S To Become A Registered Nurse In The Usa
Your nursing degree will consist of clinical sessions and online/on-campus classes that show you how to work as a nurse. You will learn about medical terminology, patient care, medical equipment, and much more. You may attend a community college or traditional university, depending on how far you need to go with your education.
Know The Role: What To Expect As An Rn
Registered nurses are the backbone of the day-to-day operations in many different types of healthcare settings. Youll wear a lot of hats and be expected to handle a wide variety of tasks, including:
- Develop and direct treatment plans
- Communicate with patients and family members
- Administer medication and treatments
- Community-based work, including public health education and services
- Serve as the key connection between patients and doctors
Keep in mind no job description is identical. Your specific roles and responsibilities will vary depending on your education, experience level, and requirements of your employer.
RNs may specialize in many different areas, including pediatrics, geriatrics, OBGYN, ER, trauma and much more. As you develop more experience you may discover certain types of care or patient populations that interest you more than others.
The field of nursing offers many unique career opportunities for those looking to specialize, and oftentimes you can be qualified to pursue these unique pathways with a BSN and experience. In some cases, like becoming a nurse practitioner, you will be required to earn a Master of Science in Nursing .
Choose A School To Attend
After exploring your RN program options, consider your current education and professional goals to help you decide which one suits you. Many employers prefer candidates who have degrees from accredited nursing programs, as these programs meet high standards for educational quality and consistency. Look for an RN program with Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accreditation.
Another factor to consider is how you want to attend school. Some nursing programs are available only in person or online, while others offer a hybrid format. Once you’ve selected a program that meets your criteria, check the prerequisites for entrance. Some programs require candidates to complete certain classes, such as anatomy and biology, or take entrance exams before applying. After completing the requirements and gathering the required documentation, you’re ready to apply to an RN program.
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Apply For State Licensure
Once youve taken your exam, you will need to submit your results, transcripts and fingerprints to the Oregon State Board of Nursing to obtain your nurse practitioner license.
As part of the application process, applicants must submit their practice history. The practice requirement must be met in one of the following ways:
State Nursing Licensing Requirements
Testing requirements: Nationally recognized exam in area of specialty
Fees: $250 application fee
Continuing Education Requirements: For prescriptive authority 15 contact hours of continuing education in pharmacotherapeutics. Other requirements follow national certification rules.
Clinical Hours Required: None required
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Complete One Year Of Training
To be licensed as an LPN in Oregon, you will need to complete an Oregon State Board of Nursing-approved program at the certificate level or higher. Whatever program you choose, it should cover theory and practice in core areas like medical, surgical, pediatric, and obstetric nursing.
Be sure to plan ahead, as many programs require a candidate to have a background check and even a physical before beginning his or her studies. There may also be an aptitude or basic skills test.
How Much Do Lpns Rns And Nps Typically Earn
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for each of the three levels of nursing are as follows :
- NPs: $115,800 per year
- RNs: $73,300 per year
- LPNs: $47,800 per year
According to Glassdoor, an online resource that tracks jobs, company reviews and employment statistics nationally, the average RN in Oregon can expect to make $65,870 per year, compared to $41,917 for LPNs and $115,674 for NPs .
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Choosing A Nursing Program
If you are choosing a nursing program and not sure what nursing program you want to go into, a four-year BSN degree will give you a solid foundation across all possible areas, allowing you to gain a rounded knowledge of the profession with the chance to specialize later on in your studies.
Mature students, or those with work or family commitments, will often go down the route of obtaining a two-year associates degree or diploma due to the fact that these routes offer a shorter study period and more flexibility, with many colleges offering online or evening and weekend classes. If you dont want to be out of work for any length of time to gain the education needed to become a nurse, you could consider on-the-job development by starting out as a CNA or LPN and then taking coursework to become an RN.
How To Find Jobs As A Nurse
Once youve graduated from school, youll want to find your first job as a nurse. Many nursing programs offer career counseling to help you identify potential employers, prepare your resume and ace the interview. Its important to note that new nurses can face hurdles since employers often look for experienced staff.
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What You Can Do With These Degrees
Any joint degree will expand your opportunities for advancement and higher earnings. Specific roles will depend on the type of degrees you earn, but there are three common combinations.
Pairing an MSN with a Master of Public Health is designed for nurses who want to pursue leadership positions in community or public health organizations.
Combining an MSN with a Master of Business Administration is sometimes known as being in the Nurse Executive Program. Here, students learn the business skills necessary to hold executive-level roles in hospitals and other large healthcare organizations.
