The largest healthcare occupation that exists is Registered Nursing (RN). There are actually more than 2.7 million jobs for RNs, as per the latest findings of BLS (May 2011). If becoming an RN is something you aspire to, achieving entry level Nursing Assistant Certification (CNA) is a great way to start your career.
CNA to RN Bridge Programs
The shortest way to becoming an RN is to get CNA certification. You can then, from an accredited community college, undergo a 2-year associate degree program. But should you want to avoid the CNA route and still become an RN, you will need a Bachelor of Science from a college or university, or obtain a 3-year Hospital Based RN diploma. In the case of the Bachelor of Science degree, the duration of the program is 4 years.
The same course work is followed by the bachelor and associate degree programs, which include studies in biology, social sciences, physiology, chemistry, nutrition, anatomy, and nursing. Also, both these programs require basic college courses in mathematics, English, humanities and history.
You are also going to need to study management and leadership, if you undergo a Bachelor degree program. RNs must also acquire laboratory work and clinical experience, besides their classroom studies. Teaching hospitals, for providing required classroom work to students, very often will work with local universities or community colleges.
You can apply for a license, once you have successfully completed the course. The authority for issuing a certificate is the state board of nursing. For working in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, a license for an RN is required. From one state to the next however, the requirements will vary a bit. In addition, to work as a registered nurse, you will need to pass a National Council License Exam.
You are going to need to submit a medical and background check to the licensing authority, in order to obtain that license you are seeking. And to the local department of safety, you will have to submit a fingerprint card. The fees for work requirements, continuing education requirements and licenses are going to vary, depending on the norms of each state involved.