Becoming a registered nurse


Becoming a registered nurse opens up a lot of avenues for growth, education and innovative experiences that lie on a very broad spectrum. Through a nursing career one can start making a difference in people’s lives every day. The majority of working people in the healthcare industry are registered nurses (RN). Although they come second to a doctor, they still maintain a senior position over licensed nurses and assistants. Instead of focusing on a single medical avenue, registered nurses work in various medical conditions as a full time or on-call nurse. According to the area one chooses to live, registered nurses can be on-field workers; war nurses or even hospital nurses

Things to Ponder before Becoming a RN:

Becoming a registered nurse is a challenging yet rewarding profession that asks for late working hours. There are many points to ponder upon before one makes the decision of choosing nursing as their lifelong profession like salary, job description etc.

* The job of a registered nurse is to offer and coordinate patient supervision, instruct victims and public regarding different health problems, and also to provide counseling and emotional advice to victims and their family.

* The working environment for registered nurses consists of hospitals, offices of physicians, healthcare services at homes, and other nursing and care facilities. Nurses can also be found in correctional facilities, summer camps, and educational institutions and even in the military.

* According to a survey in 2010, the average yearly pay of a registered nurse was found to be $64,690. They are paid a wage of $31.10 per hour.

* The job outlook looks very promising for RNs in the 21st century due to the various technological advancements, increased victims in preventative care and more healthy elders living longer lives.

There are a large number of avenues that can be pursued after becoming a RN through specialization in a certain work type or medical treatment.

1. Ambulatory care nurses work in the preventative avenue that care for individuals in particular clinics or through tele-health services i.e. providing healthcare information through telephone or Internet.

2. Critical care nurses work in the intensive care unit and treat acute illnesses that require complex procedures and therapies.

3. Trauma nurses work in emergency units and provide basic assessment for patients with life threatening wounds or conditions. They can progress to the position of transport nurses who treat patients being transported on helicopters from another facility.

4. Holistic nurses excel in the medical procedures of acupuncture, aroma or massage therapy for spiritual, physical and mental healing.

5. Home nurses provide medical care at home mostly for follow ups after discharge or for terminal illnesses. Such care is also provided at hospices by palliative care nurses.
Become a registered nurse

Steps for Becoming A Registered Nurse:

1. If you want to start early on your nursing career, you can prepare yourself in high school as well. The high school equivalent for becoming a RN consists of the following subjects that should be taken up for study.

  • English (4 years)
  • Math (4 years)
  • Science (4 years)
  • Social Studies (4 years)
  • Foreign Language (2 years)

2. Another good choice before becoming a registered nurse is to make sure the type of nursing school you want to go to. There are a total of 3 nursing programs that budding registered nurses can enroll in and 1 alternative route for entering this profession.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is a 2 to 3 year long experience that is also offered in various community colleges and gives you experience along with education for basic nursing care.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a 4 year long experience that is offered at various public and private institutions. It only provides experience for basic nursing procedures but also prepares for later job opportunity into administration within the healthcare.

Entry Level Master’s Program in Nursing (ELM) is a master’s degree program for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree in another subject and who would like to change their fields.

Military Corpsmen can take the national exam for becoming a registered nurse if they have the required nursing experience and educational achievement.

3. Apply in your selected nursing colleges within the state or country that you would like. You should have complete information on the entry tests that are required for your intended colleges and you should keep your options open while applying and queue up several colleges for admissions.

4. You can go visit the financial aid information for various states and apply for different scholarships, bursaries and loans that are provided according to your needs. Nursing schools can be quite expensive so making use of such opportunities is in your best interest.

5. Finally, the last step for becoming a registered nurse is getting your RN license. Getting a RN license is extremely important and various states have their own Boards for registering nurses. For example, California has BRN, California State Board of Registered Nursing. Before they issue you a license they check your complete criminal record and also that you have passed all the educational requirements as stated above. Lastly, if you pass the national nurse licensing examination, you can apply for the license.

The test is taken continuously 6 days a week. You can complete this procedure before graduation by asking your school to forward your results to the board. You should complete all these procedures 6 to 8 weeks in advance of your graduation. While you wait for your test results, you can also apply for an interim permit to work as a nurse under supervision.

The process of becoming a registered nurse is a tedious one but it pays off in the long run as many states boast of some of the best nursing facilities in the world. Getting a place in those healthcare centers is every nurse’s dream and not to mention the satisfaction you get from proper work ethics and higher wages. By following all the above mentioned critical information, one can be assured that success will find them on their way to becoming a registered nurse.

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