An excellent doctor and exceptional healthcare facility are only one part of a quality healthcare experience for patients. Nurses – who often are the first medical professional patients see during treatment – are a vital component in the administration of healthcare services.

Nurses are responsible for checking patient vitals and collecting medical histories. They may discuss symptoms and medical concerns with a patient, and if a patient is injured, nurses often are tasked with the initial treatment of those injuries. Assisting during surgical procedures and during the recovery process also are common duties for nurses.

In order to work in the industry, nurses must secure a post-secondary education through an accredited program. Areas of study include anatomy and physiology, microbiology, chemistry, behavioral sciences and nutrition. They also will be required to sit for the National League of Nursing exam.

There are three levels of nursing degrees available. The intended career path within nursing will determine which degree is necessary. In addition to a formal education, nurses also are required to be licensed in order to practice. Licensing requirements vary by state.

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