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How to Become an RN

Registered Nurses (RNs) make up a large part of the healthcare industry. It has been estimated that there are over 2 million RN jobs available. For those interested in becoming an RN, you should start your career by completing an entry level Nursing Assistant Certification (CNA) course.

CNA to RN Bridge Programs

Obtaining the CNA certification is the quickest route to becoming a qualified RN. To achieve the RN designation, you must complete a 2-year associate degree course at an accredited community college. Those who want to become an RN without completing the CNA course will need to complete a 3-year RN diploma or a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at a university or college. These programs typically run for four years.

The associate degree and bachelor degree courses follow the same course work, where students will study nursing, nutrition, and social sciences as well as several science courses such as anatomy, chemistry, and biology. The programs will also require some basic college-level courses in English, mathematics, and the humanities.

If you choose to complete the Bachelor degree program, you will have to undertake leadership and management courses as well. Outside of the classroom studies, an RN must gain clinical experience and proficiency in lab work. There are many teaching hospitals that offer nursing diploma programs in conjunction with local community colleges or universities. This allows students to receive the necessary classroom component to their practical work.

Once you have completed one of the course routes, you can then apply for an RN license. The state nursing board is responsible for issuing the license, which is mandatory if you want to work as an RN in the District of Columbia or any of the 50 states. The licensing requirements will vary depending on the state issuing the license, but all states require RN candidates to pass a licensing exam before they work as an RN.

Before you can receive the license, you will need to undergo a background and medical check conducted by the licensing authority and submit a fingerprint card to the respective local department. There are also licensing fees that will need to be paid, and each RN must complete continuing education requirements to maintain the license.

20 Responses so far.

  1. JennyR says:

    I decided to become a nurse 2 years ago. Best decision I have ever made- so rewarding and I managed to get both medical and management skills that will serve me for the rest of my life!

  2. Steven says:

    RN becomes a profession work, and it would get more respect from the society. Besides, we can receive more professional services in the hospitals.

  3. ruthy says:

    being a nurse is a calling. this course gives you skills that you’ll use your entire life

  4. Tudor says:

    Being a nurse can be fulfilling and with the right set of skills you will do good. I honestly believe this course is a good thing.

  5. Ma. Belen Bermachea says:

    I myself is not a nurse but I think being one, first of all, must have courage especially with blood and the different kinds of emergency situations. A nurse should also be friendly, caring, patient and understanding as these are good characteristics of a good nurse.

  6. Fatima C. says:

    It is indeed not a walk in the park to become a registered nurse. It is however a very fulfilling profession.

  7. Kevin M says:

    It looks as if being a RN is a recession proof career choice. Lots of people are looking for a career like that. This takes the guess work out of the process. Very helpful article.

  8. Jessica lanham says:

    I respect all rn’s. I thought about takin the courses needed. I just didn’t see it as my calling. I went with legal and I am a paralegal. But everyone has their calling.

  9. Cassandra says:

    Nursing, whether as a CNA, LPN or RN takes dedication and a true love of people. It is not a job for everyone.

  10. Carleen says:

    I am a registered nurse in my own country. Sadly, I was not able to practice it because I started a family a little sooner than expected. I hope in the future, I would still get to practice it. Nursing is hard work. Not everyone has the patience for it. As difficult as it it, it truly is rewarding. People need to realize what nurses put up with everyday. They should be given more credit and should be respected, no matter what kind of degree they had or what career path in nursing they chose.

  11. Rajaram says:

    What a wonderful and noble profession. It would do well to assess ones dedication to this demanding and rewarding career.

  12. Agnes Magdaraog says:

    We have more RN’s here in the Philippines, yearly. Some do end up underemployed, though, we were recognized in this particular field. Our government did not gave more attention, so others end up working overseas because of the higher pay, and benefits and the reward they are looking for.

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