Sunday, September 24, 2023

Path To Becoming A Registered Nurse

Must read

Paths To Nursing: Rn Lpn And Np

Fastest Way to Become a Nurse: Fast Path to being a Registered Nurse RN

Your first step to pursuing a nursing career is to determine which nursing practice you hope to work within. Each path has a different educational commitment and approach.

While there are multiple specializations within the nursing profession, the majority of nurses hold one of three designations licensed practical nurse , registered nurse , or nurse practitioners .

What Education Is Needed To Become A Registered Nurse In Usa

Registered nurses are currently in high demand for many reasons, including the development of new technology, an aging population, and current nurses retiring. Viewing all of these factors alongside the satisfaction that comes from helping people, the benefits of becoming a registered nurse have never been better.

To enjoy this satisfaction as well as benefits you have to become a Registered Nurse. Depending on the career path as stated earlier, the education needed to become a registered nurse differs from other forms of Nursing.

How Much Can You Make As A Nurse Anesthetist

Loving what you do for a living is important. Being acknowledged and paid well for your specialized knowledge and training is an added bonus.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for nurse anesthetists in 2019 was $189,190 per year.* Of course, your pay will depend on what state you work in and the type of facility where you are employed, but no matter where you live, becoming a CRNA can be a very lucrative career choice. Learn everything you need to know about how much a nurse anesthetist makes.

There are many different kinds of nurses and anesthesiology represents one of the higher paying specialties in the nursing profession. The cost of a graduate-level education can be a deterrent for some students, but in the case of CRNAs the return on your investment can be substantial.

Recommended Reading: Private Schools With Nursing Programs In California

Two How To Become Every Type Of Nurse

The first step in becoming a nurse is nursing school. But its not that simple. You need to choose a program figure out what prerequisites and other requirements you need for that program, figure out how to pay for school, and oh so much more.

When it comes to nursing school, there are a LOT of options available, but which is right for you will depend on your overall career goals, your financial situation, and a number of other factors. Here are the different nursing programs available.

Certified Nursing Assistant And Licensed Practical Nurse Programs

Paths to Becoming a Registered Nurse

CNA and LPN programs are two informal routes towards becoming a registered nurse for those who do not wish to gain their qualification with lengthy study at a college or university. The CNA and LPN qualifications are vocational courses offered at technical colleges, teaching hospitals, and community colleges. They can take 75 hours to one year respectively, leading to a certification exam. CNA and LPN programs provide theoretical classes and practical clinical training in either a hospital or clinic. Typical areas of study include first aid, nutrition, and physiology.

Watch a CNA career video to learn what a CNA does:

These qualifications are not strictly guaranteed ways of becoming a registered nurse, but rather are the bare minimum requirements to enter into the profession. Because of this, you should keep in mind that until you undergo further on-the-job training, youll only be able to conduct basic nursing tasks such as administering injections, preparing patients for surgery, and changing dressings. Despite this, the CNA and LPN can be quick routes into the medical field, with some employers providing further training and tuition reimbursement for dedicated workers.

Watch a LPN career video to learn what a LPN does:

Don’t Miss: State Of Michigan Report Nursing Home Abuse

Find Professional Employment And Join A Professional Organization

Once you have completed all of your education requirements and have received your nursing license, you can begin looking for professional employment as a registered nurse RN. While a diploma or associate degree may qualify you for some entry-level jobs, there are more employment options for undergraduate and graduate degree holders. In general, successfully completing higher levels of education in the healthcare field translates to more advancement opportunities and larger salaries.

Students, new professionals, and seasoned professionals should all strongly consider joining one or more professional healthcare organizations. These are available to individuals at every career level and offer a wide variety of benefits to members, including exclusive access to resources, discounts, training, certification programs, and networking. In addition to the many state nursing associations, there are numerous national organizations and societies available:

  • American Nurses Association
  • Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
  • American College of Nurse Practitioners
  • National Nurse in Business Association
  • American Medical Association
  • Society for Nurses in Advance Practice
  • National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses

Research State Licensure Regulations

All states, as well as the District of Columbia and the United States territories, require registered nurses to have a nursing license. National standards include graduating from an approved nursing program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination . Other factors, such as passing a criminal background check, can differ. Because specific requirements do vary by state, it is important that you research this thoroughly before pursing employment. You can find specific information about your states board of nursing on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website.

