There are few career paths to pursue that can be truly considered to be far more of a passion and vocation than merely a temporary, or even permanent, job role.
Becoming a teacher or nurse provides a myriad of benefits, from the financial to the physical and not to mention spiritual impact on your mental health and well-being.
Whichever stage you are at in your educational career, be that having just embarked upon your undergraduate career this year, are halfway through your postgraduate course or are considering a move to the administrative side of the sector, continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the pursuit of a career in teaching or nursing.
The Key Benefits Of Becoming A Teacher
There are a wide plethora of rewarding and incredibly rich advantages to choosing a career as a teacher, be that in a nursing specialism or not.
Perhaps not the most exciting or engaging point to make initially, but should you elect to follow a career in the education sector as a teacher, you are almost guaranteed a job for as long as you desire or need.
Skilled and educated teachers are highly sought after across the entirety of the country and, moreover, across the world.
Personal Growth & Fulfilment
Dedicating your professional life to the guidance, training, and teaching of others – no matter the individual’s age, abilities, or current education level – is undoubtedly a wholly selfless and altogether honorable thing to choose to do.
The personal and professional growth one experiences as they progress through the various career paths available to a qualified teacher are unrivalled, and as a result, teaching is one of the top careers that can affect not just your levels of professional happiness but your personal ones as well.
The Path To Becoming A Teacher
Dependent entirely on the area of education you would like to enter, different types of teachers obviously require different levels and types of qualifications.
Elementary School Teachers
If you have your heart truly set on becoming an elementary school teacher, you have to obtain a strong honors in a bachelor’s undergraduate degree. It would also be pertinent to point out that you may be required to study for a postgraduate degree in some states across the country.
Elementary school teachers deal with the early education of young children, and their main responsibilities as an educator are centered around the management of classrooms and individual classes, the instruction, and education of students, and the planning of lessons and grade work.
Based on the average salary of elementary school teachers, taken from a 2018 study, the average salary one can expect to earn once training and qualifications are completed is around the sixty-thousand-dollar mark.
Middle School Teachers
Middle school teachers are again required to have successfully obtained an undergraduate degree in most states before they are able to practice and, in addition to the general education of their pupils, also specialize in a subject of their choice.
Generally, the syllabus of middle schools in terms of the various subjects they teach their students is usually fairly similar and includes:
- Math’s (including geometry)
- English and Reading Workshops
- Science (including advanced science for eighth graders)
- Social Studies
- Spanish & French
- Family Science
- Performing Arts
- Physical Education
- Music & Art
As with elementary school teachers, educators working in middle schools are also required to apply for a license and all appropriate certifications.
High School Teachers
Arguably the most challenging of the three, high school teachers teach the wide range of subjects available at secondary education level, and according to numerous studies on average salaries across the United States, middle school teachers who are fully qualified can expect to earn around sixty four thousand dollars.
Professors and University Lecturers
To become a fully qualified university lecturer or college professor, you will most likely be required to complete an undergraduate degree, a postgraduate degree, and then a doctoral degree in most states.
Professors solely teach their specialized subject of study and usually they are the leading expert on that subject in the particular educational institution they work at. Professors deal with the education and instruction of students, creating the annual syllabus, grade work, and the publication of academic articles and academic discipline.
Unlike elementary, middle, and high school teachers, college professors, and university lecturers are not required to register for a license and possess certification to teach in such education establishments.
When selecting which undergraduate degree is best for your career progression into becoming a registered and licensed teacher, your choice should be wholly dependent on the subject you want to teach and the level at which you want to teach.
If, for example, you were to undertake an undergraduate degree in early childhood education, you would be best placed and top of an employer’s recruitment list who was looking for a kindergarten teacher, or else grades one to four inclusively. Alternatively, some colleges and universities offer undergraduate degrees that are more generalized and allow the student to not have to commit to the level of education until they have successfully completed their course.
How To Become A Nurse
As with a career in education, there is a fairly clear progression path for those people who are dedicated to pursuing a career in nursing.
Firstly, it is entirely necessary to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited academic college or university or attend an accelerated nursing program, either BSN, CNA, LPN or AND. It is crucial that you ensure, if choosing the latter option, to check that the particular course you are about to enroll on is actually accredited, as acquiring one that is likely to hinder your chances of future employment.
