How to Become a Registered Nurse
Registered nurses (RNs) are some of the most needed health professionals as well as one of the most sought after nurse positions today. All across the US we are experiencing a huge shortage of nurses that is expected to keep increasing over the next decade. With so many people from the baby boom era reaching critical care age, you can see why the need for increased RNs is so important to our nation.
RNs help treat and cure patients with injures, illness or diseases. They also teach patients about the prevention of illnesses as well as how a change in lifestyle can lead to fewer trips to see physicians. They play a vital role to any facility that provides high quality care to its patients.
If you're looking for a great career that allows you to help people, has a high income potential, can provide flexible hours or even part time work and unlimited jobs, an RN position might be perfect you. Not only that, RNs can work in just about any type of care facility you can imagine and even some non-traditional industries as well. If working in a hospital doesn't appeal to you, there are plenty of other options. Search our nursing job listings for today's openings.
Did You Know? Registered nurses (RNs) constitute the largest healthcare occupation, with 2.6 million jobs.
RN Job Responsibilities
RNs are the largest group of health care professionals in America and can perform a wide range of duties. The goal of all RNs is to provide quality care to individuals and families, help patients achieve maximum health and to help to prevent disease.
Although an RNs scope will vary from state to state based on the practices performed there, many common duties are the same. Some of those common RN duties include documenting medical histories, performing diagnostic tests, and administering medications and treatments. RN duties can also vary greatly depending on the facility in which the nurse is employed. While almost 60% of RNs work in hospitals, they also work in plastic surgery offices, health spas, on cruise ships, in schools, for large companies and all throughout the private sector. RNs will not perform the same daily duties at all of these facilities, so that should be taken into account when considering where you might begin your career.
RN Job Requirements
If you have a desire to help people then you already meet about half of the requirements to becoming an RN. To qualify for a RN program you must have a high school diploma and at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher. Programs are very competitive so to insure you can get into the program you desire to attend, pay attention to your GPA and be sure to take as many science classes as you can.
RN Training & Degrees
There are three different paths in which people can choose from to become a RN. You can earn an RN diploma, an ADN (Associate's Degree in Nursing) or a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). Different routes will appeal to different people for different reasons, however, the goals of all the options is to teach individuals what they need to know to pass the RN exam and the state board exam required to practice.
- An ADN is the fastest option to get people into the nursing field and working. In about two years you can earn the most basic level of RN education. You would probably be limited to working in hospitals until further experience is gained.
- Another choice is to earn an RN diploma. Earning an RN diploma takes on average two to three years to complete. This diploma allows individuals to work in hospitals and a few other facilities as well.
- A BSN is a four commitment and usually the most popular for people who are truly committed to being the best RN they can be. The benefits of taking the time required to complete the BSN are increased wages upon entering the work force and the ability to choose almost any RN job available.
Once an individual has completed one of these three programs, the next steps are to take and pass the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse) exam and the state board exam for the state in which you want to get a job.
RN Salary and Benefits
The average yearly salary of a RN in the US is approximately $65,000. RN salaries can range from $25,000 to $100,00 annually. Salaries will vary from state to state, from one facility to another and are also affected by a person's level of education and years of experience.
No matter how all the variables factor in for a nurse's salary, all nurses should expect annual salary increases.
There are many benefits to working as an RN such as having many open jobs available to you, great job security and the ability to choose to specialize in a field of nursing that you like. Travel nurses are one of the most sought after positions in America today. If you like to travel and want variety in your working environment, travel RN nurse positions could be the job of your dreams. RNs can also work part time or on flexible shifts, which is great for people with families or other commitments.
Did You Know? Florence Nightingale, the most famous nurse in modern history, was only a nurse for three years of her life. (b. 1820. d. 1910).
Hopefully this gives you a good understanding about what it takes to become an RN, the unlimited job potential and how to get there. We will continue next with an in-depth look at nurse practitioner jobs.
Registered Nurse Job Summary
- RN's care for patients through teaching, treatments and counseling to ensure optimal health for them as well as their family members
- RNs enjoy limitless job opportunities across the nation
- RNs have an earning potential of $100,000 or more
- RNs have unprecedented job security because they are the most sought after professional in the medical field.
- RNs can choose from flexible hours, part-time or full-time jobs, and even travel opportunities.