Nursing is one of the highly sought-after professions. The number of persons with an interest in pursuing a nursing career is on the rise. There are varieties of reasons for the rising interest in nursing. For some, it is due to their passion for life-saving and caregiving. It might be about fulfilling a lifelong dream for another person. To others, it is about job satisfaction and a good paycheck.
Whatever the reason for your interest in nursing is, it is possible to achieve the dream of being a Registered Nurse (RN). This is irrespective of your current career or status. All that it requires is the decision and the appropriate information on the processes of becoming a registered nurse.
We present here the processes of how to become a registered nurse. It is not just enough to earn a certification as a registered nurse but a successful practice is crucial. We also highlight the best 10 jobs you can get as a registered nurse.
Best 10 Nursing Jobs Near Me
A registered nurse is a graduate of a nursing program, who has met all the requirements of the country for nursing practice. S/he is given a license to practice in the health and wellness industry. Registered nurses play vital roles in the health sector. These roles vary depending on the area of specialty, nature and size of the work environment.
Typically, the roles of a Registered nurse include:
- Monitoring patients and assessments of their state of health
- Documentation of patient medical history and symptoms
- Updating patient medical records at intervals
- Liaising with the other medical personnel to plan for a patient’s Medicare
- Administration of drugs and treatments
- Assisting during surgeries and treatment of wounds
- Collection of patient samples for laboratory
- Health Education of patients and their families
HOW TO BECOME A REGISTERED NURSE
The first step to becoming a Registered nurse is your decision to pursue a nursing career. Once you have decided, the processes outlined below will lead you to your nursing profession.
1. Acquire a Nursing Degree
For you to become a Registered nurse, you must acquire a degree in nursing from an accredited institution. You may be required to obtain either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). Which of these degrees is required depends on the state in which you want to practice.
Some states only require RNs to acquire an associate degree in nursing to practice. However, many states and employers accept only a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) as a minimum requirement to practice. For this reason, it is advisable that an individual aspiring to be a Registered nurse should consider earning BSN as the best route to his/her career.
Irrespective of whether the student chooses the ADN or BSN option, a credit pass in mathematics, sciences and liberal art is mandatory. Other subjects required for the school of nursing are anatomy, biology psychology and physiology.
The duration of study for a nursing degree depends on the nursing program you are undertaking. Many options exist for earning your BSN. For a first-time college student, a four-year BSN program is perfect for you. For someone who has acquired ADN, embarking on RN-to-BS Completion Course is recommended. The completion course last for a period ranging from 12 to 14 calendar months. In a similar manner, if you possess a non-nursing degree in a related field; an accelerated nursing program that spans between 16 to 24 months is fine.
2. Sit and Pass the NCLEX Exam
A few weeks after graduating from nursing school, students can apply for state licensure. To qualify for licensure the student must register, sit and pass National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX or NCLEX-RN). This is a computer-based test in which the student is expected to complete a minimum of 75 questions within 6 hours.
After the acquisition of a nursing degree, the next requirement is to sit for and pass the NCLEX. NCLEX is formulated to assess your knowledge and understanding of fundamental areas of nursing. To test your preparedness for job-specific challenges. Passing the NCLEX is a mandatory requirement to be issued a state license as a Registered nurse.
In order to obtain your state license, you will need to pass the exam. Failure to pass the NCLEX at the first attempt will warrant a waiting period of 45 days before you can retake it.
- Receive State License
You are required to obtain a nursing license in the state where you intend to practice as a registered nurse. This is only issued after you have completed your nursing degree and passed the NCLEX. If you wish to work in different states, you are required to be licensed by each of the states you intend to work. Except for a state that honors the license of neighboring states. Different states have different requirements and ethics; therefore you must endeavor to read before committing to it.
- Get an Employment.
After you get a license to practice as a registered nurse by the state, it is best you get a job to deploy the knowledge acquired to use. It is the best way to gather job experience and grow your career. It is very important to create a positive impression during clinical work, this can enhance career growth.
- Get Board Certification.
Registered Nurse who wants to reach the peak of their career and earn more, work hard to get board certification. This requires more than two years of clinical work in a field of specialty. Such a fellow must sit and pass the required examination.
4. Seek Advanced Training (optional)
Acquisition of a state practice license is not the end of a career pursuit in nursing. There are other opportunities to explore that will make you outstanding and earn more.
One of such is to become a specialist in a particular field of nursing. Earning a specialty certification in one of the many fields such as pediatric, anaesthesia, midwifery, gerontology, etc will further your career. It can increase your earnings and provide greater working opportunities. A choice to pursue a higher degree such as a Master’s degree in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) will enhance a successful nursing career.
Being a Registered nurse (RN) is indeed a wonderful privilege to be part of the growing professionals in the wellness industry. There are more than three million RN, who are imparting positively on the lives of patients and are earning well.
