Most people decide the career they want to pursue from a young age. As with all healthcare practitioners, advanced practice registered nurses, and others in the nursing field, student nurses have to be people who are patient, enjoy continuing education to gain the right certification, and, above all, care about people. Becoming a nurse practitioner is a rewarding career, and is steadily becoming one of the most popular careers around the world as the demand for nurses is on the rise. However, becoming a nurse is not as easy as you may think—it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a nurse, as well as lots of hands-on experience in hospitals once you are qualified. After all, you will be assisting in handling individuals that require special care and treatment. We have 10 steps you should follow on your quest to becoming a nurse.
High School Diploma or GED
The first step to your career as a nurse is to complete your high school education, as well as a relevant bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or associate’s degree depending on the level you wish to reach. You need to get good grades so you can easily get into nursing schools. You should also look into prerequisite courses that nursing school require so that you can fulfil them.
Intern at a Healthcare Facility
To dip your toe into the healthcare sector, it is always good to intern during your summer break, once you are done with high school. This will allow you to get a better understanding of how things run and get you first-hand experience of seeing how nurses work. The experience will also improve your chances of getting into a good nursing school.
Decide Whether You Want to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN)
An LPN covers the basic patient care services for a patient such as providing them with medication and reporting the status of the patient. A RN can provide more extensive care as part of the nursing practice and works directly with the doctor. The path to becoming LPN requires far less time than that of a RN.
Look for the Right Program for Yourself
You can now look for which specific program is suitable for you. Once you have decided whether you want to be a RN or LPN, you can look for specific programs offered by schools that you like.
Apply for Nursing School
Applying to nursing school is as hectic as applying to any school. Be sure you have all the documents ready and decide whether you will be a part-time or full-time student. Since nursing has become popular, you can expect that there will be a lot of competition to get in.
Once accepted in a school, you need to study hard. You will be required to take a test at the end of the degree to become a registered nurse. The exam conducted by an external body and costs $200 each time you take it. So, you must study hard and take clinical hours seriously so you have a better chance of passing the exam.
Take the NCLEX-RN
Depending on what type of nurse you wish to be, you will be required to take the NCLEX-RN exam at the end of your studies to accompany your degree. The length of the exam varies and you have to answer between 75–265 questions. It will be conducted on a computer and the computer will determine how many questions to give you based on the answers you provide.
Once you pass the exam, you will be licensed and can practice as a nurse.