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Nursing 101

What kind of person makes a great nurse?

Nurses love helping people. They’re truly passionate about the human spirit, recognizing that a genuine smile can make a patient’s day. They’re able to pay close attention to the details, analyze data, make decisions, stay calm and perform in high-pressure situations.

The best nurses are the ones who possess patience and empathy as it helps them see things from the patients’ perspective. They also have a tremendous work ethic, going above and beyond, not only for their patients but for their colleagues as well.

As a nurse, excellent communication skills are a vital part of the job and essential for your success. You must be able to clearly articulate, both verbally and not verbally as you will be working with patients, families, doctors and other hospital staff, each with varying educational, cultural and social backgrounds. Of course, you must also be a good listener.

Do you have good organizational skills and attention to detail? Are you quick to respond? Are you flexible and adaptable to change? Are you good in stressful situations? Are you emotionally stable and strong?

If you think that describes you, we’d like to talk. You could be an ideal fit for an incredibly rewarding career in nursing.

Are there a lot of nursing jobs out there?

Nurses are the largest workforce in the clinical healthcare industry, and it’s growing.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 19 percent job growth for registered nurses between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than average. For licensed practical nurses the projected growth for the same time period is even faster, at 25 percent.

Despite increases in hiring and opportunity, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) estimates that by 2025, there will be a shortage of nurses, caused by baby-boomer RNs retirement over the next decade. The estimated shortfall of 260,000 nurses by 2025  is double what occurred during the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s.

Why Choose a Nursing Career?

A nursing career is emotionally fulfilling and rewarding, and there are tangible benefits, too.

Nursing is a respected career field, with a high level of esteem. According to a Gallup Poll, more than 80% of Americans rated nurses as having "high" or "very high" honesty and ethical standards. Nurses have topped their list every year since 1999, except for 2001 when firefighters were rated higher after their prominent role in 9/11 rescue efforts.

You’ll have great flexibility.  You can work at all different times of the day, in all different locations in over 100 different specialties.

Learn more below, and see why a career in nursing might be right for you.

Reasons You Should Not be a Nurse

Not everyone can be a nurse, so check it out and see if nursing may not be for you.

How much schooling do I need to become a nurse?

That depends on what level of nursing career you aspire to achieve. There are several levels of nursing, requiring varying amounts of coursework. In addition to completing the corresponding programs, students must also pass a National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Practical Nurses or Registered Nurses, accordingly.

Why is clinical experience so important?

The clinical component of your education refers to real-life, hands-on education in real healthcare facilities in your own community.  They will range in type from hospitals and long-term care to clinics with a focus in medical-surgical nursing, maternity and pediatrics.  You will not only observe, but care for patients under the supervision of a Galen faculty member.  There is no better way to assist you in becoming fully comfortable and confident with your nursing skills.

How flexible will Galen be with my schedule?

You have a life outside of college. We understand that. Many of our students work while they’re in school. Our nursing programs offer full-time, part-time, day and evening classes as well as online coursework. 


How long before I can start working in the field?

It’s possible for a Galen student who is new to nursing to begin working as a Practical Nurse (PN) in about 12 months (after completing our PN program and passing the NCLEX-PN exam). Here, you’ll be focused solely on nursing courses and getting hands-on experience early in the process.

If you want to go further with your nursing career, after obtaining your LPN licensure you can opt in for our LPN to ADN program and get your RN in 18 months on your way to a BSN. Or you can get your RN in two years, start working, then continue on with your BSN. Just talk to an admission representative to discuss your goals. We can help!

We are focused solely on helping you become the best nurse you can be. That’s why, at Galen, we call it Pure Nursing.

How much does a nurse make?

In addition to the huge emotional and personal satisfaction of helping people as a skilled nurse, the pay is rewarding too. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2012-13, national nurses’ median salary is approximately $41,500 for LPNs and $65,000 for RNs.

I’m interested. What’s next?

Click here to request more information. Then we’ll contact you to discuss which Galen nursing program is right for you. 


For more information about our graduation rates, median debt of students who completed our programs, and other important information, please click here.