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.
What Is A Nurse
A nurse is a health care professional who works as a member of a highly trained medical team to assist patients throughout their treatment process. Nurses have a wide range of medical knowledge involving various diseases, illnesses and disorders along with training in complex medical tools and technologies. They undergo an intense clinical training process that provides them with on-the-job experience in assessing, treating and supporting patients. Some of the most common duties of a nurse include:
Preliminary assessment of patients by taking their vital signs and recording their medical history
Asking patients about their symptoms and recent physical activity
Examining patients for obvious signs of illness, trauma or disorder
Meeting with doctors to create treatment plans
Administering medications to patients in various forms such as pills and IV drips
Organizing and sanitizing medical tools
Collecting blood samples for further diagnostics
Ensuring patients feel comfortable
Keeping patients up-to-date on their treatment progress
Cleaning and suturing outwardly physical wounds
Serving as an emotional support system to the patient and their loved ones
Read more:Learn About Being a Nurse
Are There Nursing Scholarships Available
Like most higher education opportunities, nursing school can be pricey. Luckily, there are a number of nursing scholarships available to help you manage costs. Consider applying for a fewany amount of money can make a huge difference in getting you closer to your goal of becoming a nurse.
Information on this page was last retrieved in January 2022.
Recommended Reading: Accredited Nursing Schools In Southern California
How To Become A Travel Nurse
A travel nurse should have the following characteristics to excel in the role:
- Enjoys experiencing new cities, towns, and organizations
- Enjoys freedom. Travel nurses choose when and where they work, and choose their duration of employment
- Enjoys flexibility. Travel nurses create their schedules, benefits packages, and income-based on which agency they choose to work
- Thrives on challenges. Moving to different states or overseas and being “the new nurse” repeatedly is challenging. Learning new organizational systems and workflows are particularly challenging
- Loves learning new things. Each assignment takes travel nurses to new health care facilities, some with higher levels of technology or different standards of practice. Each experience helps nurses build upon their knowledge base
Additionally, travel nurses should have supportive families and friends. It’s difficult to either pack up and move an entire family or leave your family and friends behind. The flip side to this is that new relationships are formed in each new location.
Taking Steps To Becoming A Nurse After High School Studies
If right after graduation, you are lucky enough to know which career you want to pursue, here are the steps to becoming a nurse after high school studies:
- Enroll in a recognized nursing school. Choose a program that has been accredited and recognized by the appropriate authorities. This is a required prerequisite for the further legalization of your work.
- Take the National Council for Registered Nurse Exam . Becoming a nurse only becomes possible after passing the exam. This is a test of your information gained while attending university.
- Get a work permit. Please keep in mind that you may only start becoming a nurse officially after passing the NCLEX-RN.
- Apply for the job. Once you get your license, you will be eligible to apply for positions in hospitals and medical facilities.
Now you have all the needed information about becoming a nurse. Just apply all the tips from this article and start a journey to your dream career.
Recommended Reading: Accredited School Of Nursing Assistant
Learn More About Informatics Nurses
Page last reviewed January 15, 2022
NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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
Find States With Nursing Needs
Research shows that some states will have nursing shortages in the coming years, while others will have surpluses. Moving to an area that needs nurses may potentially open doors to job opportunities.
The BLS projects 194,500 RN job openings through 2030, though the opportunities wont be evenly distributed across the country. States with the highest number of employment during this period include California , Texas , Florida , New York , and Pennsylvania .
Doctor Of Nursing Practice
Doctors of Nursing Practice deliver high-quality advanced nursing care in a clinical setting. A DNP is a terminal degree for advanced practice nurses.
DNP graduates are leaders in advanced nursing practice that bring evidence-based knowledge into the clinical setting to help improve healthcare outcomes and strengthen the leadership role of nurses in both the clinical and academic setting.
In 2021, on average NPs make an annual salary of $120,680, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics interestingly, there is minimal concrete data on the average annual salary of a DNP.
Healthcare salary trends suspect DNPs average $125,000 to $150,000 per year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has very limited data on DNP salaries but the reported average is $135,830.
Recommended Reading: Colleges With Nurse Practitioner Programs
How To Become A Certified Nursing Assistant
A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, help patients with activities of daily living and other healthcare needs under the direct supervision of a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse . CNAs are also commonly referred to as a Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Assistant , or a Nurses Aid.
