If you are in search of a satisfying profession — one with a fast-increasing rate of growth, look no further than a Nursing Degree. Currently, this the most opportune time to become a registered nurse (RN). Your role will be essential; you will be assisting people in many ways, such as; encouraging health and wellness, improving their quality of life, helping to mend them physically and mentally. Everyone’s life that you touch, from infants to the elderly, a nursing career is fulfilling in many ways. Now, there are more positions open, than there are qualified applicants to fill the positions. Becoming a medical professional will mean that you are ensured, high earning potentials, job security and potential for advancement.
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How to Become a Nurse
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the employment of RNs to increase nearly 23 percent from now to 2018; a much faster growth rate in comparison to the statistics of the average occupation. Amid the increasing demand for healthcare, the prospects for individuals who want to become a registered nurse will continually develop as baby boomers reach the average retirement age.
American Nurses Association (ANA), suggest that becoming a nurse involves caring for patients, but specific duties will differ dependent on your specialization and place of employment. A Nurse will work in multiple settings; in the healthcare field. They will work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient facilities, dialysis centers and nursing homes. Nurses are also needed in physicians’ offices and home healthcare agencies. Graduates will work with a diverse group of people within patient populations and will specialize in areas such as pediatrics, neonatology, gerontology and critical care.
There are a few options available in becoming a nurse. In addition, there are several types of nurses and they include:
ADN (Associate’s Degree in Nursing): This usually takes around two years or more to complete and allows you to take the National Council of State Boards of Nursing exam upon graduation.
BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing): This four-year degree is offered at numerous colleges as well as universities throughout the U.S. Graduation with this four-year-program prepares you to sit for the NCLEX exam as well.
Earn your nursing certification from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) approved nursing program. Earning your BSN will permit you to pursue many leadership positions, or teach classes, as well as provide you the opportunity to lead the administrative functions within a practice or hospital. A four-year-degree is priceless in today’s workforce. The next step is to decide on which school you will attend for your LPN classes or to earn your RN degree. Nurse training alone can be exciting and very rewarding; particularly when you begin performing your required clinicals (performing task that you have learned — within a medical environment).
Below is a list a just a “few” types of nurses you can become:
- Agency Nursing
- Ambulatory Care
- Cardiac Care
- Case Management
- Critical Care
- Legal Nurses
- Nurse Practitioner
- Occupational Health
- School Nursing
- Women’s Health
Salary & Job Market Expectations
What is the RN job outlook once you have graduated?
Nurses are the most visible workers throughout a hospital, whether at a bedside or inside of a doctor’s office. But still, the need for more RNs and LPNs continues to grow. Roughly 2.5 million employees and the industry is steadily increasing into a horde of medical jobs.
In regards to registered nurses job outlook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates nearly 20 percent employment growth and nearly 527,000 new jobs from 2012 to2022. This incredible growth, when combined with a lower unemployment rate — 2.6 percent — and excellent job predictions, aid registered nurses in securing a spot on 2014 Best Jobs list.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average salary nearly $67,000, in 2014. The highest-paid percentage of RNs are making around $96,000 while the bottom percent earned nearly $47,000. The highest salary averages within the U.S. were made by nurses employed with the government, hospitals and in home health care occupations.
- Highest Average $81,000.
- Median $67,000.
- Lowest Average $55,000.
Certification/Licensing Details & Education Costs
Eligibility requirements must be met in order for you to take the certification exam.
For examinations, your academic transcripts may be required for eligibility: your must submit original transcript documents, within a sealed envelope that comes directly from your college or university.
The American Nurses Association (ANA), outlines your certification requirements. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is the prime organization for credentialing nurses in the United States.
How much is an RN Program?
The expenses of completing an RN program will depend on which direction of nursing you choose to take; such as a 4-year bachelor’s degree, Licensed Practical Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nurses, or by completing a two-year associate’s degree.
Tuition and Fees
If you decide to go for your bachelor’s degree in nursing, your tuition should cost approximately $20,000 to $30,000 each year. Courses in community colleges will be much less and will usually cost $500 to $3000 each year.
Another alternative to the traditional two-year and four-year degree programs is completing an LPN or LVN. By going this route, you can work and then continue your education and move onto the LPN/LVN to RN connection programs costing anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 annually.
Completing a two-year associate’s degree program (ADN) for registered nurses, entitles you to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. The associate’s degree to RN will cost you approximately $7,000 for the two years in community colleges.
Additional costs that you will need to consider are the expenditures for your books, uniforms, health insurance, and the fees for exams such as the NCLEX-RN.
Important Responsibilities, Skills & Traits for Nurses
Once you have graduated and successful became certified, you can work with physicians in treating patients who suffer from many different medical conditions. Registered nurses can administer medication, educate patients on the prevention of disease, monitor progress and recovery of patients, and advise the patients on post-hospital treatment. Graduates with advanced education can perform diagnosis and the management of cases for patients.
Nursing can be very demanding but can also be very rewarding. If you are thinking about going into the field of nursing, contemplate the following necessities in order to be an active and successful nurse.
Caring & Nurturing: If you care about the people you are serving, you will shine as a nurse. Nurses cope with the sick and the injured, as well as their families, and they do this on a daily basis. They need the ability to show compassion as they nurture and care for the patient and the family in most cases.
Empathy: Patients can be nervous or scared, and a good nurse will be able to empathize and put themselves in their patients’ shoes. They will care for the patient in a way that they would want to be cared for.
Detailed: A successful nurse must track everything pertaining to the patient on their chart. They must monitor all medications distributed and the time it was done. Being an organized as well as extremely detail-oriented is a must in the nursing filed.
Stable: As humans we feel, it is a natural occurrence, but as nurses you must show compassion, but remain neutral. A stable emotional state is crucial in order to care for your patient’s properly.
Adaptability: Every patient is different, and every day is different. Nurses must adapt to the ever-changing patients and conditions as well as the environment they work in. No two days are ever the same, and no two patients have the same issues.
Endurance: As nurses are in high demand and the business of a medical office or hospital is a busy one; you need to ensure, even when you are tired, hungry and ready to go home. As a nurse, you are counted on by the doctors, the patients and the families. Your ability to provide physically and mentally is crucial to your success.