April 13, 2021
The journey to becoming a nurse is both satisfying and difficult. There are hundreds of hours spent studying, in lectures, doing clinics, and reading. Generally, the path to becoming a nurse is to attend a registered nurse degree program at the associate’s or bachelor’s level. There are also accelerated programs for those that have studied in another field and have a bachelor’s degree.
There is a lot of versatility with a nursing degree. You can work in several places and with various types of patients. There is the option to work in a hospital, nursing home, private clinic, etc. Nurses can focus on pediatric care, rehabilitation, elderly patients as an in-home nurse. It should be noted that those with Bachelor’s degrees have more options available to them.
There is a lot of information out there on which path to choose or how to get started. The direction you go in really depends on your situation and what you ultimately want to do.
Simple Guide To Becoming A Nurse
While there is a lot of information to sift through, you can still get a good idea of where to begin and what you need to look into with this simple guide:
Step 1. Choose Your License And Career Path
One of the first things you need to consider is the type of licensure you want to go after. Whether you become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) or a registered nurse (RN). Based on your career goals you will have a better understanding of which program is more in line with your chosen path.
Step 2. Choose Program The Right Program For You
Choose the right nursing program for you. There are few things to consider when choosing your program. Things like the type of degree program (LPN or RN Diploma, ADN, or BSN). You should also consider things like location, cost, and accreditation. If you want to do your program on a part-time basis then you will need to look into whether your program is flexible. You should also note whether the program you want to pursue a prerequisite you need to complete before applying as well as what the acceptance rates are.
Step 3. Gain Your Degree
You have to complete your program. Whether you do a more traditional associate’s or bachelor’s program or do an accelerated program it is entirely up to what you want to do. You can anticipate being in your program from 1 year to up to 4 years. An accelerated program can take up to 18 months with full-time study. You might want to consider looking into accelerated nursing programs information if you’re a person who wants to make a career change and already have a bachelor’s degree in another field.
Step 4. Start Your Licensure Process
Depending on your location you will face different requirements for licensure. You must look into this early on so that you can complete any necessary course, paperwork, exams, etc required to obtain your license. This will ensure that you can find employment upon your course completion.
Step 5. Do A Complete Background Check
One important but not much talked about step on your journey is doing a background check. Employers need to guarantee the safety of their patients and so need to look into the caregivers that they’re hiring to do so. The requirements vary based on your location but it is something to consider and even prepare. You will most likely need to do fingerprinting and other security measures.
Step 6. Take The NCLEX-PN Or NCLEX-RN Exam
The NCLEX examination is the final hurdle that you have to pass to become a registered nurse. This exam requires you to study and prepare well in advance. For students that are on an accelerated program, you may find that you have to obtain a higher score to fully pass your program. Studies that don’t pass the exam can retake it 45 days after the initial test.
Once you’ve obtained your license you can begin your career as a licensed nurse. One way to get a head start on this is by checking out your job prospects ahead of time. Start by doing volunteer and community work. It will help you to get an idea of what’s out there. It’s also a great way to start networking. Becoming a nurse is a rewarding career path that allows you to help people and change lives. Use this guide to help you in your decision process.