Steps to Becoming a Registered Nurse (RN)

Nursing is a demanding career; however it is one of the most rewarding career choices anyone could make. People in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other medical establishments can benefit from your help when you get your nursing degree. Plus, with the nursing shortage, you are virtually guaranteed to be able to get a job after you obtain your degree.

Registered nurses can work in a variety of environments; they can work in doctor offices, hospitals, dental offices, nursing homes, clinics, schools and so many other types of medical establishments. Because of the nursing shortage, once a nurse obtains their RN degree, they will be able to select where they want to work; it will be their choice. There are always dozens of job positions available for RNs, so any RN will be able to choose which job position is best for them.
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Career and Training Options for Becoming an RN

When you are considering a career as an RN, it does not take much looking around to discover that there are many paths to getting your nursing credentials. You can go to school full-time, but you can also work and attend school part-time. A lot of students with families or other financial obligations often choose the latter option.

If you seriously considering working in this field of medicine, then you are going to be joining the ranks of one of the largest health care sectors out there today. Many people find nursing very rewarding because you get to help patients and make a difference, while also earning a good salary. But before you take the first steps, you need to be aware of the options.
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Becoming an RN: Another Look at Your Options

In case you missed it, we recently did a post on the different training options and degree programs available once you’ve decided on becoming an RN. If you’ve read that, then you should have a very good understanding of some of the degree types that are available and the benefits of each one. Just like with any other career, more training and experience often means more career potential as a Registered Nurse.

We always like to share helpful resources when we find them and this article is definitely full of lots of great information. This article takes a different approach and instead focuses less on the different types of RN degrees and more on the different career paths you can take on your way to becoming an RN. Whether you decide to attend school full time, or become a CNA and work to earn an income and gain experience while you’re training, this article will help you to decide.
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Becoming an RN: A Visual Approach

If you’re anything like me and you learn better when someone visually shows you what they’re explaining, then this video should be very beneficial in helping you understand the process of becoming an RN. This video goes through the different options you have for getting the necessary training to be a Registered Nurse.

If having a job while while you’re attending school for Registered Nurse training isn’t a concern for you, then you can attend training full-time and complete your training faster. If on the other hand you’d prefer to be employed to earn money and gain experience while you train, then there are certain steps you can take on your way to becoming an RN that will give you real world, on the job experience in the health care field and let you earn a little money along the way.

Take a look at this video for a visual guide to the different options for becoming an RN.

Becoming an RN: Training for Career Success

Anyone who is thinking about becoming an RN will want to make sure that they receive the best registered nurse training available. To choose the best training available, future students need to understand exactly what they will go through to train for the position.

There are various steps to becoming an RN, steps that are crucial to the overall education and success of each future registered nurse. Because this is the largest growing health care occupation, students should expect vigorous courses with competition from other students.

Registered nurse training starts in the first years of college, as students must take a course load that prepares them for the various educational opportunities provided by the national nursing board. Students will need to excel in a wide range of courses that include microbiology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, psychology, and behavioral sciences.

Students must also go through a wide variety of nursing classes that teach all of the different technical and medical skills that an RN may need to perform in the workplace. These duties may include administering medication, administering physical therapy, drawing blood, starting and removing IV lines, and patient consultations.

The training for becoming an RN is broken down into various categories, with each requiring a unique amount of time in school. Those who are feeling out the field of nursing may want to acquire their ADN, or Associates Degree in Nursing. Most will go for a full four year program to obtain their BSN, or Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Individuals who hold a BSN or ADN will be able to start working in the field directly after graduation in the most basic nursing jobs on the job market.

More advance training options for becoming a registered nurse include Accelerated Bachelor’s programs and MSN (Masters Degree in Nursing) programs. The accelerated program moves students through the regular course load of the BSN student, but in 12-18 months. This is perfect for those who already have a degree and are looking to get into nursing. MSN programs take around two years, but provide opportunities for more detailed work and advancement in the nursing field.

The final piece of training for students interested in becoming an RN is preparation for the licensing and certifying test, known as the NCLEX-RN. The NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse) is the one national licensing examination students must pass to become a registered nurse.

There are further educational opportunities for those who are serious about their nursing career. Many students go through extra education to specialize in a specific area and become credentialed in that area. Some examples of these credentials include Gerontology and Pediatrics. These credentials are generally obtained from the NLN (National League for Nursing) or the ANCC (American Nursing Credentialing Center).

If you are thinking about becoming an RN, you must tackle your undergraduate studies and master the art of nursing. Students who apply themselves, focus on their test, and pass their NCLEX-RN will be well on their way to finding a job as a Registered Nurse.