Nurses have long been associated with caring, helpful individuals who strive to provide personal care and attention to patients and families. Because hospitals are often large and impersonal, a kind and attentive registered nurse can make all the difference. Perhaps you have had a positive experience with a registered nurse and are wondering, “How do I become a registered nurse?”
What’s It Like To Be A Registered Nurse?
A registered nurse will work long hours throughout his or her career. Registered nurses are responsible for many different tasks at a hospital, and these varied tasks are quite demanding on a nurse’s schedule and life. Registered nurses may be responsible for answering the phones at a hospital and taking messages, organizing patient files, acting as an intermediary between patients and families, performing routine tests, cleaning long-term care patients, or setting up patient visits. Within the community, registered nurses often participate in public education seminars, assist with mobile blood banks, or act as educational resources.
There are three basic roadways that an individual can take when attempting to become a registered nurse. Many students today opt to become a registered nurse by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This course is the longest, but it often provides the most job opportunities after graduation. Some students choose to pursue an associate’s degree in nursing. An associate’s degree takes about half the time when compared to a bachelor’s degree. Other students attempt to become a registered nurse by participating in a certification course. This coursework is often very intensive and takes place over the course of just a few weeks. Regardless of the education you receive, registered nurses must take a national nursing examination before they can be hired and work in a hospital or doctor’s office.
Nursing is a field of continuing education. Registered nurses must often complete coursework, attend seminars, and receive certification in medical subject matter while they are employed. Because the medical field and responsibilities of registered nurses is changing so rapidly, these continuing education courses are necessary. A registered nurse may have to pursue many different avenues of education at once, but this education serves to make him or her a better nurse.
Salary and Job Hunting
Because registered nurses are so crucial to the efficient function of a hospital or physician’s office, the job outlook and salary outlook for registered nurses is projected to grow rapidly. If you hope to become a registered nurse, you can expect a median salary of about $60,000. Additionally, the number of registered nursing jobs in this country is projected to grow by nearly twenty percent in the next ten years. This data shows that highly qualified and well-educated registered nurses should have no trouble securing a job position after their training has been completed.
Many accredited post-secondary institutions will help their students find jobs in the field after graduation. You can talk to the Dean of the nursing department at your college or university to inquire about job placement programs and hiring percentages of students that have attended the same program you will be attending. With assistance, registered nurses will have few difficulties finding jobs.