Earning an MSN with a Master of Health Administration offers similar benefits to those of the joint degrees listed above, but the combination is a bit broader. Youll be educated about making important decisions related to the management of various healthcare organizations and educational settings.
Earn Additional Certifications And Continue Practicing
If you want to specialize in a certain area of nursing, youll want to earn additional certifications in that area. As a nurse, youre always learning something new. Each year, youll be expected to maintain your Continuing Education Units . In addition, as a nurse, your pay is directly proportional to your level of education. So, if you want to make more money in the future, you may wish to return to school for a BSN, MSN, DNP, or other degrees.
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Earn A Bsn Or An Adn Degree
A four-year BSN degree offers an in-depth education in multiple disciplines and training in leadership, interpersonal communication, and clinical nursing. A two-year ADN degree covers nursing fundamentals and offers the fastest track to becoming a registered nurse, aside from an accelerated BSN program which lets those who hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field graduate in as little as one year.
Licensed Practical Or Licensed Vocational Nurse
Licensed practical nurses, or licensed vocational nurses as theyre called in some states, are the first point of contact for patients visiting hospitals, physicians offices, clinics, and other medical facilities. They take patients vital signs, document important information, and assist with patient care. The requirements for licensure differ by state, but generally, an aspiring LPN must possess a high school diploma or GED for enrolling in a nursing education program. All PN graduates are expected to pass the national licensing exam for state licensure.
Note that LPNs work under the direction of RNs and physicians. Each states scope of practice for nursing determines the duties LPNs can perform. In some states, LPNs can administer medication and start IVs with proper certification and the licensing agencys authorization.
The gradual shift of LPNs out of acute care settings to long-term and home health care has many LPNs returning to college and earn their bachelors degree to become registered nurses. If youre uncertain about nursing as a profession, a career as an LPN is a good route to explore before making a commitment to a four-year degree program.
Educational Requirements for LPNs
Applicants must meet the programs age requirements and educational requirements for enrollment. Some other basic requirements applicants should meet include:
Licensing Requirements for LPNs
Salary and Job Outlook for LPNs
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Earn Your Master’s Or Doctoral Degree In Nursing
Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice registered nurses , meaning they need to get a master’s or doctoral degree to practice. Currently, programs are accepting applicants for a Master of Science in nurse anesthesia, which typically takes about two years to complete. However, by 2025 the minimum requirement to be employed as a CRNA will be a Doctorate of Anesthesia Practice . At that time, CRNAs already working with a masters degree will be able to continue working in the role, but newly hired CRNAs will need a DNAP.
Regardless of the program you choose, you’ll likely need to meet these requirements:
Proof of a valid RN license
One to two years as an ICU RN
3.0 overall GPA in BSN courses
Full completion of required prerequisites
Job shadow experience with a CRNA or anesthesiologist
Personal essay or goal statement
Background check upon admission
It is worth taking the time to research the admission requirements of the schools you’re applying to. Make sure to verify that a program is accredited and will prepare you for the upcoming change in practice requirements. When choosing a CRNA program, you’ll need to consider each school’s specific requirements, educational model, and cost.
Consider A Nursing Specialty
Once you earn a basic RN designation, you can then progress into a nursing specialty based on your interests, career plans and opportunities.
Here are examples of nursing specialties you can consider:
- A pediatric nurse specializes in providing care to patients 18 and under.
- A dermatology nurse works with patients who have skin conditions or undergo cosmetic procedures.
- A case management nurse works with patients who require ongoing care because of an illness or a condition.
- A neonatal nurse works with infants in the first few weeks after birth.
- An oncology nurse cares for cancer patients.
- An orthopedic nurse works with patients with bone and joint injuries and conditions.
- A hospice nurse provides care for patients with terminal illnesses.
Some specializations require industry certification and additional education or degrees.
Nursing is for everyone, men included. Discover six reasons why men should consider this career path!
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Your Education: Two Questions To Consider
As you embark on your pursuit of a nursing career in Oregon, here are two questions to consider:
- Does my college or university of interest have regional accreditation ?
- Does the school of nursing have nursing accreditation ?
If a school does not have national nursing accreditation, some institutions may not hire you, and it may limit you from going back for the next level of education, as some institutions wont accept the credits. All schools must be approved by the Oregon State Board of Nursing .
Youre Ready To Fly Solo
Since starting nursing school, youve been training for the moment to become a licensed nurse. All thats left is to walk into this exam with the confidence to know that you are meant to be a RN. Positive thinking can make or break you on the NCLEX.
