Becoming a nurse is one of the most rewarding job roles a person can do. As a nurse you help people recover from injuries, aid their treatment, and generally make their experience in medical care more comfortable and bearable. Due to how important a nurse is, and how much knowledge they need to have to perform the many different roles they do on a daily basis, becoming a nurse is particularly difficult and requires a lot of skill and the right personality, as well as a lot and lot of studying.
The road to become a qualified nurse is a long one that usually starts at quite a young age. Here are the steps you need to take to become a respected nurse:
Choose a Nursing Path
There are a lot of specialties within nursing, meaning there are a lot of different pathways prospective nurses can take to get to their desired role. It’s important to consider what field you would like to go through before you start your journey to become a nurse, as although some roles and working environments cross over, there’s others that need a specific type of education to help you get there.
For example, there are nurses that work in hospitals, or there are nurses that work in retirement homes and hospices. There are nurses that aid in emergency rooms where everything is high pressure and nurses that manage a team. Different qualifications will make it easier to get to different roles and settings, so it’s vital to figure out and be sure where you want to go. If you have a passion for a certain type of nursing, consider the type of education you’ll need.
Earn a Degree
The reason why choosing your preferred path comes first is because it will usually dictate the type of nursing degree you will need. Most nursing degrees are pretty full on and include both lessons within a classroom and clinical experience. Both of these types of learning are designed to give you the knowledge and information you need as well as the practical know-how to perform some of the most vital and common tasks. The clinical experience will also help you get firsthand experience and insight into how a medical facility is run, which can make it far easier for you to transition when beginning a new role.
A nursing degree of any kind demands a lot of time and attention and isn’t great for those who already have a lot on their plate, meaning sacrifices have to be made. You can earn medical degrees online that include online DNP programs as well as master’s programs, and these offer a little bit more flexibility, but regardless of the type of degree you choose and how you plan to study, to be successful, this degree needs to be the main focus in your life until it’s completed.
Once your education is complete, you’ll still need to take a difficult exam to demonstrate the extent of your knowledge and nursing skills. To be able to become a practicing nurse, nurses need to get a license, and taking this exam is the prerequisite to getting that.
The requirements do alter depending on the role and nursing position you’re going for and get increasingly more complex the more senior and specialist the nursing position is. For example, to become a certified nursing assistant you’ll need to pass a state competency exam as well as earn a state license. This may seem like a lot, but it’s nothing compared to becoming a nurse practitioner as with that role you need to complete an MSN (masters of science in nursing), and pass the NCLEX-RN, as well as a national certification exam administered by a professional organization. You’ll also then need to earn a state license, which just demonstrates how difficult and how strenuous it is to become official.
The medical industry is constantly evolving as it welcomes new technologies and treatments to make things more effective. This means that nurses, doctors, and anyone involved need to continue to stay informed so that they have all the up-to-date knowledge to continue to be as effective as they once were. Furthermore, nurses who make the effort to continue learning may find that more opportunities and senior roles come their way and become more accessible. Some of the best ways to continue to learn include taking education courses, which nurses are required to do every two years, as well as getting certified in particular fields as this demonstrates your commitment to the area and proves your skill set to employers.