Nurses from the backbone in the healthcare industry, not only in the U.S. but also in other countries. With the increasing demands in recent years, it can be prospective to obtain monetary benefits and career advancement. But do you know how to be a nurse?
It can be a long and tedious process, but the result is worth the effort. Not only are you required to earn a degree, but you must also obtain a license that authorizes you to practice nursing in a specific state. If being a nurse is your childhood dream and you want to make it come true, scroll through this page.
What Does a Nurse Do?
Before getting yourself into a nursing program, you should know what nurses do. This question sounds simple, but it is more complex than it seems due to a wide range of nurse types. Each speciality area comes with distinct roles and responsibilities.
No matter their speciality areas, nurses play a pivotal role in medical facilities. In general, they have various duties from conducting physical exams, providing health care education, coordinating care with other health care professionals, and checking the vital sign of patients.
Other duties of nurses include providing counselling to patients, analyzing their physical and emotional needs, taking detailed health care histories, and perform health testing. Some nurses also collaborate with physicians and specialist to provide effective medication and treatment.
Steps to Become a Nurse
Getting approved education is the first step to be a nurse. No matter type of nurse you would like to pursue, a solid education is mandatory according to the board in every state. Once you earn a degree, you can get a license and start practising.
For clearer information, here are step-by-step processes of how to be a nurse:
⦁ Earn a Degree
Taking an acceptable nursing program is the first step to start your career path as a nurse. You can choose between associate degrees or bachelor’s degree, depending on your preference. An associate degree is a two-year program, while a bachelor’s degree typically takes at least four hours.
While an associate degree allows you to join the workforce sooner, nurses with a bachelor’s degree are more likely to hire because they have a more comprehensive and extensive education. However, some hospitals recruit nurses with ADNs and endorse their employees to advance their education further.
During this program, students will learn nursing theory and clinical training. Clinical training and coursework let you obtain hands-on knowledge and experience in real life.
⦁ Getting a License
Getting a license is one of the important steps to becoming a nurse. A license is crucial in a nurse’s career since it authorizes them to practice nursing. Without a license, nurses cannot practice in healthcare providers like hospitals or doctor’s offices.
Upon completing a nursing program, students must take a specific test to be licensed. The regulation related to licensure requirements can vary by state and nursing speciality. Here are the most popular national exams for a licensed nurse:
⦁ Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA): This test is designed for candidates who want to be a nursing assistant. They have limited responsibilities compared to practical nurses and registered nurses.
⦁ NCLEX-PN: This is a test for any individuals who wish to be a licensed practical nurse. This type of nurse has more responsibilities than certified nursing assistants.
⦁ NCLEX-RN: To be a licensed registered nurse, you must take and pass this exam. Registered nurses commonly have more responsibilities than LPNs.
With different exams are available, it is important to know which test you should be taking and the requirements.
⦁ Get Employment
How to be a nurse after you get a license? You will need to get employment. Nursing is a fast-growing field, so there are wide opportunities lie ahead. Find a work setting that offers many chances like hospitals, doctor’s offices, medical centre, government agencies, and more.
⦁ Advance Your Career
Once you get into a work setting, your option is to advance your career by taking a nursing speciality like nurse practitioner, neonatal nursing, or critical care nursing. It is not always necessary but can be a perfect way to improve your skills.
In short, how to be a nurse is not a simple process. It requires all the effort, from earning a degree to choosing a speciality. If you want to be a nurse, get yourself prepared!