The more you build this test up in your head, the higher your anxiety will climb. Do not view this exam as a hurdle because this test is a chance to show off what you have learned.
Reviewing nursing material benefits you in more ways than just acing the NCLEX. Every moment that you spend studying is preparing you to be a more qualified nurse.
Most importantly, believe in yourself! You have come so far and demonstrated your worth by completing nursing school. Dont let any doubts creep in your way of achieving your dream!
What is the worst case scenario? Well, 45 days and $200 later, you can retake it. You still have a nursing school degree on your wall. Pick yourself up, dry your tears, and hit the books. When you walk into the NCLEX, tell yourself I will be a nurse today!
If you are looking for a free practice questions similar to the ones youll be answering on the real thing, click below!
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Nursing Compared To Entry
In comparison to other healthcare positions, registered nurses are qualified to provide direct patient care in a variety of settings. Entry-level workers in healthcare, on the other hand, typically focus on one service, provide non-medical care or support nursing staff.
Here are some examples of entry-level positions:
- A nurse’s aide performs basic, non-medical tasks in support of the nursing staff.
- A home health aide assists patients with daily non-medical tasks such as bathing, dressing, cleaning and meal prep.
- A lab technician collects and organizes specimens in a lab.
- A patient service representative communicates with patients and helps them plan or schedule treatments or appointments.
- A licensed practical nurse can provide direct care, such as giving medication, taking vital signs and carrying out the directives of RNs and doctors.
In some cases, entry-level healthcare workers can enroll in a nursing degree program. Those who already have healthcare training may be able to receive academic credit that can help them earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing more quickly than someone starting from scratch.Is becoming a registered nurse right for you?
If you like the idea of helping others or having a career that directly affects peoples lives, becoming a registered nurse could be a good career choice. For those who may be uncertain about their career path, nursing can provide job security as the demand for registered nurses continues to increase.
A Complete Guide To Becoming A Nurse
As the linchpin of the health care system, nurses act as liaisons between patients and physicians. More than just care coordinators, theyre patient advocates, managers, administrators, diplomats, counselors, teachers, and so much more. Nurses titles are indicative of the training received and the roles they fill in the complex health care system. While their specialty, education, and experience determine, in part, their scope of practice, there are more similarities than differences in the roles nurses assume.
Nurses educate patients and their families, emphasizing the prevention of illness and injury. They are advocates for the promotion of health, participate in rehabilitative treatments and provide physical and emotional support, and ongoing assessment of patients health. There is no other occupation, in health or otherwise, that has such a far-reaching role as nurses. Their education, compassion, critical thinking, observation, communication, and patient advocacy skills place them at the forefront of change in the industry.
Nurses spend long hours on their feet at least those working on the frontlines of health. Their round-the-clock presence enables them to be cognizant of patients condition. Their vigilance and accuracy in reporting help doctors with diagnosis and treatment of patients. Many patients owe their lives to attentive nurses who picked up warning signs early and acted to prevent a potential crisis.
What You Can Do With This Certificate
After earning a state-approved certificate, youll be qualified to take your states CNA competency exam. With certification, you can apply for jobs in which youll work with patients under the direction of a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse, depending on the laws of your state.
Per the B LS, CNAs across the country earn a median annual wage of $30,850, with those working in medical and surgical hospitals making slightly above average.
Life As A Nurse Anesthetist: Career Profile
U.S. News and World Report ranked nurse anesthetist #19 on its 2021 list of the 100 best jobs in America and #8 on its list of Best Healthcare Jobs. There are a lot of reasons this career path is attracting the attention of high school and college students as well as RNs ready to advance their practice. For starters, its extremely fulfilling to know youre playing a vital role in patient care. Its also a job that offers a high salary and a manageable work-life balance.
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Simple Steps To Become A Registered Nurse
The four steps to becoming a registered nurse are:
Of course, a bullet point doesnt do any of these steps justice. Well go into much further detail for each below.
Verify That Your Program Is Accredited
Nursing program accreditation is an essential consideration for anyone entering the field of nursing. Without accreditation, the credits you earn may not be recognized by your state board of nursing when you sit for the licensing examination offered through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing or when you apply for an RN license. The result is a devastating loss of both time and money.
Accreditation is a voluntary process in which the institution or program requests a systematic external review of its programs, faculty, and facilities to ensure its integrity and quality. To earn approval, the institution must meet national standards established by its peers in nursing education and demonstrate an ability to produce successful graduate outcomes. A vast majority of baccalaureate nursing programs in the United States are accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education . Other notable nursing accreditation agencies include the Commission on Nursing Education Accreditation and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
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