Registered Nurse Requirements
For those of you who want to become a registered nurse, there are a few very simple steps to take starting with the education. One of the first things to do would be to find a good nursing program to enroll in. This would be the minimum requirement and will need a high school diploma. The subjects to have studied include science, anatomy and biology. In order to get into one of the better or more recognized schools, one would have to maintain a good academic record. The Board of Nursing can stipulate the requirements that an aspiring registered nurse must have in order to acquire licensure. There is an additional requirement defined by each state.
The process may begin with the conventional Bachelor’s degree in science in nursing, BSN. This course of studies lasts 4 years and includes theory classes as well as clinical and practical experience. The BSN program goes beyond the core knowledge in nursing and teaches the student other skills such as leadership and communication. If the student wishes to pursue masters in nursing; this is the way to start. Another way to become a registered nurse is through an associate’s degree in nursing or called ADN in short. Most community colleges offer these programs. This and the BSN education prepare a student to take the NCLEX-RN exam. The ADN program lasts around 2 – 3 years. The students graduate faster and find entry level positions in a shorter time.
There are also nursing diploma programs available and offer a strong training option. These programs are usually affiliated to hospitals and the training is of three years’ duration. The students who complete these programs are graduates with a Diploma in Nursing and are also eligible for taking up the NCLEX-RN exam.
The American Nurses Association and the American Nurses Credentialing Center specify the requirements for becoming a certified registered nurse. This is to evaluate the levels of competency and identification of registered nurses in order to promote public health. Being certified by this organization is recognition enough for all state boards of nursing including the U S military. The certifications offered are for nurses, nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses in specialized fields. Apart from these, there is the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, AACN that offers a specialty program for critical care nurses. All of the states in the country require that the National licensing exam be passed. There are many professional nursing organizations that allow you to take voluntary certifications in a specialized field of nursing.
A registered nurse provides care to patients in many different environments. For instance, the ones that have specialized in a particular disease can be employed in general medical hospitals and other health care facilities. However, the registered nurses who have specialized in the nursing care of a particular part of the body may find employment in specialty clinics or critical care units. Therefore, registered nurses may choose to either get licensed or certified to practice in general health care or in critical care nursing. A registered nurse would also have to renew this license by continued education; and there are many resources available online for registered nurses to explore. We will touch upon these resources in a separate article.
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