Choosing a career can be a challenge for a lot of people. If you already know becoming a nurse is the right path for you – Congratulations! It shows you are compassionate, generous, and intelligent. You will love being part of the team and experiencing so many heartfelt moments with your colleagues. You might meet people with different backgrounds, enjoy getting to know your patients and caring for them. Every situation will change you for the better and at the end of the day, you will know you made a difference.
Throughout the world, the patient number is growing and qualified nurses are needed more than ever. If you want to learn how to become a nurse just keep reading.
Steps to Becoming a Nurse
Step 1- Choose Your Path
When you are choosing your career it’s important to think about the type of work that interests you and the environment you would prefer. What inspires you the most? Would you like to work as part of the team or you prefer managing positions? Or maybe you are good at administration?
You can specialize in a certain area you feel passionate about, so consider it when you choose the type of education you would like to get.
Step 2- A Degree
Nursing programs include:
- Classroom Instruction (You will learn through instructional methods, under the guidance of professionals)
- Clinical Experience (You will experience real-life scenarios, observe, and connect with your colleagues)
Make sure you decide how the nursing school will fit into your schedule. Nowadays many degrees can be earned online if you have a very busy lifestyle.
The program that takes the least time to complete is to become a registered nurse (RN). It will allow you to start working sooner if that’s what you want. Some employers may rather hire a nurse with a higher degree, but don’t worry! You can always continue your education and earn it later.
Here is a list of all the types of nursing degrees and where they are available:
- Nursing diploma (colleges and vocational schools)
- Associate Degree in Nursing (community colleges)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (colleges and universities)
- Master of Science in Nursing (colleges and universities)
- Ph.D. (colleges and universities)
As a nurse, it’s very important to earn a HIPAA certification. It will make you more valuable in the industry and you will learn crucial information about patient privacy and security. Make sure you do your research and find the best HIPAA training provider to get your certification. Ask your employer if he/she has some preferences and talk to your colleagues about their experiences with different programs. This is very useful as you will likely have access to the private health information of your patients. Any violation of HIPAA can result in fines and lawsuits.
Step 3- License
After completing your education, you will have to demonstrate your knowledge by taking an exam. There are many different rules and license types in different states. But basically, there are several programs that require a license for sure:
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
- Nurse Practitioner (NP)
- Nurse Midwife (CNM)
- Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
The healthcare industry is evolving and you can learn new treatments and technologies every day. Stay informed and take advantage of new opportunities. Try taking additional courses or specializing in a certain area. Why not even try to earn a more advanced degree?
Levels of Nursing
There is a great number of opportunities and different career paths when you are a nurse. Let’s find out which job suits your needs!
Certified nursing assistant (CNA): They answer patient calls, record information, clean rooms, and help with tasks such as feeding and bathing.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): These nurses are sometimes permitted to administer medication to patients, but most of the time help with changing bandages, bathing, dressing, etc.
Registered Nurse (RN): They assist the doctors, administer medication, educate patients, and manage patient care and other nurses.
For these jobs, you are required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in nursing:
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA): CRNAs determine the amount of anesthesia needed, prepare patients before procedures, and work with doctors during the procedure. For this career, you will need a Master’s degree.
Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM): Midwife nurses provide prenatal and newborn care. They guide women through pregnancy, help deliver a baby, and give advice to new mothers. To become a CNM you will need a Master’s degree.
Nurse Practitioner (NP): In some states, NPs can practice medicine independently and open their own offices. They can diagnose illness and prescribe medications. If this is your goal you should get a Master’s degree or a DPN (Doctorate of Nursing Practice)
Nursing Informatics: Their job is training other nurses in new technologies, quality control, system development, etc. If you like combining IT with nursing skills this is something to think about, and you would need a Bachelor’s degree only.
Nurse Administration: If you have good management skills you should consider this career. It’s a responsible job but it can be fun creating work schedules or managing nursing staff and finances.
Working in the medical field is a highly responsible job. Whether you are a doctor, a nurse, or a member of the medical staff you are always “in the front line”.
Nowadays, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially difficult and challenging. Thank you for saving lives and making a difference!