What it Takes to Become a Registered Nurse

By: Susan Slobac

If you like helping people you may be interested in what it takes to become a registered nurse. Perhaps you have already began looking into nursing schools in hopes of a career you truly enjoy. But did you know that becoming better educated can have a dramatic impact on your personal bottom line? Getting a college education, whether an Associate's degree, bachelor's or master's degree can lead to significant gains in lifetime earnings. Someone with an Associate's degree can usually earn almost twice what a high school graduate can. A bachelor's degree will help you gain over twice as much, and if you add a master's degree it often jumps up to two and a half to four and a half times as much as those with a high school diploma. Looking at nursing schools online can help you find the right fit in schools so that you can complete your education to become a registered nurse. Registered nurse jobs provide a perennially excellent career outlook for a professional nurse. Here is some of what you could expect if you enroll in a nursing school.

To become a registered nurse typically requires two years of higher education. Once you have attained an Associate's degree in Nursing, you are prepared to take the exam to earn your license to practice as a registered nurse. This test is called the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, which is often shortened to NCLEX-RN. There is also an NCLEX-PN, which is a test administered to practical or vocational nurses. These tests cover the ability, skills and knowledge of nursing in order to ensure that you are prepared to enter the nursing field at an entry level. A nurse may hold a license to practice the profession of nursing in more than one state, and to keep his or her license current, they often must take a number of continuing education classes.

In terms of the course work you will take on the way to becoming a nurse, several areas are covered. Nursing theory, anatomy, human growth and development, physiology, biology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, medication administration, pharmacology, psychology, legal issues and ethics make up the majority of classes that you will enjoy. There are also clinical parts of the training as well, when you will assist working nurses to acquire skill working with patients.

As far as locations where you would work at registered nurse jobs are concerned, there are many. You might want to work in a hospital, and there are certainly many great opportunities to do so in that venue, including in the emergency room, intensive care, the operating and recovery room, labor and delivery rooms, as well as outpatient offices. Other sites where registered nurses are employed can include patient's homes, nursing homes, workplaces, schools, community centers, and even camps for children and homeless shelters.

Nursing schools offer you the opportunity to learn the skills needed to participate in an interesting and much-needed profession.

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