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Interested in gaining a doctor of nursing? What you should know

If you’re considering a nursing career or looking at ways to progress in your current nursing career, you may have considered a Doctor of Nursing qualification. Here’s what you need to know about qualifications, the duties involved and your chances of progression.

The qualifications

There are lots of roles and way to progress within nursing, so it’s no surprise that they are several different qualifications you can opt for. Amongst others, online accelerated RN programs are popular, because of the speed of learning and the financial savings compared to the same or similar courses taught offline.

You can often build on qualifications you already have to progress within your nursing career.

Nursing opportunities

There are many opportunities if you qualify and/or gain enough experience. These include working as a family nurse practitioner, a midwife, in an emergency room or various leadership or administration roles.

Which one you choose depends on what you excel at within nursing. If you want to focus more on inspiring and supporting your team, or passing on knowledge and experience to others, a leadership or administration role might be right for you.

For those who prefer a fast-paced and varied environment where they need to think fast, an emergency room might be a good fit. You will deal with patients who have sustained injuries or experienced persistent symptoms of yet undiagnosed health conditions but are unlikely to have visited the family doctor. You should also be prepared to expect the unexpected.

If you prefer a more personalized approach where you get to know your patients, working in a practice could suit you. You will have registered patients who visit you by appointment. You’re likely to see some more than others, for one or several different physical and mental health conditions, and referring some of these patients to specialists.

Some people like the idea of working as a midwife, because it involves being part of a team who help women to give birth. However, it can be a lot more challenging than just delivering newborns. You will need to support both the mother and baby and deal with any problems sensitively, showing empathy when it’s needed and acting fast if there are issues or concerns.

Progressing in nursing

Career progression is important to many people, and there are always chances to progress in nursing. As you build on existing qualifications or gain more experience, you’ll reach a level where you can look for other opportunities within your current role, but at a leadership level. Or you can sidestep and either specialize in a different field within nursing or decide to move into a more research-based role. Nursing can be a versatile career and once you have several qualifications, these can usually be built on with shorter qualifications, in-house training or by gaining relevant experience.

Although many people gain a Doctor of Nursing to pursue leadership roles, some just want to expand their opportunities for the future. It can take the time for further study, it can be considered an investment in your future, potentially opening up a choice of opportunities.

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