The first question you should ask yourself is, do I need validation for every job I do? Because the medical field can at times seem thankless. The needs of others come before your own. There are numerous reasons to want to help people, but good intentions can only go so far. Maybe you want to become a doctor or a nurse, because you’ve seen firsthand what a sickness can do to a loved one. Whatever the reason may be it’s not a career choice that should be made overnight.
Now for nursing, there are two main titles. There are RN (Registered Nurse) and NP (Nurse Practitioner) that make up the nursing community. At hospitals, the nurse is the one who interacts the most with the patient. As doctors make their rounds throughout the hospital, it’s the nurses who spend the most time with patients; the ones who clean up the bodily fluids, who administer the medication, who follow the doctor’s orders and so on. Then there are the LPN (Licensed) and RPN (Registered), where the LPN looks after the frail and sometimes unstable patients and the RPN looks after those who are only stable. Now there are the nursing schools, which tend to put their students through the ringer, so to speak. They’re constantly on call – attendance is mandatory if you wish to become a nurse and no matter how tired a student is at the end of the day, they have to be on their feet again for the next shift. Crying at nursing school is common. In order to get the title of RN, there is the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) which calls upon all of the skills (pharmaceutical, biology, etc.) but, and this is an important but, there are also instances where the nurse will be asked to evaluate situations based on their analysis. The RN has to be rational in their field – not everyone is going to get better and the mortality of the matter is something that confronts them on a daily basis.
But what if you don’t want to become a nurse. What if you want to be a doctor? Well, there’s the standard 4 years to get your B.A. Then another 4-5 years in Med school and only after you pass your medical board certification, and then you may call yourself a doctor. But wait! You’re not going to start practicing yet, because you have to pay your dues as a resident, which is basically your apprenticeship as a student (again with the schooling) under experienced doctors at a hospital. If you’re going to be treating sick people, well they don’t want just anyone who has come off the street – the residency may take one or five years. What’s important is that you’re realizing that your career as a doctor is in its infant steps and you’re always going to be learning.