What to Expect While Studying to Become an Rn

By: Anne Harvester

If you are interested in healthcare careers, perhaps you would like to look into becoming a registered nurse. There are nursing schools available at campuses and online throughout the United States that are ready to help you with the process. Most nursing schools have certain classes and hands-on training that you can expect to experience while studying to become a registered nurse.

There are classes that you will need to have taken before enrolling in nursing school include the basics of math, English and various science courses. At nursing school, you will spend time in pharmacology, physiology, pathology and anatomy.

Although there are a few nursing schools run out of hospitals themselves, you will find the majority are held through college affiliation and on college campuses. To start you on the road to becoming a registered nurse, you can begin by working toward an Associate of Science degree in nursing. Associate degrees are granted by community colleges most often, and generally are offered as a two-year program.

The teachers at these programs are individuals who are not only experienced nurses but also trained educators. These skilled instructors will lead you through courses such as anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, behavioral sciences, physiology, psychology and nutrition. Your practical experience will take place in hospitals' maternity, surgery, psychiatry and pediatrics departments. You might also be given hands-on nursing experiences in other venues such as nursing care facilities, ambulatory clinics, public health departments or home health agencies. As an RN you can expect to perform diagnostic tests and their analysis, give treatment and medication, educate patients about different medical conditions, operate medical hardware, and assist patients with rehabilitation and post-treatment health care. Registered nurses can become specialists in certain areas of patient care or can specialize in where they offer their nursing services. Some nurses, for example, specialize in critical care, and they take care of patients who have had cardiovascular, pulmonary or respiratory failure. Some nurses work in emergency rooms in hospitals, and focus on treating patients with life-threatening health conditions.

Some nurses begin their health careers as an LPN, or licensed practical nurse. This option takes less time in school than does RN preparation, because it usually takes one year. LPNs often work under a doctor's supervision at medical clinics. Some LPNs then take their training and further their education in order to become a registered nurse. An LPN can perform such nursing tasks as giving medications including injections, changing dressings, recording the vital signs of patients, as well as patient feeding and bathing. LPNs must practice nursing under the supervision of a registered nurse or a physician.

You can begin your nursing training today by studying at online colleges and universities, or attending classes on campus.

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