Have you become more fascinated with nursing or perhaps become a nurse in the past few years? If so, you are not alone.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, enrollment in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral nursing programs grew 5.6% in 2020 compared to the year before.
This number will only grow as more students see the global COVID-19 crisis as a challenge and an opportunity.
This article outlines a step-by-step guide you can follow to become a nurse and make the world a better place.
Choose a nursing path
Before investigating the various nursing programs out there, you must first choose your career path.
The reality is that nursing can take you in several directions, whether you’re starting as a certified nursing assistant or working as a nurse administrator.
When choosing your career path, think about the kind of work environment you would want to practice in.
For example, certified nursing assistants work in nursing homes, while registered nurses can work in multiple settings, including doctor’s offices, hospitals and other healthcare institutions.
You may also have to consider the different facets of healthcare. Nurses usually specialize in particular areas, such as critical care and geriatrics.
If you have a passion for a particular kind of nursing, then consider the type of education you will need to get there.
Get a formal education
Now that you have determined the career path you are interested in pursuing, there is a good chance that you have an idea of the type of nursing degree you will take.
To become a registered nurse, you must earn a degree from an accredited institution such as Wilkes University.
Ultimately, which degree you will need to earn and how long it takes will depend on where you want to work. In most states, registered nurses only require an associate degree in nursing to start.
However, in recent years, more states have required registered nurses to hold at least a bachelor’s degree to get their licenses.
Pass the board examinations and obtain state licensure
Once you have completed your degree, the next step is to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
The NCLEX-RN is a rigorous examination designed to test the student’s knowledge in essential areas of the field of nursing to ensure that they are ready for the challenges of the job.
After passing the NCLEX-RN examination, you will need to obtain a nursing license in the state you want to practice in.
Suppose that you work in multiple states or perhaps live in a border area with nursing shortages. In that case, you will need to acquire a license from each state, unless the location specifically honors your qualifications in its jurisdiction.
Every state has its unique requirements. So, checking with the appropriate nursing board is vital to ensure that you have the proper state licenses and credentials to start.
Starting your nursing career today
The journey to becoming a nurse is a long yet rewarding process. Take the first step by signing up for a course today.