Requirements To Be A Registered Nurse

Nursing is still one of the fastest growing occupations out there. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of Nursing has a growth rate of 26% up until the year 2020, which is faster than average. This is mostly due to the aging baby boomer population needing increased health care. Their generation is getting older and the supply of nurses is not increasing, justifying this demand.

Becoming a registered nurse (RN) has actually gotten much easier these days. All you need is to graduate from an accredited nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN. Depending on several factors, you may opt to get a diploma, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree for your nursing education. These three differ on several levels.

Diploma in Nursing

Getting a diploma in nursing requires three years of training usually at a hospital. The education provided is focused on clinical knowledge and skills, preparing nurses to work as soon as they graduate. The number of schools offering a Diploma in Nursing is steadily decreasing though as more favors an Associate’s Degree.

Associate’s Degree in Nursing

An Associate’s Degree in Nursing is a two year degree which can be taken at a local community college or at a university. As with the diploma, it prepares nurses to work immediately soon after graduation. This leads them to give more focus on clinical knowledge and skills. This degree is rapidly becoming the nursing education of choice for its short duration. Soon after you become a registered nurse, you can get to work and take advantage of tuition reimbursement programs. You can then join an RN-to-BSN program or bridging program to get your BSN.

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN)

A Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing is a four-year degree. Additional to clinical knowledge and skills, a BSN also emphasizes on leadership and research. With nursing becoming a more complex profession, more leaders and improved research is needed to advance the profession. A BSN also opens up more opportunities for advancement. This degree qualifies to get a Master’s Degree in Nursing and perhaps become an advanced practice nurse.

Becoming an RN

After getting your nursing education, you can apply for the nerve-wracking NCLEX-RN. Apply at the state that you wish to work in, as licenses in one state may not be applicable for licenses to another state. You will need to pay the licensing fee of $200 and present the needed requirements by your state. Unfortunately, if should you fail, there is a 45-90 day waiting period before you can take the exam again.Becoming an RN is the best choice you could make. It is a high paying job, both in remuneration and in satisfaction.

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