How to Become a Nurse

Learning how to become a nurse will give you a chance to see the steps you will have to go through to be involved with this career. It does not take long to start work as a registered nurse, depending on how dedicated you are to your education. In just a few short years, you could be a licensed RN working in a hospital in your area. Does that sound like a good plan? If so, read the guide below to learn how to become a registered nurse in the near future.

Step 0 – Research the Career

Before you can even think about learning how to become a registered nurse, you need to figure out if you would do well in this career. An RN has to have some knowledge of the medical field, so you will need to prepare to learn medical terminology to work in this career. You will also need to have a sense of compassion and an immense amount of patience. Beyond all that, you will need to be able to learn new information on a regular basis and adapt to new patients and environments all the time. You have to be able to communicate with people and remain productive throughout the day as well. This can be a challenging career as a whole, but it may be the perfect option for you.

Step 1 – Get an Education

If you know without a doubt that you want to become a nurse, you will need to get an education. There are three different registered nurse programs you can look into: a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), and a diploma. Any one of those could come from a four year university, but most ADN and diploma programs are available in two year junior colleges. You can choose to go to school online or to go to a traditional college campus. That is up to you. At the end of the day though, you need to obtain some kind of degree or diploma to work as a registered nurse.

Step 2 – Obtain a Certification

Once you obtain your degree or diploma, you will need to you go through an examination to become a licensed nurse. The test you will take to become a registered nurse will be the National Council Licensure Examination, or the NCLEX-RN. Some states will have additional requirements for you to actually begin work as an RN, so you will need to talk to the nursing board in your state to determine what other certifications you need to get. You may just have to take a class or two to fulfill all the education requirements for nursing.

Step 3 – Find a Job

Now that you have your certification completed, the only other step you will have to go through is actually finding work in nursing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 60% of nursing jobs in America are available in hospitals. Thus you may start your job search at a hospital in your area. You could also look in a local doctor’s office, health clinic, nursing home, or similar facility, depending on what your specialization is. With the high demand for nurses in the country, you should have no trouble finding an open position to fulfill.

Salary Projections after You Become a Nurse

Before you become a registered nurse, you will probably want to know how much money you are going to be. There are several factors that will determine what your registered nurse salary, so it is hard to say what you will be making exactly. Here is a look at some of the salary levels you could experience:

Salary by Industry

  • Medical Services: $19.58 – $36.98 per hour
  • Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation: $20.52 – $35.35 per hour
  • Hospital: $20.38 – $37.20 per hour
  • Healthcare: $19.75 – $36.49 per hour
  • Acute Care Hospital: $20.83 – $38.68 per hour

Salary by Certification

  • Registered Nurse: $19.12 – $36.42 per hour
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support: $20.51 – $37.70 per hour
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program: $20.65 – $38.15 per hour
  • Critical Care: $20.22 – $39.62 per hour
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: $19.79 – $36.48 per hour
  • Basic Life Support: $19.61 – $35.68 per hour
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support: $20.37 – $37.87 per hour

With the right education and a strong level of commitment, you could make great money as a registered nurse. Just follow the guide above and you will be on your way to a rewarding career in no time.