There are lots of job opportunities available for Registered nurses with attractive and good working conditions. We have carefully outlined the best 10 nursing job available based on salary and work conditions.
Certified Dialysis Nurse
Dialysis nurses (Certified) are among the specialty areas in nursing. They provide assistance to patients with kidney-related conditions. They are also referred to renal nurses. They perform life-saving processes on patients with severe kidney failure for the removal of wastes and toxins from their bodies. They rely mostly on the dialysis machine for their operation.
Certification as a Dialysis nurse requires an RN license plus a minimum of 2000 hours of experience working on dialysis for a period of at least 2 years. This is in addition to the completion of a 15 hours course on nephrology. Certified dialysis nurse earns an averagely of $73,831 per year.
Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates an increase in demand for nurses in this field. It is an area of choice for RNs due to the shortage of personnel.
A midwife nurse is an experienced nurse who specializes in providing prenatal care, gynecological support and labor care during baby delivery. Their duty focuses on the delivery of a baby and the provision of healthcare before, during and after delivery for both the mother and child. They equally offer birth control education.
Midwives are directly involved in examinations, drug prescriptions, and scheduling of tests for would-be mothers. They educate nursing mothers on healthy lifestyles. They offer services in different health settings such as clinics, birth centers, hospitals, etc.
To practice as a midwife, one needs a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and certification as a midwife. Some employers require only candidates who have undergone a specialty program in midwifery. The average annual salary is $91,070 for a certified nurse midwife (CNM).
An anaesthetist nurse administers patients due for surgery with anaesthesia. They provide Medicare for individuals during a surgical operation. They are specialists in preparing patients for surgeries. They monitor and manage the effect of the anaesthesia during and after the operation. They work hand-in-hand with surgeons, dentists and physicians to deliver successful surgical procedures.
Anaesthetist needs two years post BSN experience as a nurse with their before enrolling in an MSN in nurse anaesthesia program. On completion of the master’s degree, they must pass a national certification examination to practice legally. A doctoral degree may also be required.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are among the best-paid medical jobs. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the average annual salary for CRNAs is $160,000. In fact, they can earn considerably more than some primary care physicians, at just a fraction of the education and training.
Endocrinology Pediatric Nurse
These are nurses that specialize in endocrinology. They manage and care for children suffering from diseases that affect the endocrine system. They manage children of all ages with endocrine-related disorders. They educate the parents of their patients on the management of their children’s medical conditions. Management of growth and sexual development in children is part of their work.
To qualify as a Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse, ASN or BSN nursing degree is needed with two years of experience, and internships at pediatric-endocrinology locations. Candidate must receive and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for pediatric endocrinology. Pediatric Endocrinology Nurses have an annual salary of $81,000 in hospitals, clinics, children’s health care facilities, or private pediatrician offices.
Public Health Nurse
Public health nurses are at the forefront of caring for entire populations. Their focus is primarily on preventative medicine through educating patients about health issues and how to make improvements. They manage disease outbreaks and epidemics.
A public health nurse needs to possess an RN license with a BSN and must have reasonable experience as a regular nurse. Some public health nurses hold an MSN. Their salary is about $59,560 per year on average.
A Psychiatric Nurse
Psychiatric nurses specialize in the management of patients with mental health. They utilize their knowledge and experience to help their patients overcome mental illnesses. They help them to avoid depression, disability, and social isolation while making effort to restore their health.
Psychiatric nurses need a BSN from an accredited college. Candidates planning to diagnose or prescribe medications need a master’s degree or higher. They earn about $66,906 per year
These are supported medical personnel offering health services to individuals with problems in their skeletal system. Orthopedic nurses provide care for patients with musculoskeletal ailments, such as joint replacement or arthritis. These nurses need an RN license and a BSN, their yearly salary is about $66,363.
Geriatric nurses work with old people. They manage health issues mostly associated with elderly persons. They work mostly in nursing homes or hospitals. They have special expertise in handling these patients who are old people and often have medical conditions, such as dementia, arthritis, heart or lung problems etc. These nurses need RN licensure and a BSN, plus experience working with elderly patients. Their salary per annum is about $65,000 per year
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are experienced nurses who offer direct care to patients of different ages from newborns to the elderly. They are involved in the diagnosis, examination and treatment of patients. They offer comprehensive healthcare services.
NPS performs comprehensive physical examinations, diagnose and treat various medical conditions, order and interpret laboratory or diagnostic testing, and teach patients about living a healthy lifestyle. Nurse Practitioners have the right to give drug prescriptions and controlled substances. The states also allow independent practice by NPs.
Qualification NP includes possession of an RN license with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Although this career path needs about six to eight years of studies, NPS enjoys a high-demand nursing career with good working conditions. Their salary according to BLS 2020 is very impressive and averages $118,040 annually.