A registered nurse is one who has "successfully completed an accredited nursing school program and passed the NCLEX-RN exam". Registered nurses make up a huge portion of the healthcare industry. In a hospital setting RN nurses have superiority over LPN nurses and therefore have a lot of power. RN programs prepare you for the long hours that you will work as a registered nurse. You may also be require to work evenings, nights, and even on weekends as the healthcare industry is one that can never afford to rest. Registered nurses are involved in:
- Recording patient medical history and observing symptoms
- Establishing a care plan for patients or adding to an existing plan and taking action
- Managing and assigning tasks to licensed practical nurses and nursing assistants
- Providing emotional support and care for patients and their families
How To Become A Registered NurseThere are a number of RN programs out there that will allow you to become a registered nurse quickly and fairly easily. People who would like to become registered nurses should follow these few easy steps for becoming an RN. It is a lot easier than you may think to become a registered nurse, and if you are serious about the commitment you should be able to be working as an RN in no time at all. The important thing is that you follow the advice given below carefully. The first thing that you need to do in order to become a registered nurse is to gain access to an RN program. In order to gain access to an RN program you will need to have a high school diploma or GED. There are very few registered nurse programs out there that will accept you without one. If you don’t yet have a GED or high school diploma, then make sure that you focus on biology and chemistry when you start working towards earning them as this will help you a lot in your RN program. You will then have to choose between the different RN programs on offer. You could for example do a 2 year Associate’s degree RN program, or you could choose the longer Bachelor’s degree RN program which could take anything up to 4 years to complete. This second program does of course prepare you better for work as an RN, and consequently you may want to consider this over an Associate’s degree. However an associate’s degree gets you into the workforce faster and allows you to start earning. You always have the option of completing the qualification and getting a Bachelor’s degree later. At this point it may help to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the various RN programs you can choose from. There are so many different registered nurse programs that can be useful to you in your path to becoming an RN and it really is essential that you take the time to consider all of the options available. We will briefly consider the various options available to you here in order to help you make a better decision when it comes down to deciding between the many different programs on offer:
- The first RN program we will consider is the Bachelor’s degree. This is one of the highest levels of education you can earn as a registered nurse and it is something that is well worth pursuing. As far as RN programs go, however, this is the most strenuous and time consuming method, and many nurses in fact choose to do a shorter qualification and start using, later going on to study further and get a Bachelor’s degree. Although this is the longest path to becoming an RN, it is the one that will open up the most doors for you in your career.
- One of the RN programs that nurses choose as a sort of intermediary step towards becoming an RN is an Associate’s degree, which has been mentioned already. Unlike the Bachelor’s degree this one only takes about two years to complete allowing you to enter the workforce more quickly. When looking at how to become a registered nurse it may be a good idea to start with an Associate’s degree and work your way up, especially as in many hospitals there are few differences between the duties of registered nurses that have completed a 4 year RN program or a 2 year RN program.
- A third option that is worth mentioning here is simply to become a Licensed practical nurse or LPN before going on to become a registered nurse. Many nurses use this short and quick course as a stepping stone to becoming a fully registered nurse later on. Once you are an LPN it is far easier to get into RN programs, and you may also find that you will even be able to complete a large portion of the coursework online, making the entire RN program a whole lot easier to get through.
- Location of School: Although the location of the RN program you are interested in can affect a number of things, such as your cost of transport, it is advised that you do not base your entire decision on this aspect, although it is something to take into consideration along with all of the other aspects mentioned below.
- The Cost of Tuition: One of the biggest hurdles for many in the process of becoming an RN is the cost of most registered nurse programs. For people that are in financial difficulties the cost is something you will have to consider, although it is important to remember that the cost of tuition does not always reflect that quality of the tuition. There are some RN programs that offer financial aid to their students, so if you are in need of financial aid, these are the registered nurse programs you should consider first and foremost above the other options in your area.
- Accreditation: It is very important that you make sure that the RN program you enrol in is in fact accredited with the State Board of Nursing for your State. When considering how to become a registered nurse it must be noted that if you graduated from an RN program that is not accredited you will be effectively wasting your time and your money, so make sure you take this into consideration when looking at registered nurse programs. There are a number of RN programs, especially online ones, which are not properly accredited, so make sure that you look into this very carefully.
- Coursework: The course work offered by the registered nurse programs you are considering is also important. You should try and compare the coursework offered in detail to the kind of questions you will get in the exam as well as to the kind of things that you will need to do once you are a registered nurse. A good RN program is one with comprehensive coursework, so make sure that you look at this aspect very, very closely. Coursework typically also involves clinical practice, especially if you do not already hold an LPN qualification, so make sure this is included.
- Clinical Facilities: In relation to the previous point it is impossible to become an RN if you have not completed the necessary clinical practice. In becoming an RN and considering registered nurse programs you also need to carefully consider the clinical facilities offered. As you need to do clinical training you will want to do it in the best facilities possible, so it is important that you take the time to tour the various facilities of the various registered nurse programs you are interested in and make sure that you are able to make the best decision in this regard.
- Preparation for the Exam: One of the important steps in how to become a registered nurse lies in the ability of the program you choose to prepare you for the exam. That’s right: if you want to finally qualify and work in the field of nursing you will have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam and if you are not being properly prepared for that by your program, look elsewhere for tuition. Typically you can judge the quality of RN programs based on the number of passed pupils who have passed the NCLEX-RN exam. This is important so take the time required to look into this.
Registered Nursing SchoolsThere are a number of different RN schools out there for you to choose from. Like mentioned earlier there are also different degrees you can do in order to become an RN. If you would like a comprehensive list of accredited RN programs that are available please take the time to visit http://www.rn.ca.gov/schools/rnprograms.shtml. A comprehensive list of schools and colleges can be found here for anyone looking for how to become a registered nurse. Remember that your choice of school is extremely important so consider the options carefully and don’t rush to a decision. Here are just a few of the schools that you will be able to choose form:
- University of Phoenix
- South University
- LA College
- Kaplan University
- Jones International University
- Virginia College
- Western Governors University