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How to Become A Nurse

The healthcare sector is among the fastest growing in the United States. There is also more demand for nurses who can take up greater responsibility in the workplace, and recognize the fact that the healthcare industry is growing more advanced and complex with time.



According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nursing is an occupation expected to grow by 19% between 2012 and 2022. This equates to roughly 530,000 new jobs; the mean annual wage for this profession was $65,470 in 2012. If these figures interest you, and you want to know how to become a nurse, this article will help you gain some clarity.

Education

The education required depends largely on your professional goals. If you want to become a simple Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), you can apply for a diploma at a university or community college. These degrees vary in duration and award you with a basic qualification. You will also have to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). You can work as a medical first responder or emergency technician, or work under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) requires you to complete a four-year Bachelor of Science in a Nursing degree. This degree combines courses in medicine, nursing, mathematics and social sciences for a holistic experience. Students who enroll in these programs will be able to:

-          Effectively communicate with peers and patients alike

-          Utilize sharp analytical and critical thinking skills in the diagnosis and treatment of a patient’s health

-          Display leadership qualities by assuming responsibility and multitasking effectively in the workplace

-          Be able to modify their practice based on the types of patients they encounter.

Upon completing the BSN degree, students will take a National Council Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to be authorized to practice in the United States.

If you are already working as an RN, and want to know how to become a nurse at a more senior level, you will need to complete a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. These degrees vary in duration, depending on the program you choose. Students can specialize their learning towards any area of medicine. Some may choose to become Nurse Anesthetists, while others will work as a Nurse Practitioner. Others may become Pediatric Nurse Practitioners or Family Psych Practitioners. A mandatory licensing exam must be cleared for your relevant degree upon completion.

At the doctoral level, students can engage in research on an area of their interest. They can use the learning in their professional practice, or enter employment as teachers in colleges and universities.

Employment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nurse Anesthetists were among the highest paid nursing professionals in the year 2012, earning mean annual wage of $154,390. Nurse Practitioners were reported to be earning $91,450 for the same year. With an increasing demand on the healthcare industry to provide competent professionals, the opportunities are bound to grow, leaving much room for talented and hard working individuals to enter.

 

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