How to Become a Nurse
A competent nursing staff is as crucial to the running of a hospital as the doctors and physicians. These individuals are responsible for providing round-the-clock care to patients and ensuring their patients' needs are being taken care of. If you want to learn about nursing, keep reading on and find out the process, the traits, and the tests involved.
What Options Are Available?
Nursing is a very broad field and it is imperative that you choose the path which best suits your ambitions. Typically, there are three paths available to you. One option is the position as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). These professionals can administer treatment and medication under the supervision of a registered nurse. Programs offering training in these areas are offered at community colleges or technical institutions, and generally take two years to complete.
The second option is to become a nurse by earning a diploma through hospital-based training. These occupations are highly suited for individuals who want to learn by hands-on exposure to the material, but the number of institutions offering these programs has decreased dramatically in recent years. If you wish to become a registered nurse, you will have to obtain an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in nursing. These programs are either two or four years long and offer the most intense training.
Completing a high school diploma or passing the GED will allow you to enroll in any of the nursing degree programs. Of course, requirements will vary based on your preferences and the schools, so conducting some background research is a good idea. If you are currently working or are enrolled in another program, you can choose the option of online education to complete your training in nursing without compromising your current lifestyle.
Several accredited universities offer online degree programs. In each of these programs, you will take courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, and microbiology to develop an understanding of the human body. You will also take courses in social sciences to become effective communicators. Supplementing this will be clinical experience where you will apply your knowledge and gain practical understanding. Upon completing these programs, you will be required to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) relevant to your qualification level to apply for licensure. Following this, you will have to clear a state administered test to legally practice your profession.
Is This All I Should Know?
You should be aware of the responsibilities and expectations of your job, and determine if you are able to meet these requirements since nursing is a demanding profession. You must be present at all times during your shift and monitor the health of multiple patients simultaneously. You should be able to multi-task and assume responsibility effectively. Additionally, you must be compassionate and understanding, since you will be dealing with patients in various degrees of pain. Having an eye for detail can help you process information faster and react accordingly in critical situations.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses are forecasted to experience a 7% job growth between 2019 and 2029. Their median annual wage in May 2020 was $75,330 and their mean annual income was $80,010.
The job growth for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses is expected to be 9% from 2019 and 2029, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. They earned $50,090 as mean annual wage in May 2020, while the annual median salary was $48,820.