You are enthralled by the nurse who saved your life in the emergency room and you want to become a nurse as well. So how do you get started?
1. Meet with a counselor
The first thing you need to do is to meet with a college counselor who will go through all your current transcripts and then guide you from there on. The counselor can also advice you on the different ways you can get started on the path to becoming a nurse.
2. Take classes
Before you can enroll in any nursing program, you will have to enroll in the basic nursing pre-requisite classes like human anatomy, physiology, microbiology etc. You might even have to take some English and Math classes depending on how you score on the placement assessment tests that you have to take before you can be a student in the community college or the university.
3. Certified Nurse Aide or Medical Assistant
The best way to chart your course to becoming a nurse is by enrolling for a nurse’s aide program and then work your way up especially if you need to work and cannot afford the money or taking the time off for the nursing program. This is a stepping stone to the nursing program and you can work in the hospital and observe the nurses at work as well, gaining experience which will be helpful for you in the nursing program.
4. Associate Degree Nursing Program
If you have the means to pay your way through nursing college and you want to become a registered nurse the quicker way, then, the associate degree is what you are looking for. This is a two year program which prepares you with enough theoretical and practical knowledge for you to appear for the registered nurse licensing examination administered by the Board of Nursing of the state that you intend to practice in. Once you successfully pass this licensing exam which is also known as NCLEX-RN (National Council of Licensure Examination for Registered Nurse) you are qualified to practice as a registered nurse in the state that you took the exam in.
5. Bachelors Degree of Science in Nursing
There are four ways you can achieve a bachelors of science in nursing. First, you can enroll in a typical bachelors program which would be for a three-four year duration and then appear for NLCEX-RN. Second, you can appear for NCLEX-RN after completing an associate degree program in nursing and then join a bachelors program known as a RN-BSN program. Most of the nurses follow this path as it gives them the option to work and earn money and work-experience before entering the RN-BSN program. In fact, some of the RN-BSN programs require work experience to qualify for the program. The third option is to enroll in a part-time BSN program which will give you the option of working along with the course. The fourth option is enroll in an online RN-BSN program which is the best way for working nurses as this gives them the flexibility to learn at their own convenience.
The future for nurses have never looked better and this is a career that is known as the evergreen career because there will always be demand for nurses as long as there are sick people who need to be taken care of. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for a registered nurse was $31.10 per hour in 2010 and $64,690 annually. This field is also projected to grow at a much faster rate than other occupations at 26%.
So, if you have the compassion and patience to be a nurse then you should not wait any longer. Start looking for a community college near you and gather all information about how to get registered with the college so you can get a head start into the field of nursing.