Nursing is an extensive and popular profession, with a broad scope of practice. At present, there are over 4.2 million registered nurses in the United States, and most of them are actively working in the nursing field. However, registered nurses or those interested in a vital role in healthcare shouldn’t feel limited to only nursing. The healthcare industry has a variety of other fields and majors similar to Nursing and can be completed in two years or less.
Similar to nursing, some healthcare majors only require an associate degree. In this blog, we will discuss the top majors that are similar to nursing in terms of the duration of the program, the subject matter covered, and the career opportunities available.
Exciting Similar Majors to Nursing You’ll Want to Discover
If you’re someone who prefers working behind the scenes in the healthcare industry, or if you’re seeking a more stable schedule than what nurses typically have, you might be interested in exploring other options that are similar to nursing. But what majors are similar to nursing? We’ll discuss the ideal alternatives for you based on your preferences and needs.
Medical assistants work in various healthcare settings, just like nurses. Their responsibilities include both clinical and administrative duties, such as welcoming patients, booking appointments, measuring patient vital signs, preparing examination rooms, and more. However, medical assistants’ scope of work and independence differ from nurses. Medical assistants are responsible for performing fundamental clinical and administrative duties for patients, while nurses deliver care and practice under their nursing licensure.
One benefit of pursuing a medical assisting major is the shorter duration of study required. Generally, post-secondary education is required to enter this field, but it doesn’t require a lot of time or resources. Typically, medical assistants complete a certificate or associate degree program that can be completed in as little as 12 months and up to 18 months. During their course of study, medical assistant students learn about human biology, medical terminology, medical ethics and law, laboratory procedures, office management, diagnostic procedures, and more.
Occupational Therapy Assisting
Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) provide direct patient care similar to nurses, but their scope of work is more focused. They work specifically with patients who have limited function that is affecting their daily life. OTAs assist patients in enhancing their motor function and acquiring the essential abilities to lead an independent life. For instance, they may help someone who has sustained a hand injury at work or teach skills to a person with a physical disability. They are responsible for helping patients enhance their motor function and acquire the necessary abilities to live independently. Additionally, they may assist children in developing the mental or emotional skills they need to perform daily activities.
The primary goal of OTAs is to assist patients in achieving a satisfying and meaningful life. As with nursing, an associate degree is required for occupational therapy assistants to obtain licensure and practice in their field. It typically takes 16 months of full-time study to earn an associate degree in occupational therapy assisting. The courses in this major focus on human movement and function, behavioral health, and working with patients of all ages, including adults, children, and older adults.
Looking for a healthcare major that allows you to specialize in a specific area of expertise? Look no further than Respiratory therapy. This field of study is perfect for students who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of others and aspire to be a vital part of the medical community. Respiratory therapists work tirelessly to provide treatment and care to individuals with respiratory conditions, ranging from asthma to emphysema, bronchitis, lung disease, and even COVID-19.
Their dedication and expertise are highly sought after in a range of healthcare settings, including emergency rooms, intensive care units, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, and sleep centers. By pursuing a degree in respiratory therapy, you’ll be well on your way to a fulfilling career that is both challenging and rewarding!
Like nurses, becoming a respiratory therapist only requires an associate degree to enter the field. To prepare for this role, students pursue an associate degree in respiratory care, which equips them with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in this profession. This comprehensive program takes students on a deep dive into the intricate world of respiratory therapy. Through coursework that delves into areas such as cardiopulmonary anatomy, pediatric respiratory care, critical care, mechanical ventilation, and much more, students gain a well-rounded understanding of the complexities of the human respiratory system.
But it’s not all theory – hands-on clinicals are an integral part of the program, allowing students to put their knowledge into practice and gain real-world experience in providing direct care to patients. By the time students graduate, they’re fully equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to make a real difference in the lives of those suffering from respiratory conditions.
If you are seeking a healthcare major that involves less direct patient care or are exploring alternative options to nursing, then health science is an excellent alternative. Pursuing a degree in health science can lead to a broad range of career opportunities in healthcare administration, medical billing and coding, medical research, health education, or nutrition. You’ll have the opportunity to explore various paths within the health and science industry and find the perfect fit for your interests and skills.
Health science majors can choose between several degree levels based on their career aspirations. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health science can provide you with advanced career opportunities and a comprehensive educational experience. The curriculum for health science majors is usually diverse, encompassing areas such as public health, healthcare, psychology, chemistry, research methods, and more.
Majors Similar to Nursing Prerequisites
Nursing is a profession that involves a diverse range of knowledge and skills, drawing from a variety of scientific and non-scientific fields. These fields include biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology, among others. Additionally, nursing also requires competencies in management, mathematics, and even law. Due to these interdisciplinary connections, there are several majors related to nursing, including:
- Medical Science
- Medical Ethics
- Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science
- Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Dental Support Services
- Mind-Body Therapies
- Social Work
Enrolling in a nursing degree program can offer students a great foundation for pursuing various other majors or careers. With its interdisciplinary nature and intersections with other scientific fields like biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology, nursing can provide an excellent starting point for exploring related fields of study. Moreover, nursing encompasses several other areas beyond medical practice, such as healthcare administration, mathematical calculations for medication dosage, and legal aspects relevant to healthcare.
The knowledge and skills gained from a nursing degree can be applied in diverse fields, providing a wide range of career opportunities for graduates. Therefore, students who choose to pursue a nursing degree will have a multitude of options to choose from when it comes to their career paths and fields of study.
Choose the Right Healthcare Career for You
Nursing is a fulfilling and crucial profession that requires dedication and hard work. As the cornerstone of healthcare, nurses play an integral role in the well-being of patients. Nonetheless, nursing can be difficult and may not suit everyone’s preferences. If you are searching for healthcare-related career options and majors that share similarities with nursing and allow you to positively impact patients’ lives, there are several choices available to you. The aforementioned examples are just a few of the many alternatives to nursing, and each can be completed in two years or less.