Career Planning for Registered Nurse

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The process of choosing a reasonable and appropriate career is currently considered as an issue of utmost concern. This is a fact that cannot in be overstated. Studies indicate how notable it is in real life situation when an individual makes decisions about their careers of interest and finally end up being frustrated. Thus, the word itself, “career,” may seem to appear simple but that one does not testify the truth of the matter. The fact is simple that choosing a career is not simple as it might look to most people. In other words, the process of selecting a job is far more than deciding what is needed to earn a living. This means that the process of choosing a job should not be underestimated by any mean possible (Lindman et al. 1817). However, some individuals are privileged enough when they find themselves where they wanted without actually struggling to put any effort (Flinkman and Sanna 1050).
The fact displayed above yet should not shed fear as the problem can be solved. While it is believed that the process of choosing a career is complicated, other individuals have found this process as simple as saying it. The process is entirely simple when a proper planning procedure is keenly followed. The simplicity in the process of career planning is as follows: self-assessment, career exploration, matching various explored careers and choosing the most ranked, and finally development of an appropriate career development plan. Within each stage, some activities are involved until a proper job is found. The four stages should be chronologically followed without skipping any since the result of every step is essential subsequently. In summary, the scenes can be described as discussed below.

Summary of the Steps in Career Development Plan

Stage 1: Self-Assessment

This marks the initial career planning stage. It is required that before one can decide what he or she wants to pursue as a career, self-acquaintance and an in-depth view is conducted, which is a matter of profound significance. This includes an understanding of interests, values, skills, preferred work, and environment and attitude. A career test is done to determine oneself trait and then correspondingly generating a list on the occupation that is good based on the information about him or her (Waddell et al. 166).

Stage 2: Career Exploration

Following self-assessment is the career exploration. At this time, an individual needs to turn to literature about the selected career to explore information about educational requirements, job description, training and licensing as well as the advancement opportunities.

Step 3: Matching of the Potentially Examined Careers

This entails an individual identification of the career upon doing an in-depth research about the many options that are developed.

Stage 4: Development of Career Action Plan

This included the development of an appropriate action plan, which now serves as a pathway towards determining what someone wants to become.
Having vividly described the concept of a career planning development, it is now right to cite two examples of a career option and the necessary plan in each career option with detailed information. The two types of career choices include registered nurse and physician assistant.

Registered Nurse (RN) Career

To begin with, there are various nursing specialties that include addiction, neonatology, geriatrics and pediatrics where the registered nurses work in these specialties. Researches reveal that they are in high demand and their recompense is excellent in most parts across the globe. In spite of the above fact, career choice development is still yet a very precautionary endeavor since a significant number of individuals have opted to quit pursuing this career for their reasons. Furthermore, there are some other vital negative sides of serving as a registered nurse. For instance, the registered nurse may be exposed to severe communicable diseases as well as be at risk of sustaining injuries from lifting and carrying patients (Waddell et al. 167). Thus, for individuals who have the aspirations on the need to develop a perfect career plan on nursing, the facts are as detailed below.

Career Plan for Registered Nursing Graduate School

Like any other type of career plan, registered nurse career plan also follows the basic principle guidelines for a proper plan development. This includes but not limited to self-assessment, career exploration, matching various explored careers and choosing the most ranked, and finally devising an appropriate career development plan (Campion et al. 53).

Self- assessment

In the attached document, Richard Serlin argues that “it is surprisingly common for an individual to train for years for a career graduate degree, even obtaining graduate degrees only to find that the area is much less to him or her than she had thought, yet by then it might be enormously costly or infeasible to switch” (Flinkman and Sanna 1050). The point is that people lack understanding of themselves and, in this scenario, a counselor needs to be involved. The self-assessment criteria for a registered nurse should, therefore, include the following aspects, culture regarding values and lifestyle, skills, interest, and attitude. For instance, they should have the following traits (Campion et al. 63).

A. Firm

It is a necessary requirement for nurses to get acquainted with such topics like anatomy, nutrition, psychology as well as chemistry in order to effectively perform their daily task. However, it is also important to note that this career entails the strong will to learn all the needed information as well as practically apply the knowledge, especially in hectic atmospheres.

B. Hopeful

Some studies suggest that patients who are confident may better recuperate from their illness as compared to the patients having mistrustful thoughts. Nurses with optimistic dispositions are likely to set the proper temper for curing. It becomes difficult for patients to up their spirit, especially when their nurses have an unenthusiastic perception. Therefore, individuals need to understand these traits while exploring the nursing career.

Career Exploration

As mentioned earlier, career exploration is another vital step of career plan development that involves finding out more information through research about the registered nurse career. Regarding career exploration, important factors need to be considered which include but not limited to:

Job Duties

An individual needs to understand the duties and the responsibilities assigned to anybody who is working as a registered nurse. The terms and conditions that hold in this profession should also be appreciated. Studies indicate that the working conditions in any given discipline have affected the performance of employees. However, much later the regret may come and many times individuals may be forced to shift their carriers after realizing that they ultimately do not fit in areas they have trained (Tong et al. 2202). For this reason, it is vital to understand that the registered nurse, in summary, does the following duties:

  • Evaluating patient symptoms and recording;
  • Assisting doctors during exams and surgery;
  • Helping to dress wounds and incisions;
  • Teaching patients about self-care;
  • Performing the task of reviewing patient and measuring program;
  • Supervising and directing other nurses.

Working Hours

The working hours of personnel in a day or a month profoundly impacts on the performance of any organization. Therefore, the working hours even in a nursing profession should be mainly observed. An individual should be able to assess the working hours and then compare the same in the registered nurse career (Flinkman and Sanna 1052) since the working hours for registered nurse differ regarding the various career paths being undertaken. For instance, the working hours for the registered nurse in the United States have been increasing over the last three years. Thus, this is a vital aspect to consider given that a physician officer might not work the same time in hours as the military nurse, although both are registered nurses.


It is clear that dissatisfaction with any practical office results to poor performance and distress of oneself. The individual seeking to be a registered nurse should for that reason ascertain that he or she is well-satisfied with the working environment, time, wages and the customs governing the operation of the career. It is important to note that in the event of an individual’s dissatisfaction with a certain career field, one can opt to consider a career shift if the working environment is not favorable at all for the provision of service.

Matching of Specialties

After complete exploration of the career, it is now an ample opportunity for one to identify the best optional career in the registered nursing given that the recorded nursing career entails various specialties. The deep understanding of each section is required to arrive at the sound decision.

Development of a Good Action Plan

A good action plan will lead to the achievement of a proper career. The educational history is reviewed, and the training is done in a reverse chronological order. The action plan will act as a roadmap from career choice to the final entry into the same (Wu al 558). A good action plan for registered nurse should have a well-detailed personal assessment report that will describe personal traits as well as the educational and training information requirements. The specific program offered in each section should be well-documented in chronological order.

Advancement in Registered Nursing Career

After an individual has carefully determined own interest and long-term goals, it is time to start working on the short-term goals to meet the long-term ones. This will include, for instance, applying for a clinical school for more experience necessary to improve on achieving career objectives. Sometime, the short-term goal may also involve attaining additional education in the field of nursing (Wu et al. 561). This requires finding more information about the best school and the program offered. Besides, in advancement, the individuals involved may decide to shift the career if that will lead to the achievement of long-term goals. These improvements can even be achieved by choosing to change to academic work and hospital administration as well as a considering a research path.


The list below highlights some of the most significant strategies to consider in choosing a nursing career:

  • Completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing;
  • Joining the medical training school for to get good grades in GRE and MCT;
  • Getting the nursing license;
  • Beginning to work as a registered nurse.

Physician Assistant (PA) Career Choice

Physician assistant is a healthcare professional who practices medicine as a part of the healthcare team with supervising physician and another provider. To qualify as a physician assistant, one must meet various requirements with education qualifications considered as the primary factor alongside other conditions (Scott et al. 150). It is required that one must have a master’s certification if he or she is to practice health science. To explore this field, the math-physics combination is necessary from undergraduate (Fouad et al. 462). Other requirements include healthcare experience and a report accompanying it.

Career Plan for Physician. Graduate School

In the same way, that career plan for registered nurse follows a given procedure, so does the program for physician assistant.


The individual is required to examine own character/traits and assess it. They should determine whether they can join the career or not. For instance, the ARC-PA, in coordination with other professionals, has identified a set of competencies for PAs. These include but not limited to professionalism (including self-reflection and commitment to ethics), communication and interpersonal capabilities (Morgan et al. 48). Therefore, it is important to note that the individual interested in the career needs to do better scrutiny of own trait and skill and the self-assessment stage.
In addition to self-assessment, physician assistant should have the following personal abilities: he or she should be patient, exercise the readiness to care for patients and to make them feel comfortable; he or she should have genuine interest in people and medicine and capabilities of complex and independent judgment as well as action with the limits created by the physician (Bobek et al. 159). This should be motivated by outstanding personal qualities such as having the high level of integrity and leadership qualities and being stable, responsible, trustworthy and enthusiastic.

Career Exploration

Career exploration for this occupation can be obtained by an intensive literature review about the occupation. Much information is available in the health manuals. However, experts in the same profession can also help to give the required career information. Information about job duties, training and licensing, working hours, satisfaction and even advancement of the career is very vital during the process of career exploration (Gotian 332). Further explanation of the stated factors above can be as follows.

Job Duties

Physician assistant has the responsibility for the care of a patient with physicians. The primary area of operation includes family, private obstetrics and gynecology, surgery and surgical specialties. Besides, physician assistants can perform the duty of prescribing medication. They also have the role in analyzing data or images to inform diagnosis; he or she can also order medical supplies or equipment. Last but not least, the physician assistant provides health and wellness advice to patients, program participants as well as the caregivers (Tong et al. 2207). It is, therefore, accurate to realize that being a physician assistant involves a unique role that requires not only medical expertise but also a high-level of emotional intelligence, compassion and communication skills.

Training and Academic Records

One must show a mastery of essential science requirement. He or she should demonstrate a strong sense of exposure to social sciences as well as humanities. One must have developed the ability to read rapidly and understand sophisticated materials in these career fields. This is very crucial for the individuals taking a test like the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Moreover, one must demonstrate the interest of being a lifelong learner.

Working Hours

The length of working hours as a physician assistant depends on the type of specialization. The regular working hours are from 8.00 am in the morning to around 5.00 pm in the evening. Within this time interval, a physician assistant can perform some tasks that involve shifting from one department to another. In other cases, they work for 12 hours. Therefore, it is an important aspect for the interested individuals to notice that this career needs a lot of commitment beyond the normal. They thus required examining their capabilities well before deciding to join this academic field to avoid late embarrassment (Kreindler et al. 461).

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

In most cases, physician assistant programs require GRE, although some will accept MCAT. This examination is customarily administered in a computer-based format and takes just a half day in operating. The exam usually consists of sections. Analytical writing tests one's critical thinking and analytical writing skills. This test assesses the ability to support the complex idea, analyze the argument and sustain complex coherent discussion. Another section of the GRE is the verbal writing that evaluates the ability to analyze as well as synthesize the information obtained from it (Nagayoshi et al. 191). Finally, the last part of the GRE is the quantitative reasoning that measures the basic mathematical skills and ability to reason quantitatively.


Given the above facts, a proper career planning model for choice and development is the central beam that offers a clear roadmap to entry into a career. From the discussion above, this process only requires that a detailed plan is developed. More importantly, significant things such as job duties, training and licensing, working hours should be explored to details as one makes a career plan. Long-term and short-term goals should be set for the identification of the career of interest. To explore an excellent job where one can comfortably work without stress, a comprehensive self-assessment test of oneself is mandatory. This is the foundation of proper career planning and development. It is notable from the above that without an understanding of oneself an individual can end up in a sorry sympathetic field. Finally, in most competitive career, the right academic profile is seen as a mandatory requirement. An individual seeking to enter this field should thus demonstrate a good educational profile history to ascertain his or her competence ability.

Works Cited

Campion, Maryann W., Robina M.Bhasin, Donald J. Beaudette, Mary H. Shann and EmeliaJ. Benjamin. ""Mid-career Faculty Development in Academic Medicine: How Does it Impact Faculty and Institutional Vitality."" The Journal of Faculty Development, vol. 30, no. 3, 2016, pp. 49-64.
Flinkman, Mervi, and Sanna Salanterä. ""Early Career Experiences and Perceptions–A Qualitative Exploration of the Turnover of Young Registered Nurses and Intention to Leave the Nursing Profession in Finland."" Journal of Nursing Management, vol. 23, no. 8, 2015, pp. 1050-1057.
Fouad, Nadya A., Arpita Ghosh, Wen-Hsin Chang, Catia Figueiredo and Thoma Bachhuber. ""Career Exploration among College Students."" Journal of College Student Development, vo. 57, no. 4, 2016, pp. 460-464.
Gotian, Ruth. Optimizing Success of Physician-Scientists. Diss. Teachers College, Columbia University, 2017, pp. 126-421.
Lapan, Richard T., Becky L. Bobek, and John Kosciulek. ""School-Based Approaches Promoting Children’s Career Exploration and Development."" Career Exploration and Development in Childhood: Perspectives from Theory, Practice, and Research, 2016, pp.159.
Li, Yuhui, Yanjun Guan, Fuxi Wang, Xiang Zhou, Kun Guo, Peng Jiang, Zichuan Mo, Yumeng Li and Zheng Fang. ""Big-Five Personality and BIS/BAS Traits as Predictors of Career Exploration: The Mediation Role of Career Adaptability."" Journal of Vocational Behavior no. 89, 2015, pp. 39-45.
Lindman, Brian R., Carl W. Tong, Drew E. Carlson….and Douglas L. Mann. ""National Institutes of Health Career Development Awards for Cardiovascular Physician–Scientists: Recent Trends and Strategies for Success.""
Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol. 66, no. 16, 2015, pp. 1816-1827.
Morgan, Perri, Carry M. Everett, K.M. Humeniuk and V.L. Valentin. ""Physician Assistant Specialty Choice: Distribution, Salaries, and Comparison with Physicians."" Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants vol. 29, no. 7, 2016, pp. 46-52.
Nagayoshi, K. et al. ""Female Surgeons Should Be Aware of the Importance of a Clear Vision for Their Career, and Life Plans to Achieve Their Career Development: A Survey of 20 Female Surgeons at the Department of Surgery and Oncology, Kyushu University."" Nihon Geka Gakkai Zasshi, vol. 116, no. 3, 2015, pp. 189-196.
Rizzolo, Denise, David R. Leonard, and Scott L. Massey. ""Factors that Influence a Physician Assistant/Associate Student Career Choice: An Exploratory Study of Students from the United States and the United Kingdom."" The Journal of Physician Assistant Education, vol. 28, no. 3, 2017, pp. 149-152.
Rubenstein, Ronald C., and James L. Kreindler. ""On Preventing the Extinction of the Physician-Scientist in Pediatric Pulmonology."" Frontiers in Pediatrics, 2014, pp. 348-501.
Tong, Carl W., Tariq Ahmad, Evan L. Brittain ….and Andrew M. Feeeman, et al. ""Challenges Facing Early Career Academic Cardiologists."" Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol. 63, no. 21, 2014, pp. 2199-2208.
Waddell, Janice, Karen Spalding, Justine Navarro and Gianina Gaitana. ""Integrating a career planning and development program into the baccalaureate nursing curriculum: Part I. Impact on students’ career resilience."" International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, vo. 12, no. 1, 2015, pp. 163-173.
Wu, L. T., M.M. Low, K.K Tan, V. Lopez and S.Y. Liaw. ""Why not Nursing? A Systematic Review of Factors Influencing Career Choice among Healthcare Students."" International Nursing Review, vol. 62, no. 4, 2015, pp. 547-562.

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