Don’t Miss: James Madison University Nurse Practitioner Program

Key Differences For Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

In general, the requirements for an online NP program are generally the same for an in-person NP program. However, there are a few differences:

  • You might have to secure your own practicum site and preceptor – Not every school has this requirement but, some do not provide online students with practicum sites and preceptors. If this is important to you, make sure to ask about it before enrolling in an online program.
  • You may be required to attend an in-person event – Some online programs also require you to attend at least one in-person event as part of your education at the school, such as an immersion weekend to kick off the program or different set meet-ups during the course of the program.
  • Price – Depending on the program, online NP programs are sometimes more or less expensive than traditional in-person programs. Bes sure to check out price differences when choosing an online program.
  • Top Bsn To Np Programs


    Considerations we used to rank each program below include affordability, length of the programs, accreditation status, program flexibility, and academic quality. Each of the programs on this list is accredited by the CCNE.

    John Hopkins offers BSN to NP programs specializing in adult-geriatric, family practice, pediatric, and psychiatric care. Each program results in the student earning a DNP credential. Most programs can be completed remotely with onsite clinical rotations in the student’s location.

    • Tuition: $1,738 per credit

    You May Like: Cheapest Nursing Schools In Arizona

    Choose A Nursing Path

    Nursing can take you in many directions, from starting out as a certified nursing assistant or staff nurse to working your way up to nurse administrator.

    When choosing your career path, think about the type of work environment you prefer. For example, RNs can be found in hospitals, doctors offices, and other medical settings, but certified nursing assistants often work in nursing homes. What type of setting will inspire you most?

    You should also consider what role you want to play. If you want to support medical staff as part of a team, a CNA or LPN/LVN could suit you well. If you want to manage other nurses and assistants or oversee systems, a career as an RN or advanced practice nurse is likely a good fit.

    Because there are so many facets to healthcare, nurses often specialize in certain areas, such as geriatrics or critical care. If you have a passion for a certain type of nursing, consider the type of education youll need to get there.

    Why Become A Nurse

    The journey to becoming a nurse will provide you with more than just clinical expertise. It will teach you valuable skills that are applicable to an array of roles. If, after obtaining your degree, you decide the traditional route isnt for you, opportunities await at pharmaceutical companies, schools, research laboratories and other settings.

    Read Also: 2 Year Nursing Programs In Memphis Tn

    Choose A Nursing Degree Program

    There are three types of pre-licensure degree programs for individuals who wish to become registered nurses. Deciding on the type of nursing program you want to attend is an important decision that will impact you financially and professionally. Future nursing students should be aware of the differences between each program type, the length of time needed to complete each program, the number of credits required to graduate, and each choices impact on their future scope of practice.

    Accelerated Bachelors Of Science In Nursing

    So You Want to Be a Nurse? Pathways In Nursing [Infographic]

    This option is available for people who already hold a bachelors degree in another field and would like to accomplish a BSN in a quick time. To enter an accelerated bachelors program, one must have a degree in any other field, accomplish the mandated prerequisite courses, and have a strong GPA upon applying.

    Program length ranges from 11 months to 2 years and depends on several factors including clinical components, whether the program follows the traditional academic calendar, and/or offers holiday breaks/weekends off/semester breaks.

    When deciding between programs with varying lengths, consider school-life balance, home commitments, and your commitment to the program.

    Sometimes faster doesnt always work or mean greater success.

    Don’t Miss: Walden University Online Nursing Program

    Who Is An Adn Right For

    Some of the primary reasons aspiring nurses choose an ADN program are:

  • It’s a lot more affordable
  • It’s faster
  • You can complete your ADN while working
  • It’s good for individuals with families or busy lifestyles
  • Many nurses earn their ADN first so they can start working fast and save money on their degree, and then get their BSN paid for by their employing hospital later on.
  • Make Connections During Clinicals

    When its time for you to complete clinical rounds during school, youll likely be assigned to a hospital where youll shadow a nurse . During this period, be an attentive learner with a positive attitude. Make connections with your preceptor and even their managers. If a position opens up, they may be more willing to recommend you for the job.

    Once your clinical ends, stay in touch with your preceptors as they may be a good resource for job opportunities.

    Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take To Get Nurse Practitioner

    What Does A Normal Nursing Career Path Look Like

    For many professions, a normal career path is relatively simple: Start in a junior-level specialized role, then advance to either a senior specialized role or a management position from there, its a climb to higher-level management positions.

    Nursing career paths, however, arent quite as tidy. There are several educational levels for nurses, which translates to several entry points into the field. Add to that the fact that many nurses are perfectly happy to spend their careers working in a specific, specialized role, and it becomes clear that theres really no such thing as a normal nursing career pathnormal is what you make it.

