How to Become A Nurse?

If you are interested in learning how to become a nurse, you should be having an inclination towards serving medical patients and addressing their needs, even the seemingly unpleasant ones. You should also have an interest in the medical discipline and interacting directly with patients as well as their family members and loved ones, especially during distressing situations.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse?

There are many educational institutes that are preparing individuals to become a Registered Nurse – some of these include the Santa Barbara City College, Hunter College and North Park University. Aspiring Registered Nurses can enroll in an Associate of Science (AS) in Nursing, which can be completed within two years, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which can be completed within four years. These degrees prepare the students to appear for the national licensure exam. Once the individuals clear this exam, they can legally practice as a Registered Nurse.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Nurse?

Aspiring Registered Nurses have to obtain an Associate of Science (AS) in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The AS program requires completion of 75 credits and the BSN program requires completion of 120 credits. These degrees expose the students to various courses such as Community Health Nursing, Case Management and Health Assessment. After completing these degrees, students have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

In order to appear for this exam, the candidate has to apply for the nursing license from his/her state board of nursing, thus it is recommended that you check with the state board beforehand to make sure that you have met the specified requirements.

How Much Can I Make after Becoming a Nurse?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has divided nurses into the following two categories:

·         Registered Nurses.

·         Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses.

Registered Nurses

According to the latest figures published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses made $77,460 as mean annual income in the US in 2019. Their annual median income was $73,300.

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest published figures show that Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses earned a mean annual salary of $48,500, while their median annual income stood at $47,480.

Coursework and Requirements
You can eventually become a nurse after clearing the licensing exams administered separately by each state. The coursework you complete in preparation should thus be designed to prepare you for the licensing examination.

If you want to become a nurse, you will need a good command over basic medical terminology, procedures and medications. You are effectively an assistant for the doctor and need to be able to support him. The coursework you complete should thus expose you to the hospital environment and teach you about the different diseases and procedures you will come across.
But you cannot become a nurse by technical knowledge alone. You need to be able to relate to your patients and provide them with psychological counseling when needed. Nurses need to be mentally and emotionally strong people who can support their patients. While it is not possible to learn this skill just through reading, some experience in case studies and role playing can help you become a better nurse.

How to become a nurse through online study.
It is indeed possible to acquire the technical skills you need for the job through online study. But remember that completing classes and earning degrees is not enough. You are only a registered nurse with strong career prospects after you get licensed. Taking online classes is just part of the process of preparing for the licensing examination.
Online classes are somewhat different from conventional classrooms. You have to stream the lecture videos but the best part is that you can watch them at any time of day. This means that online study for nursing is quite convenient for those who wish to work part-time and retain their present source of income.
Instructional videos will teach about the procedures you will encounter in a hospital. They will also expose you to some instances of role playing that will sharpen your soft skills.

Steps to become a nurse

The steps to become a nurse vary depending on the type of nurse you want to become, but nurses typically follow the same basic steps. There are different levels of nursing and each level has its own educational requirements. You will need to select a nursing level according to your personal goals. Following are some basic nursing levels:

  • Registered Nurse
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • nursing Assistant
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse

Most nursing jobs require professionals to have some college education. Although, some entry level jobs can be acquired with on-the-job training, higher level jobs require an associate’s degree or higher. Following are some of the major nursing degrees:

After completing your education you will need to pass certain exams to acquire a nursing license. Although, it is possible for you to find a nursing job without a certification, most unsupervised nursing jobs require a certification. Once you have acquired the necessary credentials, you can start looking for a job. If you are unable to find a job in your specialty, you can work in general healthcare for a certain time period. You will have better job opportunities, once you have acquired some work experience. In order to continue working as a nurse and renew your nursing license, you will need to keep taking specialized classes and stay up to date with the medical field.

What are the career prospects for a nurse?

Nurses remain in demand in hospitals and clinics. There is an increasing tendency of doctors to head towards specialization in areas other than primary care. This increases the demand for nurses in roles that involve imparting primary care. If you are interested in how to become a nurse, you should study the legal requirements in the state in which you wish to practice and then find an online course that prepares you for it.

How to become a Nurse in Texas?

You can enter the nursing field in Texas at the entry-level or an advanced level. For entry level, you will first need to choose whether you want to become an LVN or an RN. For an LVN, you will have to complete a year-long diploma or certificate. And to be an RN, you will have to complete an AND or a BSN program.

But before you can enter into a nursing program, you will have to meet the eligibility requirements. Once you have completed a nursing program, you may sit for the NCLEX exam for LVNs – ‘NCLEX – PN’ or for RNs – ‘NCLEX – RN.’ For advanced practice nurses, the Texas Board of Nursing defines the process to become an APRN. You must complete an APN degree at the Master’s Level and become nationally certified in one of the four areas of specialization. You can then apply for you APRN License.

How to become a Nurse in California?

For entry level practice nurses in California, applicants will be required to complete the relevant nursing education courses. The LPN program would prepare you for the NCLEX – PN exam; an Associate and a Bachelor’s degree would prepare you for the NCLEX-RN exam. Following this, you will give the relevant exam and apply for licensure. In case of advance practice nurses, a minimum of a master’s degree is required through an accredited program listed under the California Board of Registered Nursing. After this, you will have to become nationally certified through different agencies (AANP, ANCCA, AACN etc) recognized by California State. You will then need to apply to receive your certificate.