Have you always known that you wanted to work with people and change their lives by becoming a nurse? Are you currently employed in a completely other industry but considering changing to the nursing field? Whatever the case, it’s understandable that you could feel overawed by the possibilities if you’re interested in pursuing a career in nursing.
Many see becoming a certified nurse as the obvious first step in their career. While you decide whether you want to move up to a more senior position, working as an RN will help you to build experience and confidence in your nursing abilities.
What Does a Certified Nurse do?
A vital role is played by licensed nurses in the healthcare industry. The size of their team and the setting in which they operate (such as a hospital, doctor’s office, school, etc.) will have a considerable impact on their function and duties, although they often involve the following: Observing patients and performing evaluations, keeping a record of a patient’s medical facts, symptoms, updating patient records as necessary, together with the larger medical team, develop a patient care plan. administering drugs and therapies, providing first aid for injuries, obtaining samples of urine, faeces, and other substances for testing, educating patients and their families all the way through the healing process.
Certified nurses often get competitive pay and high levels of work security in exchange for carrying out these obligations. In actuality, the typical yearly wage for employees in the United States in 2019 was $73,300, or around $35.24 per hour. Of course, this number varies depending on the nurse’s level of experience and the area in which they work.
Earn your Degree
You must obtain a degree from a recognized university in order to become a certified nurse. In the end, where you want to work will determine which degree you need to get and how long it will take.
Some states just need certified nurses to have an associate’s degree in nursing before they may begin working. But in recent years, an increasing number of states have decided that in order to be licensed, certified nurses must possess at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). A bachelor’s degree may also be required by specific employers to consider a new hire, even in states where licensure does not call for one.
Due to this, it is typically advised that obtaining your BSN is the best course of action if you want to work as a certified nurse. The best programs will emphasize clinical experience heavily and have instructors who have actual, practical experience in the field.
Pass the NCLEX Exam
The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, often known as the NCLEX or NCLEX-RN, must be taken after you have earned your degree.
To make sure you are ready for the rigors of the profession, the NCLEX is developed to test your knowledge in important areas of the nursing sector. You must pass the test in order to get your state license. You will need to wait 45 days before taking the NCLEX again if you don’t pass it the first time, therefore a good NCLEX study schedule is needed to ace it.
Obtain State Licensure
After passing the NCLEX, you’ll need to apply for a nursing license in the state where you want to work. Unless the states specifically recognize the license of those other jurisdictions, you will need to obtain a license from each state if you reside in a border region or otherwise wish to work in multiple states.
Check with the relevant board before submitting your application because each state will have different specifications.
Seek Advanced Training
You will become a registered nurse in full once you have obtained your state license. However, it does not follow that your adventure must come to an end. There are several options for you to progress in your profession.
You can want to go down the road of obtaining a nursing certification, which attests to your expertise in a certain area. Popular choices include neonatal, pediatrics, cancer, gerontology, and more. By obtaining these qualifications, you may be able to boost your pay and gain the attention of more companies.
In a similar vein, you can decide to seek an advanced degree in order to work as a clinical nurse leader or nurse practitioner. In order to achieve these objectives, you will likely need to get either a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) (DNP). Each of these may result in a big wage raise.