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How to Become a Nurse
If you want to know how to become a nurse because you are thinking of going back to school or are considering your first—and hopefully lifelong—career, it takes a special person to succeed at this profession. Nurses are often the ‘continuous face’ of treatment to patients, personifying the ‘care’ part of ‘medical care.’ They attend patients on a daily basis in every hospital, clinic, out-patient care center and private practice in the nation.
What Is It Like to Be a Nurse?
The basic responsibilities and authorities nurses enjoy are governed by the licensing state and certification type, if any. Within those guidelines, actions are dictated by authorized orders by physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and medical doctors.
You must look within yourself and determine if this is the right profession for you. It is stressful, and often has long hours. You have to show greater consideration for the patient under your care than you do about your tired feet and an aching back. If you meet those initial checkpoints, continue learning how to become a nurse.
What Kind of Schooling Do I Need to Become a Nurse?
As you learn about how to become a nurse, you need to be aware that there are different levels of nursing qualifications. Registered nurses are granted broader authority than LPNs, but not as much as Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Anesthetists. Registered nurses must have at least an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree from an accredited offline or online college or a diploma from a nursing program in a teaching hospital.
In a four-year program, you will probably be taking your basic education courses, such as English, math, chemistry, biology, psychology, and other general subjects, during your first two years. Your third and fourth years will be filled with nursing-specific courses and your student nursing junket where you will work in a live environment under the supervision and direction of a Registered Nurse with years of experience. It can be tough, but if you succeed, you have opened your horizons tremendously.
Most nurses obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree offered by top online universities across the country. So long as the degrees online or offline are awarded by an online school or program accredited by either the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, your state may qualify you to take the required National Council Licensing Exam or NCLEX-RN. The wise nursing student will note that critical thinking skills are imperative in passing this test.
Once you have your state license, you are authorized to provide medical care within the guidelines set by your state, according to the NCLEX version you took and the certifications you may earn later.
As you investigate standards of education, testing and licensing, start from the end point—licensing standards—and work backwards. Find out what your state requires for RNs, then check with the schools that interest you for their program courses, ensuring that by the time you graduate, you will qualify for the NCLEX-RN or the NCLEX-PN. Then enroll in a terrific school and, as the saying goes, ‘go for it’ now that you have learned how to become a nurse!