most nurses working in these fields have at least a year of clinical nursing experience, none of these positions requires additional certification or degrees.

What have you heard about community health nursing? This is a specialty that encompasses a variety of positions, from school nurses to prison nurses to Red Cross disaster relief nurses. Community health nurses engage in all six of the nursing roles, with heavy focus on education, patient advocacy, and being a change agent. You'll explore what it really means to be a community health nurse by learning where you'll work and what you might be doing.

This lesson is for wanderers! You'll explore everything from working as a travel nurse in a neighboring town to taking to the high seas as a member of the Navy Nurse Corps. You'll also look at medical mission work like Doctors Without Borders and Mercy Ships. If you want to use your nursing skills while seeing the world, get ready to love this lesson.

No nursing survey course would be complete without touching on pediatric and obstetric nursing. You'll take a look at these specialties and then check out a few other nursing positions that involve working on a team instead of in a department. Finally, you'll take a quick peek at what it means to be a charge nurse or nurse manager.

This lesson is for overachievers and forward thinkers. Maybe you want to be a nurse but you know you're going to want to do more than basic clinical nursing. You might be thinking about teaching or hospital administration. Or perhaps you want to become a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist. You'll look at all of those options in this lesson!

What if you've gone through this course so far and learned about nursing school and licensing exams and the different fields of nursing, but you still don't know if nursing is right for you? That's okay! This final lesson will recap the highs and lows of nursing and give you some ideas about alternatives to becoming a nurse. You'll also look at some strategies for getting more information so you can be armed with the knowledge you need to make a decision.

Requirements

  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Requirements:

Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Other:

  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Notes:

  • Although the education, salary, and licensing information pertains to US nurses only, the skills and specialties described in this course are not specific to the US and therefore it is appropriate for international enrollment. Additionally, the information provided would also be relevant to foreign students hoping to study or work in the US.

Prerequisites:

There are no prerequisites to take this course.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Instructor

Paula Suhr Paula Suhr

Donna is a registered nurse, with experience in remote nursing, tertiary care operating room, and long-term care administration, amongst other areas. She has been involved in many aspects of the nursing profession, including teaching medical terminology and mentoring operating room nurses. She has a degree in health administration and is currently a master’s student in learning and technology.

Reviews

I always thought learning online would be tough. Paula made it easy and comfortable for me. I really enjoyed it. Thank you!

I feel even more knowledgeable regarding the nursing field. This course has solidified my decision. Nursing covers every profession that I would enjoy doing.

Your class was excellent! It gave me far more information and insight than I imagined it would. As an instructor you are personable and engaging.

I am about to start my journey to college to become a nurse. This course really helped give me new ideas and perspectives about if this is what I really want to do. Due to this course, I am now enrolled in my University's ROTC Army Nursing program - something I never would have known about if I did not take this course. One lesson really stood out to me and sparked my interest to further research what nursing jobs the military has to offer. Thank you!

I really appreciated the interaction, discussion questions, and how personable Paula was. I liked that she included examples of her own experiences in the nursing field.

I learned more about nursing than I had expected. The way you presented the information was wonderful. Thank you for organizing such a great class!

I have learned so much, by taking this course. I had no idea on how broad the nursing field was, or even how many different fields of nursing you can train for. I am overly excited and eager to move forward in the field of nursing.

I really liked the instructor's writing style. It kept me interested in reading about the subject. I also liked personal stories and comments. It made the course more grounded and realistic than just reading a typical school book. Good work! I'm a male in my late 30s, and thinking about going back to school and becoming a nurse. If I knew Paula Suhr was going to teach there I would not hesitate to enroll.

I liked this course so much that I found myself looking forward to the two days a week that lessons were posted. The lessons themselves led me to do more independent research, prompted questions that I asked and that were wonderfully answered in the discussion section. The instructor is so kind, eager and willing to share her knowledge and experience! I'm so glad that I took this course. It reaffirmed my decision to change careers!

I loved everything about this course-- the videos, the interactive games, the interviews. I also loved how the instructor responded to every post and encouraged discussion.