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How do I become a Registered Nurse (RN)

When a person decides to become a registered nurse, they generally have three options. They can purse an associate’s degree in nursing (or an ADN), a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN), or a certification/diploma from an approved and/or accredited nursing program. Once they have pursued an education and graduated, they will then be required to attain a license.

What is a Registered Nurse?
A registered nurse (or RN) is someone that is responsible for coordinating and providing patient care, educating and informing patients on their health conditions, assisting doctors in administering care to patients, and providing emotional support during hard times to patients as well as their family members.

Ideal Skills
Registered nurses need to have all sorts of qualities and skills on hand to perform their jobs. For example, they need to be forward and critical thinkers, compassionate, sensitive to detail, emotionally stable, patient, and gifted with communicating to others.

Education Required
When a student begins education for nursing in their chosen degree path, they will encounter many courses along the way that cover subjects such as physiology, microbiology, anatomy, psychology, anatomy, and of course, nursing. The BSN program is typically a four year degree path, while the ADN can take anywhere from two to three years. Specialized programs vary in time required by the student.

In each student’s educational career path, he/she will get to see firsthand what the nursing world is like through supervised clinical experience. This experience can come from many departments including (but not limited to) surgery, maternity, psychiatry or pediatrics. A student pursuing the bachelor’s degree can expect to receive more in-depth training in communication, physical/social sciences, critical thinking, leadership, etc. If the student wants to eventually move on to a management position, he/she should strongly consider a BSN.

Whichever educational path a student chooses to take, all three will prepare him/her for any entry level position in a healthcare setting as a staff nurse.

Graduates of nursing programs can, of course, move on to pursue their master’s degree in nursing. The more education an aspiring nurse has, the more likely they will land a job, and the better their chances will be for advancement at their prospective place of employment.


To practice in the United States (all states, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia), all nurses must obtain a nursing license to be able to work in registered nursing.

To begin the process for becoming licensed, a person must be able to present a valid degree or diploma from their approved program and initially apply to take the NCLEX-RN.

Passing the NCLEX-RN exam will result in a nursing license that will consider the applicant a registered nurse.

After the exam has been passed, the nurse will begin searching out work from various medical institutions such as hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manfacturers, and much more.

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