The Ins & Outs of Nursing School


The First Step Towards Your Dream

So, you’ve decided that you want to be a nurse? In order to become one, you’ll need to go to school to learn all of the various skills that you’ll need to be an effective and helpful advocate and caregiver to your patients. As you can imagine, there are many different paths you can take in your nursing education, and you’ll have to decide which one is the best one for you. Some of your options will allow you to begin work as a nurse in a few short months, while other options will require that you go to school for years to achieve your goals. All of this will depend on the decisions that you’ll have to make about how quickly you want to enter the field, whether or you not you want to become certified and if you want to specialize in any particular area. But whatever path you choose for your individual career, you’ll be shaping your future to fit your dreams and desires for the life you want to live.

First Things First

There are so many different things to consider about your training. One of the considerations is the school that you’ll attend. When selecting your school, you’ll have to think about its location, the fee structure, the accommodations that are available and whether the school offers the courses that you need for your individual career path. Once you get your high school diploma or GED, you can start applying to nursing schools. That, along with your desire to help people should give you the competitive advantage to get into the school of your choice.

It’s a misconception to think that just because there’s a nursing shortage, that the schools have relaxed their standards. They haven’t, and you’ll have to have the grades and motivation to get into a school with a good reputation. Our guide will help you determine whether or not you have the grades to qualify, as well as show you step by step how to choose the school that will take you down the career path that you want to travel.

Three Basic Options to Becoming a Licensed Nurse

If you want to become a licensed registered nurse, you’ll have three main avenues that you can take. Here are the basics of each. For a complete overview, please see our guide.

  • Completing a Diploma Program conducted in a hospital: This path is conducted through a hospital and is an entry-level program. This program will prepare you to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam, which is required to be an RN. There is usually an entrance exam required to start this kind of nursing program. In extreme cases students that have not gradated high school can enter this program after they have passed an academic assessment, but this is not true for all programs.
  • Completing an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN): This is a program that usually takes approximately two years to complete and is offered at many colleges, universities and nursing schools all across America. Upon completion you will be prepared to pass your state boards and licensing exam and be ready to go to work.
  • Completing a Bachelors Degree in Nursing (BSN): This is a four-year degree program offered at universities and colleges. After completing it, you’ll be ready to pass all exams and enter the work force as prepared and knowledgeable as you can be. Students with this type of degree will usually earn more when entering the job market compared to those you don’t have the BSN.

What Will I Learn in Nursing School?

The primary job of nursing school is to train individuals to provide quality care to all their patients. Students learn how to diagnose, treat and care for patients using nursing theory and practice. The training is very intense but there is simply no other way to prepare you for the nursing field. Think about it – no two days are ever the same when working as a nurse, and you’ll need intensive training to prepare for that. But it’s not just about classroom education and exams, when you go to nursing school, you’ll also get to practice in hospital settings. Even though you’ll learn an amazing amount in the classroom, being able to put it to work in the real world can often involve a learning curve. This hands-on experience will help you with another critical aspect of nursing – communication.

You’ll need an abundance of good communication skills to be able to care for and treat patients in the best manner possible. As a nurse, you’ll have to communicate with patients who might be stressed or in pain, as well as family members who are worried about their loved one. In addition to communicating with patients and their loved ones, you’ll be a part of a medical team that will only thrive if communication is flowing. In short, nursing school will not only teach you the practicalities of nursing, but also how to think fast, work well under pressure and think outside of the box.

Learning doesn’t stop at school either. You’ll find that once you enter the field, every day will bring you new experiences. Nurses never stop learning and that is one of the best parts about being a nurse.

Are you excited and ready to start nursing school? There’s no better time than now to get on your way to living the life of your dreams. Nurses are in demand all over America and the first step to becoming one is to sign up for school. And that will prepare you for a successful future both in and out of nursing.

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Learn More: How to Choose a Nursing School