Registered nurses often perform the duties that were traditionally performed by doctors, midwives, nurse practitioners and even anesthetics. There are different categories of registered nurses, and therefore if you wish to learn how to become a registered nurse you have to identify your category first. The available categories of registered nurses include:
• New entrants who have never practiced but wish to become registered nurses.
• Out-of-state registered nurses who have been practicing in another state but would like to seek employment in a new state.
• International registered nurses who have been practicing in another country but would like to obtain a local license.
• Former registered nurses who have been inactive or whose license has expired.
There are different requirements for becoming a registered nurse under each of the categories mentioned above. However, the last three categories are determined by the laws of your preferred state. Beginners are the ones who go through tough challenges but once you enter the field, you can always find your way to your preferred location. Therefore, this article will mainly focus on the first category of registered nurses.
Education requirements to become a RN
The first step in learning how to become a RN, you need to take a diploma course in the field. Registered nurse education takes duration of between 2 and 4 years. An associate’s degree takes 2 years while a bachelor’s degree takes 4 years, after which you decide whether to continue with your studies or to look for employment. To enroll for a RN course, you need to have a pass in chemistry and biology. These are the pre-requisite subjects for enrollment in RN schools.
The National Council Licensing Examination controls the national licensing process by issuing a standardized exam for all aspiring candidates. Once you pass this examination, you are issued with a relevant certification. Most RN schools give you the NCLEX-RN exam prior to graduation; ensure that your preferred school has good results in previous exams as this will determine whether or not you will be able to secure the RN license.
Licensing at the state level is issued by the local Board of Registered Nurses. To secure employment, you have to meet all the requirements set by the state. You also need to have a social security number and a clean criminal record. A work permit and some additional requirements are needed from international RNs who wish to practice within the US.
How to become a RN: Nursing experience
Registered Nurses are in shortage and so most RNs are getting employed immediately after graduation. However, this profession involves handling patients directly and so it is important to have some practical training prior to seeking employment. Most big hospitals and high paying health facilities look for people who have hands-on experience in the field, and so it is advisable for you to gain work experience before searching for employment. You can increase your employability by enrolling for voluntary service at local hospitals while still at school. You can also apply for a job as an aide in order to gain the relevant work experience required in the field.
Registered nurses are required to have a great personality when dealing with other people, especially co-workers and patients. Effective customer service skills are essential as they help you deal with each patient in a personalized and friendly manner, regardless of their personality. Learn about the dynamics of communication in order to deal with patients from diverse psychosocial backgrounds. Patience and diligence is highly desirable if you are to succeed as a registered nurse. You should note that you will be working within a hospital setting where you will constantly be required to consult with other hospital staff in order to effectively assist patients. This requires you to be a good team player and strong interpersonal skills. Confidence is also a key requirement to the success of anyone looking how to become a RN, since you may have to handle many needles than expected.
A registered nurse career is more of a vocation than a profession. It requires more than the education you get in RN schools, and goes beyond the RN certification and license of work obtained from the Board of Registered Nurses. You need to have a great personality and the willingness to help. It is your desire to save lives that will contribute towards your success as a RN. Therefore, you need to look deep within yourself and see whether you have the vocation of a nurse before asking anyone about the tips on how to become a RN.