Training Required to Become a Registered Nurse
There are many two-year, three-year and four-year nursing programs offering nursing
programs. The entrance requirements are often a high school diploma, application and
a series of entrance exams including math and English tests and an essay. You do need
to check with each specific facility and program for exact entrance requirements as
they do change.
Once the course is complete, each student must pass a state licensing test. Every
state requires nurses to be licensed. If a nurse moves from one state to another,
they have to complete another state examination to be licensed in the new state.
Nursing as a profession is changing and so are the training requirements. There will
soon be 2 specific levels defined as Technical and Professional. Technical will
encompass nurses with Associate's degrees and Professional nurses will have a minimum
of a Bachelor degree. Registered nurses will be able to start working after completing
an Associate's degree, but those nurses wanting to be case managers or supervisors will
need to complete a Bachelor degree. Advanced-practice nursing will require a Master of
Science in Nursing.
What do Registered Nurses do?
Registered nurses are often responsible for day to day care of admitted patients
and out-patients. They can work in hospitals or care facilities doing 8-12 hour shifts.
Nursing can be a very physical and mental occupation. The job often requires lots of
walking, lifting patients, stretching and bending. The positive side of nursing though
is the ability to help and care for the patients as they work through the many medical
issues they may have. Nursing jobs consist of two parts; the technical or medical side,
which includes giving shots, updating patient records, and providing proper medications
and the personal side including educating patients and families and providing friendly
Registered nurses can also be found doing non-patient related jobs from medical writers
and educators to health insurance case managers and nurse paralegals.
Registered nurses comprise the largest employee group within the health care field.
They are often guiding patients and families through the use of education, nursing care
plans, patient evaluations and patient monitoring.
Registered Nursing Specialties
With some additional specific training, registered nurses can specialize in a
certain field such as pediatrics or mental health. Nurse often feel more connected
to one type of nursing and therefore want to explore growth and more continued education
in that field. Through continuing education (which is required) nurses can choose to
develop their skills and expand their knowledge in a particular segment of health care.
Quite often nurses who specialize also advance their careers through job growth and
responsibility as well as increasing their earnings.
Sometimes Registered nurses will choose to become Advanced-Practice nurses. There are
4 types: Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse-Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialists and
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.