Despite the economic meltdown, nursing is one of the fields which is estimated to offer maximum job opportunities in the coming decade. Nurses enjoy good salaries, ranging anywhere between $46,000 to $67,000. Specialized nurses may get salaries around $100,000. More than 20 different options for specialization are available for nurses. Cardiac nurse, gynecology nurse, neurology nurse, nurse anesthetist, neonatal nurse, oncology nurse, orthopedic nurse, are some examples. How to become a registered nurse (RN)? What prerequisites do you have to satisfy, in order to obtain a nursing degree? Here follows the required information.
How to Become a Nurse
If you are good at maths and science, and if you have a compassionate mind; then you may choose nursing as your profession. Remember, as a nurse, comforting an ailing patient would be the first priority in your life. The duties and responsibilities of nurses may vary according to seniority, working place and specialization, but the basic expectations would be the same. So, if you are ready for hardship, if you have a stable mind to handle the emergency situations, you can think of becoming a nurse.
The preparation begins right from school years. Good grades in high school, good knowledge in subjects like biology, chemistry, languages, social sciences can help you get admission in 'A grade' nursing schools. In high schools, you should participate in social health programs. You should help the elderly in old-age homes, or small children in orphanages. The working experience would be a plus point while getting admitted in the nursing school. Similarly, you would come to know whether you really love helping others.
Apply to 3-4 well-known nursing colleges after finishing a high school diploma. If getting admission into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) seems to be difficult, then don't give up. You can apply for an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). It may take 2-3 years to get the ADN. Actually there are various types of nursing courses, and rules and regulations for getting admission may vary from state to state. Some require one year of anatomy and physiology, while some require a general microbiology course. At some places, general biology is enough for getting admission into BSN. General biology can also be a prerequisite for anatomy and physiology courses. Some programs require psychology and sociology courses and good English. It is true that some nursing schools may allow you to attend the required courses after admission. But some schools may not let you apply until you have the required certificate. So you should look for prerequisites for registered nursing, before receiving a high school diploma.
A high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) or Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is the basic requirement for admission to a nursing school. Completing a four-year BSN program from an accredited university is one of the major nursing prerequisites. The course involves classroom lectures and clinical experience. Various subjects like biology, psychology, nutrition, anatomy, organic chemistry are taught, and the training helps the candidates to know how to take care of patients. These days, computer skills are also essential; as computers are used in medical fields. How to satisfy the demands of the employing facility should not be a problem for a versatile and hardworking person.
Admission in a reputed nursing school helps you with better placements later on. With high ACT or SAT scores, you can get admission to a reputed school. You are supposed to pass the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) before practicing. To work as a nurse, you need to obtain a license from the state nursing board. The board will check your educational qualification, criminal record and the NCLEX certification. You are supposed to renew the license periodically.
This was an overview of how to satisfy nursing prerequisites. For specialization, you will have to study more, and obtain some more certificates. Besides the educational qualifications, good communication skills, a smiling face, pleasing personality, determination, love, sympathy, hard-work, good energy levels (strong health) can help you achieve your goal.