How to become a nurse in 2023?
Nurses are extremely important in the healthcare industry. They provide care as the initial point of contact for patients while working with physicians, therapists, technicians, and other healthcare professionals. Nursing is a profession that may provide you variety as well as the ability to accomplish meaningful work, with human needs always evolving and different healthcare specialties available. Nurses provide important patient care, thus individuals interested in becoming one must complete a nursing school and obtain a license. Follow these steps to know how to become a nurse:
1. Earn a degree
Firstly, in order to become a nurse, you must earn a degree, a formal education is essential. Almost every employment in the nursing sector, with a few exceptions, requires a bachelor’s degree. Associate degrees are required for a few positions, and advanced degrees are required for others. It may be challenging to switch between the various degree programs available, but it will give you a lot of possibilities, and picking the correct degree program might help you figure out what kind of nurse you want to be or even which university you want to attend. The following are the most popular degree choices:
1.1. Associate Degree in Nursing
This degree program is intended to provide learners with a strong foundation in nursing – knowledge, attitudes, and abilities. The associate degree needs the least amount of time and money of all the degree options, with only two to three years of compulsory coursework. Individuals must pass the National Licensure Exams after completing the coursework (NCLEX).
1.2. Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Another option for becoming a nurse is to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN. An Associate Degree is not required in order to enroll in a Bachelor of Science program. While associate degrees can lead to nursing careers, nurses with a BSN have a better chance of getting hired and are commonly given more duties and pay. However, this degree program requires three to four years of education to complete, and aspiring nurses must still pass the National Licensure Examination (NCLEX) before beginning to practice.
BSN programs include liberal arts classes, nursing courses, and clinical education. Students in BSN programs have access to a wide range of clinical experiences, which can help them select which nursing specialization they want to pursue after graduation.
1.3. Accelerated Nursing Program
Individuals who have already acquired a bachelor’s degree in another field of study can enroll in an accelerated nursing program. Some relevant coursework from previous degrees would count toward the expedited program’s completion. Accelerated Nursing Programs are often full-time programs that are fast-paced and demanding. Depending on the school, most people can receive their BSN in 12-16 months. Your involvement in an accelerated degree program, as well as the bachelor’s degree in nursing you earn as a result, will be highly sought after in the employment market. It demonstrates to potential employers that you are qualified and ready to operate in a fast-paced setting.
1.4. Master of Science in Nursing
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is a graduate degree in nursing. Before beginning an MSN program, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is usually necessary. Many MSN programs are available entirely online, allowing students to enroll part-time or full-time. This higher-level degree has the unique feature of being highly customizable.
The MSN can be beneficial in a variety of ways, depending on a scholar’s goals. Individuals enrolled in this degree program can take courses to strengthen their basic nursing knowledge and skills, coursework geared toward speciality skills in specific areas of nursing, or curriculum focusing on education, leadership, or business. Students can also pursue an MSN and become nurse practitioners at the graduate level. Individuals who want to achieve certain career goals would benefit greatly from the ability to choose precisely what to focus on.
When selecting whether or not to pursue a Master of Science in nursing, it’s critical to have a career goal in mind. It’s also crucial to understand the entry requirements for the program you want to join. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a nursing license, and a minimum GPA are often required for these programs.
2. Get a License
Secondly, after earning an accredited nursing program, obtaining a nursing license by passing such as the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is essential for any nurse’s profession. Typically, there are three types of nursing licenses: Registered Nurse (RN), Licenced Practical Nurse (LPN), and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Individuals will not be able to practice nursing without the proper credentials. The standards for licensure differ by state, nursing specialty, and occupation. Most administrative branches of nursing programs can aid you in obtaining the appropriate licensing, but make sure you understand which exams you should take as well.
3. Choose a specialty
Lastly, when you are fully equipped with the necessary education and licenses to become a nurse, nursing specialty must be put on the table. There are over countless specialties for a nurse to choose. These are usually the ones with the highest salaries, but they also have the highest job satisfaction: Labor and Delivery, Pediatrics, Neonatal ICU, and Oncology Nurse.
Commonly, a minimum of two to three years of coursework connected with an associate degree in nursing is required to become a practicing nurse. A bachelor’s degree requires 3 to 4 years of study. A master’s degree normally takes 2 to 5 years to complete, depending on whether you study part-time or full-time. After that, you can start looking for a job and start your career as a nurse. Nevertheless, the journey must not end there, you should seek for advanced training opportunities. Although this is optional, it will help you further exceed at your job and create more possibilities for advancement in your career. Earning a nursing certification, which certifies your abilities in a certain profession, is one option. Gerontology, oncology, neonatal, pediatrics, and other specialties are popular choices. Earning these credentials will help you earn more money and appeal to a larger range of businesses. You can read the top 15 potential nursing careers for nurses to make your own decision!
Now you have known all the steps necessary on how to become a nurse. Similarly, if you want to become a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse leader, you might want to get an advanced degree. Earning a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) or a doctorate in nursing practice is often required to achieve these objectives (DNP). Each of these can result in a significant income increase. Don’t forget to take NCLEX practice questions to score high!