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From Medical Assistant to Nurse: A Natural Career Step

Three medical assistant students laugh and compare notes in classroomProjections for growth in healthcare occupations over the next decade are strong, and two important members of this workforce are medical assistants and nurses. If you want to be part of these innovative and rewarding fields, consider enrolling in a healthcare training program at Prism Career Institute, with campuses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We offer both Medical Assistant and Practical Nursing programs. Since these two job roles can share responsibilities in the workplace, many medical assistants see becoming a nurse as a natural next step, as we discuss here.

Medical Assisting Can Be a First Step

The Medical Assistant program at Prism Career Institute can be completed in as few as 10 months, offering graduates a variety of job opportunities. Our students receive basic, grounding education for working in healthcare. The curriculum includes:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Medical law and ethics
  • Phlebotomy
  • Recording patient histories and vital signs
  • Up-to-date medical records technology and management
  • Electrocardiography (EKG)
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Clinical and laboratory procedures
  • Pharmacology
  • Hygiene and infection control

The Medical Assistant program at Prism Career Institute includes an externship. This provides students with real-world experience working collaboratively with a medical team as a trainee in the medical assistant role. This valuable work experience helps students determine where they would like to start working after graduation and assists with resume development and professional networking.

Because the medical assisting program can be completed quickly, many people choose that path and then go on to continue their education to pursue a nursing career after working in the field for a while.

How to Become a Nurse

To become a nurse, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). To qualify for this examination, students must complete a state-approved practical nursing program that includes a clinical training experience, such as the Practical Nursing program at Prism Career Institute. Our full curriculum can be completed in as few as 15 months and includes these subjects:

  • Body structure and function
  • Medical terminology
  • Mental health
  • Medical math
  • Pharmacology
  • Test-taking Strategies
  • Nursing I, II, and III

The goal of our practical nursing program is to prepare students for entry-level positions in the nursing field and to help them qualify for the NCLEX.

Grow From Medical Assistant to Practical Nurse

It’s easy to see how these two occupations may blend or lead some medical assistants to pursue a nursing career. Medical assistants who become more interested in direct patient care may want to plan an eventual return to school. Here are some reasons medical assistants want to become practical nurses:

  • Enjoying patient-oriented medical tasks and duties
  • Sharing empathy and compassion for patients
  • Wanting to learn more about medicine and patient care
  • Desiring to work with a specific patient population

Both medical assistants and practical nurses may find employment in:

  • Hospitals
  • Public health clinics
  • Private physician offices
  • Nursing homes
  • Medical research programs
  • Cancer treatment centers
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Military bases
  • Home health companies

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics salary projections in healthcare occupations, pay can be higher for practical nurses than for medical assistants. However, salaries in both fields are determined by many factors, including certifications, specialization, and experience.

Healthcare Training With a Focus on Employment

Prism Career Institute offers focused healthcare training programs, with the goal of helping our students find employment. Our graduates are prepared for entry-level positions in a variety of healthcare work environments. We help prepare our Practical Nursing program graduates to pass the NCLEX examination in order to receive the State licensing necessary for working as a practical nurse. Our Medical Assistant program graduates are ready for careers that include administrative and patient care components.

Once our graduates enter the workforce, they gain experience that can help them advance their careers. Plus, for some of our graduates, the satisfaction of working directly with patients can lead them to consider making the move from medical assistant to nurse.

Resources for Students at Prism Career Institute

Many students at Prism Career Institute are eligible for financial aid. This can be of great assistance for students who are considering switching careers to enter the healthcare field. Graduates can take advantage of our career services department, for assistance with resumes, interview skills, networking opportunities, and job searching strategies.

Start Working in Healthcare With Prism Career Institute

Our Medical Assistant and Practical Nursing programs are offered at all three of our campus locations, in Philadelphia, PA, Cherry Hill, NJ, and West Atlantic City, NJ. Daytime and evening options are available for these programs of study. Our students gain knowledge through classroom learning, laboratory sessions, and hands-on training in the school environment. We also provide externships and clinical training that provides practical work experience in local healthcare settings. If you want to gain valuable skills that will help you find gainful employment in the healthcare sector, consider the training programs at Prism Career Institute. Contact us today.