This is a good option for individuals that need to work during school, want to get healthcare experience for their application , or determine which aspect of nursing is the best fit.
Education: State-approved education program that includes both instruction on the principles of nursing and supervised clinical work.
Program Length: 4-12 weeks
Continue Your Nursing Education Journey
As a nurse, your education never really stops. You’ll be required to keep up with your Continuing Education Units each year. Additionally, for nurses, salary is closely linked to your level of education. So, if you want to earn more down the road, you may want to go back to school for your BSN, MSN, DNP or more.
Also Check: Nurse Practitioner Programs In Kentucky
Where To Study Nursing
Many universities offer degrees in nursing. You can find a list of courses by using our Course Finder.
If you already have a degree in a relevant subject, you can often get recognition for this , enabling you to do a postgraduate course in two rather than three years. You can also find these courses using our Course Finder.
“Studying a nursing degree allows me to work wherever I want” Cherie Lawrence, mental health nurse
What Do Nurses Do
The question, What does a nurse do? is more complex than it might seem. A question that might be more helpful is, What does an RN do? More helpful information may surface if you specify the type of nursing youre interested in. Here are some responsibilities that are important across many different nursing specialties:
- Assess the condition of their patients
- Record patients medical data and relevant behavior
- Work and communicate efficiently with other members of the healthcare team
- Effectively use and maintain medical equipment
- Assist in forming a treatment plan
- Assess patient and families teaching needs, develop an individualized teaching plan and provide relevant teaching
- Advise families on the condition of the patient and post-hospital care
For more in-depth information on what nurses do, check our page dedicated to the topic.
Recommended Reading: How Much Is Bachelor Of Nursing
Explore What Type Of Education Is Needed
Youre probably aware that nursing candidates may earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to help them secure their license. But there are other educational avenues to explore if you think youll want to pursue more advanced roles. A Master of Science in Nursing is required to become an APRNand many MSN programs even offer concentrations in advanced practice realms like midwifery and womens health. There are many ways to earn your degree, including online nursing programs.
Earn A Bachelor Of Science In Nursing Degree
Before becoming an informatics nurse, those interested must earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree from an accredited academic institution.
These programs typically take four years to complete and include a curriculum that focuses on anatomy, physiology, microbiology, psychology, statistics, basic pharmacology, and research and theory.
Students who have already earned an associate degree in nursing can enroll in an RN-to-BSN degree program, which allows them to earn their bachelor’s in two years or less.
Those with a bachelor’s in a field other than nursing have the opportunity to enroll in an accelerated BSN program, which can take 12-18 months to complete.
Don’t Miss: Labor And Delivery Nurse Practitioner Salary
One What Is A Nurse Practitioner
A Nurse Practitioner is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse that has completed the required nurse practitioner schooling: either a Master’s of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice . They can serve as either a primary or specialty care provider. This guide will explain how to become a nurse practitioner, what they do, how much you can make and more.
Nurse Practitioners have more authority than registered nurses and have similar responsibilities to that of a doctor. They can serve as a primary care or specialty care providers and typically focus their care on a specific population such as families, children, or the elderly. As clinicians, they focus on health promotion and disease prevention in their patients.
Six Nurse Practitioner Salary
Nurse practitioners earn a median average annual salary of $120,680 in the United States according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2022, which places their income at more than double the average annual salary for all other occupations.
Nurse Practitioners make, on average, around $30,000 more than Registered Nurses each year. And compared to an LPNs annual wages of $46,240, becoming an NP will more than DOUBLE your earnings.
Recommended Reading: Arizona College Of Nursing Dallas
How Long Does It Take To Become An Rn
With a career as a registered nurse, you could find work in hospitals, physicians offices, nursing homes, care facilities and many other types of organizations.
Typically it takes anywhere from two to four years to become a registered nurse. But exactly how long it will take you depends on the degree program you choose, your clinical experience, and the licensing requirements in your state.
Nursing Degree Options for RNs
For most registered nurses, their career path begins with either a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing .
Earning a nursing associate degree is the fastest, and often the most affordable, path to becoming an RN. ADN programs generally take about two years to complete and prepare you to take the NCLEX licensure exam to become a registered nurse.
