Starting out.

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    Hello, I am a 17 year old male highschool student, currently in grade 11. I presently know around nothing about being a nurse except for the few things that I have looked up. I really need to find out what I am going to do with my life. I got a suggestion a few months ago about being a traveling nurse, I did a bit of research and found this website, and it seems like an interesting job. So far, all I know is that the job is stressing to some people (but what job doesn't have some stress?), you have to be a stationed nurse for a year, you have to be a registered nurse, and becoming a registered nurse is relatively difficult.

    Alright, what I really need to know is where do I start? I still have to complete my senior year of highschool before I really start anything, but I have to begin somewhere.

    Some other things that I want to know are:
    How will I know if I like being a nurse?
    What are the different kind of "specialties?"
    How do I know which specialty I like?
    What makes the nursing jobs stressful?
    How hard is it exactly to become a RN?
    Is being a male nurse different than a female nurse?
    What kind of degree will I need?

    I live in Oklahoma presently, and I get a free tuition to any college in Oklahoma after I get out of Highschool. So can you guys please answer my questions and give me some insight to prepare myself? I would greatly appreciate it!
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    Hi there! I am a nurse educator (non-academic)- worked with nursing students & new graduates for a very long time.

    First of all, I would encourage you to take advantage of any AP classes you can obtain in your Sr year. If you can CLEP some of your basic pre-requisites you will save an enormous amount of time, giving you a jump-start on your college education. You didn't mention your GPA, but that is very important also. You will need to have a very high GPA to be admitted to a nursing program, so work very hard to make this happen. It is very hard just to get into a nursing program because there can be literally hundreds of applicants for a single opening in some programs. If you are limited to Oklahoma in order to take advantage of funding opportunities, you should contact those specific nursing programs and find out the specifics of their requirements.

    In the US, nursing education is designed to produce generalists - there is no opportunity to specialize at the undergraduate (pre-licensure) level. Specialized education occurs at the Master's level. If you want to review some of the areas in which nurses work - take a look at the "specialties" tab. Nursing school is challenging. Successful nursing students do not have the free time to socialize/party like students in other majors - nursing school is a full-time endeavor. The grading scale is even different; ~ 5 points higher. If you have a hard time with science/math, you will have a very hard time in nursing school.

    You'll have to hear from the guys to get insight into their experience as a male nurse - if you want to ask them directly, post your questions in one of their forums - LOL. It is not unusual to encounter men in nursing these days, so your experience may be very different from those brave 'pioneers' of decades ago.

    If nursing doesn't work out for you there are many other health care professions you may be interested in also. Nursing does not guarantee a bright future anymore. New grads are having a difficult time finding jobs so it may be a good idea to have a "Plan B" in mind.


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