How Do I Become a Nurse ?
If you are considering nursing or leading down to that path, this is the article for you. Know all the details about the courses, salaries, duration of the courses, must know facts about the profession and more.
Is Nursing a good career ?
First and foremost, nursing is a very rewarding career if you have the right aptitude! Its all about patience, caring attitude . You will bring care, comfort and happiness into peoples lives - saving them in many ways. You may have many life changing experiences but over all most nurses report a high level of job satisfaction. Nursing as a career can be very rewarding. It is a career filled with opportunities and challenges.
The US Bureau of Labor Statics (BLS) reported the median expected salary of a nurse with a Bachelors/ Associate degree is around $68,450 and the pay is set to rise by about 4-5% every year till you have about 8 years of experience.
The basic qualification to become a nurse is to have a solid educational foundation. Any kind of nurse practitioner - LPN, RN or administrator. In order to become a nurse you need to get your licence from an accredited nursing program.
Nursing would always be a career high in demand because of the growing population and ever increasing demand for health care professionals.
Steps to become a Registered Nurse in America
Step 1: Choose a Nursing path
Choosing your nursing path is the first step. If you decide to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), nurse staff or even an administrator you need to start planning your direction from the onset.
Also knowing your setting is very crucial. Are you comfortable working in a doctor’s office or hospital or a nursing home?
Nurses, just like doctors have to specialize in certain areas of healthcare. So approach your schooling based on your passion, that truly inspires you.
Step 2: Earn your degree:
While choosing your degree, important thing to keep in mind is the how much time and effort you can put into this degree. You can earn nursing diplomas, associate’s degree or a bachelor Degree.
Associate degree takes two years to and can be reduced with accelerate programs. Bachelor’s degree takes about four years full time study and allows nurses to move into administration, advanced nursing, consulting teaching or even other research roles. There are various other options as well, for instance if you are in an associate to bachelor’s RN program you would take two years to complete your course. You may also expedite your program if you are a student n a bachelors degree program in a field other than nursing.
While making these decisions, it is important to keep in mind the impact these courses will have on your future. While an associates degree takes less time to complete than a bachelors and this will allow you to start earning faster , it also should be kept in mind that more people might want to hire a graduate from a bachelors school just so that they have more in depth knowledge. Many nursing bachelors and
Step 3: Get Licensed
Once your degree is over, the next step is to get your license, this is essentially your permit to practice, here you will showcase your knowledge and skills. Based on your chosen path you will have to select your test to get your licensure.
You need to pass the State competency program to become a Licensed certified nursing assistant (CNA). Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN).
RNs and all advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are required to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to earn licensure.
Nurse practitioners must pass a national certification exam administered by a professional organization, such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. The cost of NCLEX is about $200 and additional licensure fees may apply. To take this test and get more information go to https://www.ncsbn.org/nclex.htm
Upon completing their education, nurse midwives should pass the exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), while nurse anesthetists must pass the exam given by the National Board of Certification and Re-certification for Nurse Anesthetists.
A nurse needs to continue taking tests at a regular interval and updating their skills or even get certified to enhance skills and get advanced degrees for any specialized care.
Levels of Nursing
There are various levels of nursing, we are discussing them below.
|Nurse Profile|| Also know as || Job Profile|| Median Annual Salary ( 2017)|| Projected growth (2016-2026)|| Exams/Courses|
|Nursing Assistant|| Nursing Aids / CAN ( Certified Nursing Assistants)|| Help to coordinate between medical staff and patients, take care of patient hygiene. They are principal caregivers || 27,510 ||11% ||Must complete state approved education program might take three-either weeks. Aspiring CAN's must pass an exam and then get state certified |
|Licenced Practical Nurses ( LPN)|| Licenced Vocational Nurses || LPN are responsible for patient care duties in hospitals, nursing homes and long term care facilities, which may extent to taking vital signs, inserting catheder, collecting samples, administer IV, communicate care instructions to patient and family. || 45,030|| 12% ||Start by completing Practical Nursing Diploma and are the required to pass NCLEX-RN. Earn certifications to specialize in areas of your choice. |
|Registered Nurse ( RN)|| People generally associate the term "Nurse" with them. || Based on specialization and work environment they provide care to patients and assistance to physicians. They also accurately maintain patient record and histories, administer meds, observe reactions or side affects. ||70,000 ||15% ||Pursuing either an ADN ( Associate Degree in Nursing) or BSN ( Bachelor of Science in Nursing), final licensure can only be achieved by taking the NCLEX. Statewise RN qualifications may differ, make sure you check details for your state. |
|Advanced Practice Registered Nurses ( APRN)|| After the Master of Science in Nursing one can become an APRN. They work as RN plus more , like ordering and evaluation tests, regerring patients to specialists and diagnosing and treatment. 4 basic kinds of APRN. || 110,930 ||31%|| Do a MSN after becoming an RN. Specialization may dictate some specific courses. |
Facts about Nursing :
While we discussed right in the beginning about how rewarding the nursing school really is, there is also a cautionary tale. You need to be ready for the commitment.
- Be ready to burn the midnight oil. Nursing school is tough, high GPAs , getting good grades in . While students earn credits then need to also clock in clinic hours. Sometime students are forced to take fast track courses and end up having to give multiple or series of tests. Before entering nursing school make sure you are prepared for this situation. Gear up for the uphill climb and take it in your stride. Prepare and go for tests, have a good nights sleep and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
- Also keep your focus on the end goal. Nursing school can be exhausting. Check your self, your stress levels and focus on the final goal. Focus on job satisfaction, job stability, high salaries and, more.
- You will become desensitized to people’s trauma and suffering. Including undiagnosed ailments, hospital bureaucracy, health care and insurance inequalities, bloody injuries or gross illness. This is part of being in the nursing industry. You just have to take it with a pinch of salt.
- With the hectic schedules and work hours , Nursing school is definitely a place where you will ve making friends for a lifetime. You need someone to have your back and also to lean on. Its also a place where you may have to stay under the same roof there could be friction and bullying. Being positive, friendly and focused will help with getting rid of distractions and unnecessary confrontations.
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