The largest healthcare profession in the USA is currently registered nurses. RNs (Registered Nurses) are urgently needed in the current health care sector. RNs must be made available in the near future because of their growing importance for preventive care, the expected long-term care needs of a growing elderly population, and the technological growth in patient care, all of which means that a large number of health problems require treatment. Those who wish to pursue this in a challenging yet satisfying career must first have some time to become familiar with the work of RNs and even the basic steps to becoming an RN.
What is an RN?
An RN (registered nurse) is a healthcare professional who typically cares for patients and is the person we meet when seeking medical care. The duties of an RN are immense, but here are the usual duties and tasks that an RN routinely performs:
- Conducting medical diagnoses
- Creating and managing treatment plans
- Updating patient’s charts
- Supplying appropriate medications and doses
In most cases, an RN is usually the most important medical worker you will see when usual check-ups are required or when there is an unscheduled visit to the doctor. RNs are able to successfully diagnose patients, provided that the seal of approval is still awarded by a doctor. A caring character and the motivation to help others are the qualities needed to be a registered nurse.
How to become an RN?
For a person to become an RN, they must have successfully completed high school. This is the first step towards becoming an RN. A high school diploma or GED is satisfactory and requirements may vary depending on the degree and program chosen.
To get an early start in RN education, it is better to have as many science, English, math, and foreign language classes as possible in high school. This will make it much easier to get into college and will provide additional skills which will be very helpful when undertaking nursing studies.
Once high school is completed, it is then time to transfer to a state-accredited nursing school. There are several degrees to choose from among the RN programs, which are as follows:
- Entry-Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
- Associate Degree in Nursing (AND)
Each degree differs in duration: a Bachelor’s degree usually takes four years, and an Associate degree two to three years. To earn an Associate Degree (i.e. AND), you can usually find courses at local community colleges. These courses are designed to prepare the student mentally and know as much as possible before he or she has to take the RN exam, also called the NCLEX RN exam.
If a student wants to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, they will learn improved attitudes and the tools necessary to advance into leadership and administrative positions.
Once a person has successfully obtained their BSN degree, there is still room for progress. The Master’s Entry Level Nursing programme is designed for those who have a Bachelor’s degree in another field but wish to become an RN. It usually requires one or two years of additional training, depending on the number of qualifications the person has, and once they have met these requirements, the person will work towards earning an MSN degree.
Acquiring an RN License
Each state has a Board of Nursing and the individual essential elements will vary from state to state before the required training is completed and an RN license can be obtained. When a person has completed and passed all classes with satisfactory grades, the right path to obtaining a license and successfully passing the typical NCLEX RN exam is usually guaranteed, regardless of the degree chosen.
The next step on the path to obtaining a license is the NCLEX-RN exam, which is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and is designed to accurately assess the student’s ability to apply the skills acquired in nursing school. To take the NCLEX-RN standard exam, you must register, and the registration fee is a non-refundable $200.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing is a valuable resource when it comes to taking the NCLEX-RN exam, as the necessary four-page registration form, which must be completed prior to the NCLEX-RN exam, is immediately available there.
Once the application form has been properly submitted, it usually takes 5-7 working days to obtain approval for the test, which allows the student wishing to become a nurse to schedule an appointment for the NCLEX RN exam. It is important to keep this in mind when taking the NCLEX RN exam:
- It is assessed on a pass/fail basis.
- The student cannot become a Registered Nurse without successfully clearing the NCLEX-RN exam.
- The exam can be taken again; however, the individual needs to await a minimum of 45 days to a maximum of 90 days.
If the student successfully completes the NCLEX RN exam, an RN certification is issued. The student may only work in the state where the license was issued; this means that if the registered nurse wants to work in another state, he or she should take and pass the NCLEX RN exam for that particular state.
Working as a Registered Nurse
As mentioned above, the decision to become an RN is a profitable career choice and largely desirable as the demand for health workers will continue to grow. According to reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more or less 2.6 million health care professions are affected by RNs. There is a wide range of employment opportunities and although most claim that an RN profession is strictly limited to hospitals, there are other areas:
- Nursing homes
- In-home care
It is equally important to note that several RNs are affected by infectious diseases and should routinely protect themselves. By implementing the skills acquired in college courses, it is ensured that the RN cares for the sick patient, themselves, and their environment in the right way and according to their needs.
To become an RN that most people have come to appreciate and love, it only takes about 2 to 4 years and the successful completion of the NCLEX RN exam authorized by the state. Career opportunities for registered nurses are tending to increase and the demand for more exceptional RNs is urgent. It is a satisfying position that requires determination, hard work, and a compassionate soul.