In the United States, there are about 3.8 million registered nurses.
If you’re thinking of becoming a nurse, you’re going to have a lot of competition, so you should make sure that you follow all of the correct steps to eventually find your perfect job.
Thankfully, we’ll help break it all down for you, so keep reading to find out how to become a nurse!
Choose a Nursing Path
One of the first things you need to do when becoming a nurse is to decide on a nursing path. There are many different types of nurses that you could decide to be, but it’ll save you a lot of money and time if you choose a path early on.
For example, you could become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). If you don’t like those options, you could also become a registered nurse (RN) for your first license.
Once you’ve narrowed down which type of license you want to get, you can start looking at programs for that. You will get your license after you get the degree, but you’ll also be able to choose a degree program that will help you advance in your career.
If you decide to become one type of nurse and change your mind later on, you can always continue your education to pursue a different type.
When making your decision, you should know that registered nurses do make about $20,000 more than licensed nurses do. Both types of nurses do have bright outlooks though.
Licensed nurses are also limited in the responsibilities that they can have. For example, they can’t administer IVs or give patients medications like a registered nurse can. It all depends on what your state’s laws and regulations are.
Complete an Accredited Program
Now that you’ve picked a career, you can start looking at different accredited programs, like www.ultimatemedical.edu.
If you want to become a registered nurse, for example, you’ll have to get either a nursing diploma, associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree.
While a bachelor’s year will take the longest, an associate degree or a nursing diploma may only take up to two years. With a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be more marketable, but you might be ready to just start working on getting your license and starting your program.
Regardless of what path you choose, you’ll likely study things like health care policies, nursing research, chemistry, patient care, statistics, biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy, physiology, and other professional nursing courses.
Get Your License
After you’ve graduated with some type of degree, you can start looking at getting your license. In order to get your license, however, you’ll have to pass some exams.
The exact requirements for your licensure will vary depending on the state you’re going to be practicing in.
For example, if you want to be a certified nursing assistant, you’ll have to only pass a state competency exam.
To become an LPN, you’ll not only have to pass the certified program, but you’ll also have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination to earn your license and start practicing.
For a registered nurse, they have to get some type of nursing diploma and then pass the same National Council Licensure Examination for RNs.
This exam is difficult, so you should make sure you study for it beforehand. If you do fail it for some reason, you can retake it again forty-five days after your last exam date.
This means that you can take it up to eight times a year. However, you should try and take it right after your graduation from your diploma so that the information is still fresh in your mind.
Finish a Background Check
Some states will also require you to do a background check and provide your fingerprint before you can become a nurse. This is to ensure that the patients are safe and not being cared for by someone who has a bad background.
If your state does require a background check, you’ll have to get your fingerprint taken by some government agency, like your local law enforcement.
Always Pursue More Educational Opportunities
Once you’ve completed all the steps above, you’re able to start job hunting! Even if you find a job you love, you should still make sure you take every opportunity to advance your education.
The healthcare industry is always changing, and new technology is always coming out. This means that you’ll likely encounter some type of procedure or machine that you’ll need to know how to use to do your job well.
To help you stay up-to-date and current with everything, the state also requires nurses to complete some type of education course every two years.
Depending on the state you’re practicing in, you may also have to get certified again in order to make sure that your licensure is still active and you can keep your job.
Learn More About How to Become a Nurse
These are only a few things to consider when figuring out how to become a nurse, but it might be more challenging than it sounds.
We know that studying for your exams and taking tests for your license can be overwhelming, as well as when you finally land the perfect job. That’s why we’re here to help you with all the information you need!
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