How to Become a Registered Nurse

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Why should I become a nurse?

The number one reason people become nurses is that they have a desire to help and care for others. The beauty of a nursing career is that not only can you make a difference in the lives of others, you may be able to earn a higher than average salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses in the U.S. make an average median salary of $70,000 (hourly rate of $33.65) – which is 86% more than all occupations in the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Earn your associate or bachelor’s in nursing degree online. You may qualify for $6,095 in grants!

Is nursing a secure job?

Yes, the number of U.S. registered nursing jobs is growing rapidly, which makes it very secure. It is forecasted that between 2016-2026 it will increase by 15% to employ almost 3 million nurses. This influx is due to the added emphasis on preventative care, increasing chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity, and a larger baby-boomer population that has a mounting need for healthcare. Learn how to become a registered nurse.

What does a nurse do each day?

Registered nurses have many responsibilities and their tasks vary based on where they work and the specific patients they care for.

Nursing responsibilities can include but are not limited to:

  • assess patient conditions,
  • record patient medical histories and symptoms,
  • observe patients and record observations,
  • administer medicine and treatment to patients,
  • perform diagnostic tests and analyze results,
  • teach patients how to manage illnesses or injuries in the hospital and at home.

Who do nurses work with?

Nurses work with doctors and other healthcare professionals. As managers, nurses may oversee licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nurses assistants (CNAs), or home health aides. If nurses go into the academic or teaching side of nursing, they may work with other educators and administrators.

What kind of nurses are there?

The type of nurse you become will be largely based on the type of patients you want to care for. For instance, a geriatric nurse works with elderly patients, pediatric nurses work with children, oncology nurses work with cancer patients, addiction nurses work with patients who are working to overcome addictions to drugs, alcohol, or other substances, and neonatology nurses work with newborn babies.

Where do nurses work?

Registered nurses can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, residential care facilities, cancer centers, care centers, treatment centers, homes, businesses and organizations, and educational settings.

Earn your associate or bachelor’s in nursing degree online. You may qualify for $6,095 in grants!

What are nurses schedules like?

Because most facilities that nurses work in are required to be open 24/7, nurses rotate between shifts that cover those hours. These shifts may include nights, weekends, and holidays. Nurses may also be required to be on call, which means they must be available to work on short notice if needed.

How do I become a nurse?

There are many ways to become a Registered Nurse. Each path requires accredited prelicensure nursing education and training as well as sitting for and passing a national test (called the NCLEX-RN).

Each of the degree paths below should allow you to sit for the NCLEX-RN nursing certification exam to become a licensed registered nurse. Important – before you enroll in a nursing program, ensure that your program is accredited by a regional or national nursing accreditor. You should also confirm that your degree program will provide the curriculum that will allow you to sit for the NCLEX-RN test upon graduation.

  1. Nursing Diploma – 12 months
  2. Associate of Science in Nursing Degree (ADN) – 2 years
  3. Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN) – 4 years (most common path)


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