Saturday, October 22, 2011

Registered Nurse - How to Become a Registered Nurse by Karen Williams

The majority of the jobs located in the health care sector are occupied by registered nurses. This position is senior to that of nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses. As a registered nurse, you will be required to treat patients, educate both the public and patients about various kinds of medical conditions, and provide emotional support and advice to the family members of the patients. You will also be required to document the medical history and symptoms of patients; assist in performing diagnostic tests and analysis of results; operate various medical machines and instruments; provide medications and treatment and assist in rehabilitation and patient follow up. The job of a registered nurse can take you into the operating rooms, doctor's offices, intensive care, medical clinics, ambulatory care and many specialized practices. As a result there are many opportunities available to anyone considering a registered nursing career.

Credentials for becoming a registered nurse can be obtained by completing a nursing diploma, an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accepted nursing school or program. The diploma in nursing is the most popular program and is normally conducted by hospitals, with duration of up to 3 years. The associate degree generally last for 2 to 3 years and can be acquired from a junior or community college. Universities and colleges offer the Bachelor of Science degree and this requires 4 years for completion. Graduates of any of these programs are eligible for a position as a staff nurse at the entry level. However before making a decision, as to which educational route you will take to become a registered nurse, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each program.

Opportunities for advancing in the medical field are more limited for nurses with an associated degree or a diploma in comparison with a nurse that holds a bachelor's or a higher order of degree. This is because, a bachelor's degree provide you with more training in fields such as leadership, critical thinking and communication, which are all critical for making it in the field of nursing. Also, to work in research, teaching, consulting and administrative positions a bachelor's or a higher degree is normally required. None the less, a diploma in nursing does have its advantage.

This being, that with a diploma in nursing, you could apply for an entry-level nursing position and take advantage of the tuition reimbursement benefits and then work towards your bachelor's degree in nursing. Whichever the route you decide to take, you will be required to pass a national licensing exam in order to become a registered nurse. Some states require that nurses do an additional local licensing exam. Therefore, depending on the state you desire to work, you may need to do some additional research.

The position of a registered nurse is a very lucrative one, with many career opportunities and jobs available. Most registered nurses after leaving school receive employment in the hospitals; others also receive employment in offices of doctors; healthcare services; nursing facilities; employment services; government agencies; educational services and social assistance agencies. The state will affect the availability of nursing jobs and the salary of a registered nurse. Nevertheless it is expected that job opportunities will always be available to registered nurses. You may therefore want to seriously consider becoming qualified to operate in this position.