Ways To Become A Registered Nurse
If you love helping people, but the idea of going into the healthcare field or becoming a doctor is just too overwhelming, consider becoming a registered nurse. Nurses are knowledgeable professionals who treat patients, and the road to becoming a nurse is very accessible path. Nursing is a steady field, with good pay that generally increases with education and experience, and there are a slew of different jobs to meet your desires and specialities.
Now that becoming a future RN is on your mind, it's time to get your education in order. You will need to have graduated high school or have gotten a GED. If you happen to still be in high school, make sure to take all offered science courses and try to keep your GPA up. Nursing schools also look at attendance and are hesitant to offer admission to students who don't seem to always show up to class. It also helps to get a competitive SAT or ACT score, as many universities hold these in high regard.
There are a few different routes to becoming a registered nurse. You can get an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree or become a Licensed Nurse Practitioner, or an LPN. The quickest path is to choose to be an LPN, however, this means you are really more of a nursing aide or nursing caregiver. The pay is lower and the job options are more limited in location and variety. The most popular nursing path is through an associate's degree in nursing. Generally, achieving this will take about two to three years. Students like these programs because of the manageable term length and the hands on education approach.
The last education option to becoming a nurse is through a bachelor's degree. This degree will usually take four years and will be at a university or college. Bachelor's programs are a bit more rigorous, harder to get into, and will have a variety of non-nursing classes like English and History to round out your education. The great thing about a BSN is that finding jobs straight out of school is incredibly easy. Often hospitals will recruit employees straight out of university. Also, the pay is higher than for those with an associate's degree and nurses with a BSN are eligible for supervisors and some administration positions.
Once you have received some sort of education, the last step to becoming a registered nurse is to pass the national licensing exam, called the NCLEX-RN. This is a comprehensive exam that tests all of the skills deemed necessary to be a competent nurse in this country. It is difficult, but can be easily passed if you paid attention to your studies and took your classes seriously. Once you have a license, all that is left to do is get a job. The nursing industry is very strong and there is a big boom coming in the next 3-5 years, that is supposed to open up thousands of jobs. Perfect timing for when you graduate and receive your license.