A BSN degree is typically a four-year program. While it will take you longer to complete than an ADN, it also offers a highly sought-after credential.
Nurses with bachelors degrees are in high demand. Studies have shown that nurses who hold BSN degrees tend to deliver safer, more effective care. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing also recommends the BSN as the entry-level nursing degree, saying BSN graduates are better equipped to meet the demands of the evolving healthcare field.
- LPN to BSN
- RN to BSN
- RN to MSN
Learn more about the difference a BSN could make for RNs.
Getting Clinical Experience
Gaining RN Licensure
What Is Accreditation And Why Is It Important
Accreditation means an independent body, such as the Commission on the Collegiate Nursing Education or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, has determined a nursing program meets industry standards. This matters because employers often only hire graduates from accredited nursing programs.
Recommended Reading: Mercer University Nurse Practitioner Program
A Guide To Nursing Degrees
From certificate programs to doctoral degrees, there are many different pathways to a career in nursing.
With so many types of nursing degrees available, its important to understand how each program works so you can find the one thats right for you. Whether youre a recent high school graduate, experienced professional, or career changer, making the right decision means considering each option against your goals, financial resources, and lifestyle.
In This Article
Weve compiled a descriptive list of the different types of nursing degrees available and what they involve in regards to program content, length of time, and job potential. By selecting the program that meets your personal and professional goals, youll position yourself for success in the rewarding field of nursing.
Who Is A Bsn Right For
Earning a BSN does have many benefits over the other aforementioned nursing options, including:
Read Also: Graduate Certificate In Nursing Education
Three Choosing A Nursing Speciality
During nursing school, students get to experience working in some different nursing specialties, but definitely not all of them. This can make it difficult for new nurses to pick a specialty when applying for nursing positions.
Its important to take each clinical rotation and specialty into consideration. Give each rotation an opportunity and a fair shot. But consider if you can see yourself in that specialty. Is this a specialty that will fulfill you and challenge you?
No one can decide what specialty of nursing you should go into but remember your goals. For example:
What Exactly Do Nurses Do
In a field as varied as nursing, there is no typical answer. Responsibilities can range from making acute treatment decisions to providing inoculations in schools. The key unifying characteristic in every role is the skill and drive that it takes to be a nurse. Through long-term monitoring of patients behavior and knowledge-based expertise, nurses are best placed to take an all-encompassing view of a patients wellbeing.
Also Check: Registered Nurse Schools In San Antonio Tx
Once Youve Passed The Nclex
If you pass the NCLEX, congratulations! Your final step to working in the nursing field is to complete your licensing with your state. Each state has a slightly different process, so make sure to check with your state board to verify any additional steps.
If you become licensed as an RN, you can consider specializing in one area of nursing. Many nursing specialties offer certifications and earning one can be a good way to advance your career.
Why Are Travel Nurses Important
Travel nurses are an important part of the health care team because they help bridge the gap between supply and demand in the field of nursing. Mandatory nurse-patient ratios have led to increased patient safety and lower patient mortality. While this is a positive finding, and more and more states are passing legislation to implement staffing ratios, there are not enough nurses to fill the openings. Travel nurses assigned those open positions help to increase patient safety and improve patient outcomes.
Additionally, nurses from different educational backgrounds, care areas, and geographic locations bring a great deal to the practice of nursing. Sharing ideas and practices not only benefits patients, but also other nurses.
Read Also: Aspen University Masters In Nursing
New Grad Nursing Jobs
You can pursue a rewarding job as a registered nurse in a variety of locations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics describes how 60% of registered nurses work in state, local, and private hospitals. At this time, most hospitals are looking to hire registered nurses with a BSN, as it qualifies them for accreditation and certification. Hospitals need certain accreditation in order to remain open and desire additional certification to demonstrate that they offer the highest quality of patient care. For instance, the American Nurses Credentialing Center awards health care organizations with Magnet status when their nurses have certain qualifications and demonstrate a commitment to excellence.
After you graduate with a BSN, you can also pursue a job as a registered nurse in ambulatory health care services, clinics, physician offices, or outpatient facilities. About 7% of registered nurses work in nursing facilities or residential care facilities. You can also earn additional certification and specialize in certain areas of nursing, allowing you to work in skilled nursing facilities or work directly with patients in their homes.