Nurses hold the key to compassionate and comprehensive patient care. As a registered nurse, your role extends beyond administering medications and monitoring vital signs. You are an invaluable part of the healthcare team, providing emotional support to patients and their families during challenging times.
Your expertise in the nursing process and dedication to delivering quality nursing care significantly impact public health- and you can start preparing for this journey as early as high school.
Below, we’ll explore the key high school classes you should consider if you want to become a nurse. Additionally, we’ll delve into how Davis & Elkins College can play a vital role in helping you reach your future nursing goals.
Prepare for a Nursing Career in High School
High school is the perfect time to prepare for a future nursing career. Students can lay a strong foundation for their undergraduate studies and beyond by focusing on specific subjects and engaging in relevant activities.
Science and Mathematics
Taking science and math courses in high school can provide students with the knowledge and skills required for a nursing career. These courses help build a solid understanding of scientific concepts, critical thinking abilities, and problem-solving skills. Some recommended science and math courses include:
- Anatomy and Physiology: The most important subjects for aspiring nurses. Many high schools offer advanced courses in anatomy and physiology. These classes provide an in-depth exploration of the human body’s structure and function, preparing you for the more intricate aspects of nursing education.
- Chemistry: Equips students with a basic understanding of chemical reactions, which is crucial in understanding medication administration.
- Biology: Introduces human anatomy, physiology, and other fundamental biological principles.
- Algebra and Geometry: Strong mathematical skills are vital for administering medications, calculating dosages, and interpreting medical data accurately.
- Statistics: Understanding statistics is valuable for interpreting research studies, patient outcomes, and medical data analysis.
English 101 and Communication
- English 101 Composition: Taking English 101: Composition can boost your writing and speaking skills, crucial for tasks such as patient records, reports, and talking with patients and medical teams.
- Foreign Language: Learning another language is advantageous, especially in healthcare settings with diverse patient populations. It can help you connect more effectively with patients who speak a different language.
Health and Wellness
Health Classes: Some high schools offer health-related nutrition, exercise, and mental health courses. These classes can provide you with a well-rounded understanding of holistic patient care.
By taking these courses during high school, you can gain valuable knowledge that will benefit you in your future nursing career. Nursing programs at colleges and universities often require prerequisites related to these subjects. A solid educational background in biology, chemistry, anatomy, mathematics, and English can give you a competitive edge when applying for nursing programs.
Whether you plan on pursuing diploma programs or degree programs in nursing after high school, having a solid foundation in these areas will set you up for success. So take advantage of the opportunities available to you during your high school years.
In Addition to High School Classes, Further Prepare for Your Career by Considering the Following Options
Joining HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) is a fantastic opportunity for students interested in nursing. Joining, enables you to participate in competitions, gain leadership skills, and network with other aspiring healthcare professionals.
HOSA offers various benefits to its members. One such advantage is the chance to attend conferences and learn from experts in the field. The events provide valuable insights into the latest advancements and trends within the nursing profession.
Being part of HOSA demonstrates your dedication and commitment to the nursing profession. It showcases your desire to excel and contribute to the healthcare community while connecting with like-minded individuals.
Joining HOSA opens doors to numerous opportunities for growth and development. Here are some key benefits:
- Competitions: Engage in friendly competitions that test your skills and knowledge in various healthcare areas.
- Leadership Skills: Enhance your leadership abilities through workshops, seminars, and hands-on experiences.
- Networking: Connect with fellow students, professionals, and potential mentors who can support your journey toward becoming a nurse.
- Conferences: Attend conferences where you can learn from industry experts and stay up-to-date with advancements in nursing.
- Community Involvement: Engage in community service projects that positively impact people’s lives.
- Training Programs: Access specialized training programs that equip you with essential skills needed for a successful career as a nurse.
Being a part of HOSA allows you to join a group with a strong history of supporting individuals who want to pursue a healthcare career. This is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on.
Apply for Nursing Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteering at hospitals or clinics is a fantastic way to gain valuable work experience and immerse yourself in healthcare settings. It provides hands-on learning opportunities that greatly benefit students interested in becoming nurses.
Volunteering allows you to observe nurses in action, witnessing firsthand how they handle various situations and interact with patients. This exposure will enable you to understand the day-to-day responsibilities of nurses and gives you a glimpse into the rewarding nature of their work.
Moreover, volunteering also opens doors for building connections within communities. These connections can prove beneficial when applying for nursing programs later on. Networking with healthcare professionals and other volunteers may provide insights, recommendations, or potential references that could enhance your chances of getting accepted into nursing school.
To summarize the benefits of applying for nursing volunteer opportunities:
- Gain valuable work experience in healthcare settings.
- Observe nurses in action and understand their responsibilities.
- Interact with patients and learn from real-life scenarios.
- Build connections within communities that can support your future endeavors.
Additional Ways to Prep for Nursing School in High School
Shadowing a Nurse
Shadowing a nurse is a great way to gain insights into the daily routine of a nurse and determine if it’s the right career path. By observing their work, you can understand their challenges and the skills they utilize regularly.
BLS or First Aid Certification Courses
Taking Basic Life Support (BLS) or first aid certification courses can enhance essential life-saving skills required as a nurse. These courses provide valuable knowledge on responding to emergencies, which is crucial in healthcare.
Part-Time Jobs or Internships in Healthcare Settings
Seeking part-time jobs or internships in healthcare settings can provide practical experience and exposure to the healthcare field. This hands-on experience allows you to understand better patient care, teamwork, and the overall dynamics of working in a medical environment.
Job Outlook and Career Opportunities for Nurses
The demand for nurses is expected to grow significantly in the coming years due to an aging population and increased healthcare needs. This means that plenty of nursing positions will be available.
Nurses have a wide range of career opportunities, allowing them to work in various settings such as:
- Research facilities
- And more
Specializing in specific areas within nursing can open up even more career options. For example, becoming a pediatric nurse allows you to work with children, while specializing in oncology lets you focus on cancer patients. Critical care nursing provides opportunities to work in intensive care units or emergency departments.
Nurse practitioners are another avenue within the nursing profession that offers expanded responsibilities and autonomy. With advanced education and training beyond a basic nursing degree, nurse practitioners can diagnose illnesses, prescribe medications, and provide primary healthcare services.
Travel nursing offers nurses a unique and fulfilling opportunity to explore new places, gain diverse experiences, and positively impact patient care. With the flexibility to choose assignments across various healthcare settings and locations, travel nurses can expand their skills, establish professional networks, and enjoy the adventure of living in different cities or countries.
Davis & Elkins College: Your Path to Nursing Success
Davis & Elkins College offers a comprehensive nursing program that adequately prepares students for the NCLEX-RN exam and successful careers in nursing. With a focus on providing hands-on clinical experiences and developing critical thinking skills, our program equips graduates with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel in the field.
Start Preparing for Your Future Today
Now that you have a solid foundation for preparing for a nursing career in high school, it’s time to take action. Start by researching local hospitals or healthcare facilities where you can volunteer or shadow nurses. Look into scholarships and grants available specifically for aspiring nurses. Connect with professionals in the field through networking events or online communities. And most importantly, stay focused on your goal and continue working hard towards becoming a nurse.