    Whether your sights are set on a management role or on finding your groove in a specialized care unit, it certainly helps to know the path ahead. Thats why we compiled 10 of the more common nursing specialties to provide you with a sampling of the various different ways you can break into a fulfilling career as a nurse.

    Six Nurse Practitioner Salary

    How to Become a Registered Nurse (RN) | Ways to Become an RN

    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.

    Don’t Miss: Uiw Nursing School Acceptance Rate

    Continue To Advance Your Career

    In the nursing profession, you can advance your career by continuing to learn and grow. As the demand for nurses increases, specializations and continued education may help you stand out and land the role that you have eyes on.

    One way to further your career is to earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice . This degree can help you transition to a more big-picture role and enable you to influence policy in health care organizations.You can also keep earning new professional certifications and specializations.

    All of the certifications you earn will eventually need to be renewed to keep your knowledge current. A common renewal period is every 5 years, according to the American Nurses Credentialing Center .

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Nursing Schools In Ventura County

    Navigating Nursing Career Paths: 10 Popular Specialties To Pursue

    By Will Erstad on 11/05/2018

    If you choose to become a nurse, one thing is certain: Youll have a lot of options for how you can focus your nursing career. Thats fantastic news for anyone who values flexibility and variety, but it can also be a little overwhelming as you attempt to narrow down your career path. For each new nursing route, a host of questions crops up: What education will I need? Will I need experience to specialize? How do I get started in these roles? The list goes on.

    Join us as we take a look at what a normal nursing career path consists of and explore what youll need to get started in some of the most popular nursing specialties.

    Choose A Specialty And Earn A Certification

    Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA): The Complete Career Guide

    Once youve completed an RN program and gained experience as a general nurse, you can set your sights on a more specific goal. You can get certified in a specialty youre interested in and then make it your nursing career path. Certain APRN careers even have masters degree program concentrations to help candidates prepare for these roles. Some specialties include:

    Sponsored Online Nursing Programs

    1 U.S. News & World Report, 2022 Best Nursing Schools: Masters. Ranked in 2021.


    Also Check: Texas Board Of Nursing Attorney

    What Degree Do You Need To Be A Registered Nurse

    Becoming a Registered Nurse requires a significant level of education and training. It requires time, dedication, and determination, but the rewards make it all worthwhile.

    To become a Registered Nurse, you must earn anursing degree and pass the National Council Licensure Examination . These steps will grant you the legal authority to practice as a nursing professional.

    There are two primary routes to eligibility for an RN license: an associate degree or a baccalaureate program.

    Associate Degree Program

    An Associate Degree in Nursing is the most common route to becoming a Registered Nurse. An associate degree in nursing can take up to two years to complete, with coursework including basic sciences, social sciences, nursing theory, and nursing practice.

    Bachelor Degree Program

    Recommendations from various nursing organizations for baccalaureate-level education for professional practice have resulted in an increased number of BSN programs. Some employers offer higher salaries* to nurses with a BSN degree than those with an ADN or diploma. In addition, the BSN qualification provides a more significant opportunity for promotion, including nursing management and administration positions. A BSN degree is an essential requirement for many nursing specializations and higher education, including the Master of Science in Nursing or Doctoral degree.

    The Nursing License

    Upon earning a nursing degree, aspiring nurses must apply for their license with their states board of nursing.

    Beginning Your Journey As A Nurse

    Becoming a nurse can feel daunting, but with the right knowledge, you can identify the best area of nursing for you. Before you decide to go into the field, familiarize yourself with nursing degree information and the various types of nursing specialties available. It is also important to gather as much career information as possible. If youre considering a job as an APRN, you can explore our .

    Remember, at the core of the profession, nurses specialize in helping people overcome health challenges or maintain good health.

    Don’t Miss: Nursing Programs In Brooklyn Ny

    Registered Nurse Job Projections

    The BLS expects tremendous job growth for registered nurses, with a 7% expansion expected between 2019 and 2029. Several reasons for this exist, including an aging population and wider healthcare availability through the Affordable Care Act.

    Patients will increasingly need nurses to educate them on and care for their chronic health problems, such as:

    The BLS says that the increased demand for registered nurses will come from facilities other than hospitals, such as outpatient and long-term care centers.

    As can be expected, the job growth is not necessarily even across the nation. The below table lists the top 10 states where growth is expected to be the highest from 2018 to 2028.


    • Ability to resolve legal and ethical issues arising during care provision

    More articles

    Popular Articles