A CAN, or certified nursing program, is usually a four- to twelve-week program that results in the acquisition of a state nursing license after passing the CAN certification exam. An expected CAN salary can range between twenty-eight thousand and thirty-one thousand dollars per year, which averages out to be approximately $14.82 an hour.
A LPN, or licensed practical nurse, undertakes a full-time one year nursing program which culminates in the NCLEX-PN licensing exam. An average salary for a licensed practical nurse is approximately between forty five and fifty thousand dollar per year, which works out at around $23.47 per hour.
An RN, or registered nurse, completes an associated undergraduate degree in nursing, which is usually a two to three-year program that culminates in the NCLEX-PN examination. An average salary for a professional, registered working nurse is approximately seventy-five thousand dollars per year, which works out to be approximately $36.22 per hour.
An APRN, or advanced practice registered nurse, completes a postgraduate, master’s degree in the science of nursing over two to three years and also consists of working placements in hospitals and other medical institutions to work in a practical manner in the area of nursing specialism.
There are a variety of career paths to choose from after the successful acquisition of such a postgraduate degree in nursing, which include a certified nursing midwife ($111,100 per year), a nurse practitioner, ($111,600), a clinical nurse specialist ($106,100), a certified registered nurse anesthetist ($183,000) and a clinical nurse leader ($104,000).
Within the professional nursing and healthcare sector, there are also a plethora of non-clinical specialties and career paths that may be more suited to your future plans for your professional career and personal life. Such career paths include a nursing administrator ($89,000), a nursing educator ($77,000), a nursing informaticist ($77,900), and a nursing researcher ($72,000).
Other non-clinical nursing careers within the healthcare sector include, but are not limited to:
- Legal nurse consultant
Health care career coach
- Forensic nurse consultant
- Pharmaceutical researcher
- Dialysis nurse
- Case manager
- Medical journalist
- Clinical nurse researcher
- Nurse ethicist
After the successful acquisition of an accredited nursing qualification, it is then time to prove your knowledge, experience, and overall competency by the passing of an exam so you can earn your professional working nurse license. Registered nurses need to pass the NCLEx-RN nursing exam, regardless of the area of specialism that they attend to enter, although there will certainly be changes and alterations made to suit.
As previously stated, a working nurse is always learning new techniques, treatment methods, and medical knowledge and acumen. In addition, they are continuously using new software and equipment; from an updated care app to make the management and support of patients easier, to using new automated IV pumps, so your training will be far from over after your academic studies.
Postgraduates & Doctorates In Teaching & Nursing
As in any other area of academia, the successful acquisition of a postgraduate degree or doctorate in education or nursing, is the highest academic achievement possible in education.
There is a multitude of advantages to putting yourself through the challenging yet incredibly rewarding process of obtaining a doctorate, which includes:
- The extensive opportunities you will be afforded in terms of networking across a much larger geographical scope of the country
- The development of your time management and self-motivation skills
- The strengthening of your self-discipline
- The acquisition of new communication and people skills
- The broadening of your knowledge in all areas of the educational sector
- The acquisition of new technical and information technology skills
- Considerable genuine personal growth
Key Skills & Qualities Needed For A Career In Nursing & Teaching
Professional nursing and professional teaching careers are, have always been, and naturally always will be one of the most interactive professional vocations in communication with others. As a result, one’s people skills and overall communication skills are of significant importance to the nursing and teaching professions.
Aside from their people skills, there are more than a few other common traits and personality attributes that people working in the front-facing area of both education and healthcare usually possess, or else learn to project.
A selection of these traits include:
- Empathy and Compassion
- Improvisation and Resourcefulness
- Honesty and Authenticity
- Fair Minded Attitude
- A Sense of Humor
- Willingness to Learn
- An ethical approach
Modern Nursing & Associated Modern Responsibilities
Nursing is an ever-changing profession, and all registered working nurses are required to undergo regular courses and extra training to ensure they are entirely up-to-date on new treatments, medications, methods, and processes of care.
Particularly key duties and responsibilities of the modern nurse compared to their professional predecessors include learning the codes of ethics, theories, decision-making processes, and other procedures associated with their role, making for an altogether more challenging yet more rewarding nursing career.