It takes a special person to become a Registered Nurse. You not only need to have a good grasp of many facets of medical science but that knowledge must blend well with your people skills. If your plans take you on a path to becoming an RN, you have a lot of preparation to do beforehand. In addition to mastering the technical skills necessary to treat patients, you’ll need to enroll in a state approved nursing school in order to qualify for licensing.(1)
There are several different paths you can take to reach your new career. Most RNs start their training by getting a Nursing Diploma, Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an accredited college or university. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those who opt for the Bachelor’s Degree path historically receive more and better advancement opportunities than those who opt for the faster Associate’s Degree. This is because the 4-year investment in learning gives a more comprehensive package that concentrates on incorporating natural human development and behavioral sciences and applies them to the profession. (2)
The curriculum for a Bachelor’s Degree is generally broken up into two separate sections. The first two years are targeted on general sciences like physiology, organic chemistry, and psychology and the final two years is when students acquire more technical and practical applications in nursing practices and specific areas of study like pediatrics, chronic disease and mental health nursing. During this second half of learning, students will also get many hours of clinical practice as a Registered Nurse.(3)
For those who take the Associate’s Degree route, the programs focus more on the technical applications of nursing. These courses will include both a traditional classroom setting and clinical practice. According to the American Nurses Association, an Associate’s Degree can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. While this degree is the faster track to an RN, they also report that many who have earned their Associate’s Degree end up returning to school later to get their Bachelor’s Degree. (4)
The third way to becoming a Registered Nurse is to get a Nursing Diploma. These programs are offered in many health care facilities and can take several years to complete. While they are the least expensive, they are lacking in some of the essentials you may need to move up in your career. As a result, those who hold Nursing Diplomas often end up returning to school later on to increase their chances of moving up in their career. (5)
Of these three tracks you can take to becoming a Registered Nurse, only you can decide which one is best for you. While getting the Diploma or the Associate’s Degree could put you into a job much more quickly, if you plan to make this a lifelong career you may opt to enroll in the Bachelor’s Program where you have a greater chance of advancement. Becoming a nurse is a highly noble profession and can be very rewarding. It is important, however, that you carefully weigh your options for preparing for your new career so that you can get the most out of the experience.
Do you really want to be a nurse?
Your clinical nursing skills are top-notch, you aced nursing didactics, and you’ve just passed your NCLEX-RN. You’re almost 100 percent positive that you’ve built the perfect nursing skills resume—but have you?
If you didn’t notice during clinicals that it takes a lot more than just solid technical skills and book smarts to be a great nurse, then you probably will very quickly after you begin working.
START OFF on the right foot, and let us help you land a nursing job
It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse—a balanced mix of intellectual and people-person. And it’s often said that nurses are born, not made. We’ve listed the top nursing skills you’ll need to go from good to great. (1)
Is it worth becoming a nurse?
Nurses enjoy a high level of job satisfaction, performing well-compensated work that can make a difference in people’s lives. While no nursing diploma can guarantee employment, this guide can help launch you toward a nursing career, answering common questions about how to become a registered nurse, along with licensing requirements and salary prospects.(2)
(1) – https://www.americanmobile.com/mobile/NZArticle/?articleId=3144
(2) – https://nursejournal.org/registered-nursing/guide-to-become-a-rn/
(3) – https://nursing.uncc.edu/degree-programs/undergraduate-bsn/bs-nursing-bsn-rn-bsn-completion-curriculum
(4) – https://nurse.org/articles/nursing-degrees-which-one-is-right-for-you/
(5) – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209885/