What Can I Do with My Nursing Major?
From ensuring the most accurate diagnoses to the ongoing education of the public about critical health issues, nurses are indispensable in safeguarding public health. While assessing a patient, nurses consider more than test results – nurses use their judgment to integrate objective data with the subjective experience of a patient’s biological, physical, social, spiritual and behavioral needs. This ensures that every patient receives the best possible care regardless of who they are, or where they may be. The primary duties involve conducting thorough physical exams and health assessments to inform critical decisions, offering health promotion, counseling, and educational services, administering medications and personalized interventions, and coordinating patient care alongside a diverse team of healthcare professionals. (Adapted from the American Nurses Association.)
The four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program entails 850+ total clinical hours and lab hours in a variety of clinical settings. Students have the opportunity to work alongside nursing professionals at MedStar Georgetown, an elite set of hospitals granted Magnet® Recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, where they collaborate with physician partners and actively participate in the plan of care for acute and vulnerable patients throughout the hospital. Senior nursing students conduct a practicum which allows them to gain further experience in a preferred specialty.
Critical technical skills for those interested in nursing include clinical assessment, administering medications and pain relief, patient monitoring, patient advocacy and education, wound care, IV therapy, infection control, emergency response, and conducting research to support evidence-based practice. Additionally, soft skills such as communication, teamwork, critical thinking and cultural competence are equally essential in the field of nursing. When faculty members are tasked with assessing student performances in clinical placements, they are required to evaluate a diverse set of skills, such as dependability, integrity, initiative, compassion, accountability, openness to feedback, time management, attention to detail, active listening, cooperation, discipline, adaptability and staying current with professional and technical knowledge.
Many nursing majors in the School of Nursing participate in a nurse externship/internship program upon completing their sophomore or junior year of college. Internships are generally sought and pursued in local hospitals (e.g., Georgetown University Hospital, MedStar Washington Hospital Center). Students have also gained relevant experience by working as Certified Nursing Assistants, EMTs, Home Health Aides, Recreation Aides, Medical Assistants, Pharmacy Tech and Research Assistants. Participating in volunteer work for a nonprofit organization, involvement in a campus student club, collaborating on research with a faculty member and/or exploring international study opportunities are also valuable ways to gain experience.
Where are Georgetown Nursing Majors Now?
Review Post Graduation Outcomes to learn more about where Georgetown alumni with nursing majors have gone post-graduation for work or continuing education. Filter by first major to get an idea of what life after Georgetown looks like. Titles vary by hospital, however, the most common titles upon graduation include Nurse Clinician 1, Staff Nurse, or Nurse Researcher. A variety of specialties are available to nursing students. To learn more about specialties, visit Johnson & Johnson’s nursing page with 96 specialties to explore and 200-plus videos of nurse profiles and Top Nursing’s page on careers and specialties.
Where can I go to learn more?
The industry guide on nursing careers provides information on specialties with nursing, how to get connected outside of Georgetown, student organizations to join, along with tips to prepare your application and apply. At the career center, you can meet with a Career Exploration Counselor for general guidance on concerns, goals, and strategies to move forward in your career decision-making, or an Industry Advisor specializing in specific career paths like health and science. Schedule an appointment on Handshake.
To learn more about the academics of a nursing major and/or speak to faculty, visit the School of Nursing website.