How To Become A Registered Nurse

How To Become A Registered Nurse
Disclaimer This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional or legal advice.


Step 1 - Assess Your Passion And Aptitude For Becoming A Registered Nurse

Do you really want to become a registered nurse?

Start by researching and evaluating what a nurse's job entails.

  • Job Duties - Registered nurse's job duties include patient care, creating and maintaining care plans, assessing and monitoring patients condition, coordinating with other health care providers, etc. Do these job duties excite you?

  • QualitiesRegistered nurses require certain qualities to be happy and successful in their job such as - critical thinking skills, compassion, communication skills, organization skills, emotional skills, physical stamina etc. Do you have, or can you develop, these qualities?

  • Work Schedule - Registered nurses work in shifts which could be nights, weekends, as well as holidays. Registered nurses are required to be on-call some days of the week. Are you open to this work schedule?

  • Education - Registered nurses can start their career by getting a diploma in nursing. But to grow in their career they will need to earn a Bachelor's degrees, master's degree, and even a doctorate degree.

    In addition to getting their degree, registered nurses will need to earn and maintain many certifications in the health care field. Are you OK for such educational commitments?

  • Pay - Registered nurses salary ranges from below $59,450 to $120,250 and above. Salary depends on the number of years of experience, specialization in certain areas, and job location. Will you be satisfied with this salary range?

Step 2 - Volunteer in a hospital or any health care facility

If possible volunteer in a hospital or health care facility to get a first hand view of registered nurses duties, responsibilities, qualities, and schedule.

You generally do not need any specific medical degree or qualification to volunteer in a hospital, and you can volunteer for just a few hours a week.

Volunteering in an hospital will give you the opportunities to connect with registered nurses. Talk to them and get their inputs - what they like about their job, what they do not like about their job etc.

Volunteer for a few months, for a few hours every week, and you will get a fairly good idea if nursing is the right career for you.

Step 3 - Get A Nursing Degree - Preferably A Bachelor's Degree

The minimum degree you will need to get an entry-level job as a registered nurse is a diploma in nursing.

But most hospitals and health care centers usually look for at least an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing.

A bachelor's degree will be required as you grow up the career path as a registered nurse. Most certifications that you will need to gain to advance to specialized roles will require a bachelor's degree.

Step 4 - Get A Paid Job As A Registered Nurse

Once you earn you nursing degree - either a diploma, associate, or a bachelor's degree - start applying for registered nurse jobs in hospitals and other health care facilities.

Take any opportunity you may have to volunteer or apprentice in an hospital or health care facility while earning your degree. You will gain valuable experience and this will help you in getting your first job as a registered nurse.

Step 5 - Get certified to specialize and earn more

Consider getting certifications that will qualify you to work as a registered nurse in specialized areas. The pay increases if you specialize and gain expertise in a certain.

Step 6 - Network With Industry Professionals

There are many nursing and health care organizations and institutions that you can become a member of and network with like-minded professionals.

Networking with other registered nurses and health care professionals, and exchanging ideas will help you keep up to date with the latest trends in the medical field.

Networking with other professionals will also help you find better job opportunities.

Step 7 - Improve Continuously And Strive For Excellence

Continuously strive to excel and grow in your career as a registered nurse - improve ways to communicate with and comfort patients, create new and optimized nursing plans, improve your organization and communication skills, Keep up to date with new medical devices, medicines, and treatment plans.

Plan to gain a masters degree in nursing. This will pave the way for you to get to the next level in your career by becoming an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse(APRN). APRNs include nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives.