This is a big question. Becoming a nurse is no small task. You’ll find it to be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of your life.  And it’s important to note that there is no singular path to becoming a nurse. It’s different for everyone. So you’ll have to take some time and do some research to determine the best route for you.

In the most basic sense, to become a nurse you need to accomplish the following:

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Dwayne and Veronica Bryant, now husband and wife student nurses at Chamberlain College of Nursing’s Jacksonville campus, met while they were serving in the U.S. Air Force. Through experiences during their military service, they were soon drawn to careers in healthcare.

When Veronica joined the military 11 years ago, she wasn’t sure which career field she wanted to pursue outside of her service. However, after watching military nurses save lives, she quickly gravitated toward the field of nursing.

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We all do our best to incorporate healthy habits into our day, but restrictions can often limit the ones we get started on as well as those we see to fruition. As a nurse, you’re well aware of the restrictions in your day. But, although there can be obstacles, the rewards for following a few healthy habits can pay off, both immediately and in the long run.

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It can often be a misconception that individuals working in healthcare are more resistant to health concerns. But nurses and other healthcare staff share the same concerns we all do. This is why it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with an issue like hypertension.

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While nurses are dedicated to caring for others, they must also remember to care for themselves. Learning to grieve is an integral part of emotional well-being as most nurses will experience the loss of a patient at some point in their career. It is important to take steps to help prepare for those emotionally difficult moments.

“I encourage all nurses to have a grieving plan in place so they can process this loss in a healthy way,” said Susan Waltz, DNP, MSN, BSN, RN, an associate professor in the Master of Science in Nursing degree program at Chamberlain College of Nursing who has professional experience as a grief counselor.

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Volunteerism is one of the most gratifying ways nursing students can gain hands-on experience by sharing their knowledge and passion for care with others.

Recent research from the Corporation for National and Community Service shows that volunteers are 27 percent more likely to find employment than non-volunteers1.  While volunteerism provides individuals with a potential entry route into an organization where they would like to work, it also yields additional benefits for shaping one’s career path.

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Celebrating nurses can be done in many ways. From a simple ‘thank you’ to gifts of appreciation, there are lots of options when it comes to showing your love of nurses this year.

If you’d like to use an image to show your thanks for all nurses have done, here are our pictures for Nurses Week 2014. Feel free to use them to share your gratitude!

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The core of nursing is care for others. While it is a rewarding and fulfilling career path, it can be exhausting for nurses who do not care for themselves in the same way they would care for a patient. While giving care to others, nurses tend to neglect care of themselves.

The stresses of a healthcare work environment can be particularly challenging for nurses because the profession is always changing. The role of the nurse is not stagnant, and with any rapid change comes stress.

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