Becoming a Registered Nurse

Do you love to help people? How do you feel about flexible hours, the potential to earn a great income or having unlimited job advancement opportunities? If all this sounds good to you, you should consider becoming a registered nurse (RN). There is currently a shortage of nurses in the US, and because of a large group of nurses on the verge of retirement, along with our aging society, this trend is expected to continue for years to come. In today’s job market and economy with so many people out of work, getting laid off and not being able to find jobs, wouldn’t it be great if you could actually choose when and where you wanted to work? Finding a job that fits your life and not the other way around is just one of the many benefits to working in the nursing field as an RN. It’s almost like being your own boss – but even better.

Registered nurses are one of the most needed professionals in the medical field today. And RNs aren’t just in the business of helping treat and cure patients with diseases, injuries and illness, but they also promote prevention. They don’t just sit back and wait for people to come to them, but they constantly are reaching out to teach patients how to change their lifestyles so that they stay healthy so they won’t require serious medical treatment in the future. You can imagine with the amount of baby boomers that are entering critical ages where their health care needs start to increase, that most medical facilities are full of patients every minute of every day. And with the high increased number of patients, all health care facilities are in need of qualified RNs to handle them.

Becoming an RN

In order to become an RN, you must have a high school diploma or a GED with at least a 2.0 GPA or higher. If you’re still in high school, you should take extra science classes if you can. After high school you’ll have three paths to choose from in order to become an RN. While it’s complex, here’s a very brief overview of the three possibilities.

  • Associate’s Degree (ADN): One option is getting this two year degree and it’s the most basic level of education you can earn to become an RN. This is a great option for people wanting to enter the work force as soon as possible. Those going this route will most likely be limited to working in hospitals.
  • RN Diploma: Taking on average of two to three years, this is the second education option to becoming an RN. With this type of degree you can work in hospitals and a few other facilities like with patients at their homes.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree: Option three is the most popular way to becoming an RN. This is a four-year degree but upon graduation, you’ll have the choice of many jobs in just about any location, facility or circumstance that you can think of.

The final step is to pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse exam (NCLEX-RN). Once you have passed this exam you will have a license but will also need to pass the state board exam for the state in which you wish to work. We cover all of this in detail on NursingJobFinder. After all, if you’re ready to make nursing your career, you’ll want to know exactly what your options are, right?

It’s often common that those people who choose to go for the fast start options continue their education once they’re in the workplace, so they’ll have more opportunities open to them and they’ll be able to grow in the field. Do you think you have what it takes?

RN and Beyond

Once you have become an RN and get some experience under your belt, you’ll be able to take your career in nursing in almost any direction. You can chose to get specialized in one of over 300 nursing specialties like oncology, pediatrics, geriatric, surgery and more. RNs don’t just work in hospitals either, there are many different employers of RNs including the military, schools and cruise ships. The sky is the limit for RNs in the nursing field. It’s kind of like taking the first step in a dream that can take you anywhere you want to go.

For instance, if you love to travel you can become a travel nurse, allowing you to see the states and get experience while working in new and exciting environments. If you’re really adventurous, you won’t be limited to the U.S. Many countries like Canada and New Zealand are experiencing nurse shortages as well and accept traveling nurses from the U.S. What could be better than getting to see the world and getting paid for doing what you love?

Can you really imagine how different your life would be if you got paid to do something that you’re passionate about? I know you hear those people who are always talking about how much they love their jobs, and you probably think to yourself how nice it would be if you felt that way, too. Stop waiting another day and be that person that everyone else is jealous of. Be the person who wakes up happy because they get to go to work in a job that they love and help other people. So, what are you waiting for?


Learn More: Certified RN Jobs