What are the requirements to become a registered nurse?
Certain professions will never become overcrowded with practitioners. Nursing is just one of them. If you want to become a registered nurse, you will need more than just long hours of study and practice. You will need determination, commitment and relentless passion for this job. Here is a step-by-step guide on the requirements that you need to fulfill before entering the medical field:
Enter a nursing school
The journey to becoming a registered nurse starts after you finish high school. As soon as you get your graduation diploma you need to look for a nursing school, register for the TEAS test, or the Test of Essential Academic Skills, and ace it.
Settle on your specialization
All nursing schools in the US offer two types of expertise:
- Associate Degree in Nursing (AND)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Both degrees offer you the chance to practice medicine and work with real patients. The main difference between these two specializations is the duration of studies. The ADN course lasts for as much as two years, while the BSN degree takes four years of nursing school.
Get your certifications
Regardless of the degree you obtain at the end of your studies; you will still have to pass an exam to get your certification. For a soon-to-be nurse, you will need to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). This review differs from state to state, so you will have to check with the particular board of exam in your region for further details. In general, the test contains between 70 to 270 questions that touch all the areas of medicine and nursing responsibilities.
Match the prerequisites
You cannot become a registered nurse with just the degree you obtain from a nursing school. You will also need to match a set of requirements that include:
- The SAT exam
- The TEAS exam
- A GPA between 2.0 and 3.5
- Four years of English studies
- Three years of math studies and biology studies
- Two years of studying a foreign language of your choice
You will need to prove graduation certificates for all of the above studies together with your nursing degree to become a professional nurse.
Prepare to empty your wallet
The tuition fee varies from one nursing school to another. According to national data regarding college fees and course taxes, a single year of studying for your AND degree will cost you between $3,000 and $15,000 depending on your school of choice. The initial salary for registered nurses in their first year of practice is around $39 per hour. Therefore, you can make a few calculations regarding your investment and future gain depending on these numbers.
After you pass the NCLEX-RN exam and you obtain all your certifications, you can safely register as a nurse. The studying part does not end here, however. You will need to improve your skills and knowledge in a field that is continuously evolving and developing new sectors of activity. Find a nursing job and get as much experience as possible to become a successful registered nurse.