Type in a career question:

How to become a Nurse?

1 Answer(s)
Top Answer
Talent.com talent.com
Answered December 09 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
In the United States, there are a few options to becoming a Registered Nurse. You can either get a bachelor's degree, an associate degree, or a diploma. However, most employers—especially hospitals—prefer a bachelor's degree, as it provides the longest and most comprehensive education. Since the demand for nurses is relatively high, some employers offer tuition reimbursement programs.  If you wish to progress to a higher-paying senior role such as a Nurse Practitioner, you need a master's degree. 

Regardless of your degree choice, you will take courses in science, health care law and ethics, communication, and patient care during your nursing studies. All nursing programs contain supervised clinical work, where students work with actual patients under the supervision of a senior nurse. 

After your degree, you will need to pass the NCLEX exam. Other requirements for nurses can vary by state, such as passing a criminal background check. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has a helpful tool to help you determine where your license allows you to practice. 

Important things to know before becoming a Nurse
  • Expect to work long shifts.
Most nurses only work three days a week, which sounds nice in theory. Only each of those shifts is twelve hours long. Add into that any overtime you may do, as well as reporting to the oncoming nurse; your shifts are even longer. 
  • You need to have a good memory.
When doctors are doing their rounds, they can come in at any time and will ask you questions about medications, behaviors, and tests. A lot of information is in the patient chart, but you will need to remember some of it. Many nurses keep a pen and a small notebook in their scrubs for jotting down quick notes. 
  • It's a mentally taxing job.
Nurses often spend more time with patients than doctors do. They get to know the patients and their families. When a patient receives bad news or passes away, it's always challenging, and it can be challenging mentally. Make sure you take care of your mental health, as well as the health of your patients.