How to become

How to become a registered nurse?

How to become a registered nurse

Who is a Registered Nurse?

A registered nurse is a healthcare practitioner who has completed a nursing programme and is licenced to practise. Registered nurses are classified according to their areas of specialty.

Nurses, on the other hand, can enrol in nurse education courses and earn credentials to demonstrate to prospective employers that they have specialised training.

Registered Nurse Classifications:

Addiction Nurse

Addiction nurses, also known as substance abuse nurses, may have chosen this vocation because they or someone they love has struggled with addiction to drugs, alcohol, or other substances. Addiction nurses work at rehab institutions, hospitals, and outpatient treatment programmes. The International Nurses Society on Addictions administers certifications for addictions nurses (IntNSA).

Cardiovascular Nurse 

Cardiovascular nurses work in hospitals, coronary care units (CCUs), and medical practices that treat patients with heart disease. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is in charge of cardiovascular nurse certification (AACN).

ICU Nurse / Critical Care Nurse

Critical care nurses work in intensive care units (ICUs) and critical care units (CCUs). ICU nurses are sometimes referred to as critical care nurses and vice versa. They specialise in care for patients who are hospitalised for severe diseases that need 24-hour monitoring. The AACN also provides certification for ICU and CCU nurses.

Gastroenterology Nurse

Nurses who work in gastroenterology assist patients with gastrointestinal illnesses including the stomach and digestive tract. They might help doctors with colonoscopies and endoscopies. The American Board of Certification for Gastrointestinal Nurses overseas gastroenterology nurse certifications (ABCGN).

Nurse, Medical-Surgical

Medical-surgical nurses often work in hospital settings with significant patient loads — five to seven per day on average. These nurses are certified by the Medical-Surgical Nurse Certification Board (MSNCB) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Nurse in Neonatal Care

A neonatal nurse is someone who cares for babies who were born prematurely or with life-threatening or persistent conditions. They may work in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU; pronounced “nick-you”), a critical care unit (CCU), an intensive care unit (ICU), a trauma unit, or another healthcare environment. The AACN grants certification to these nurses.

Nurse in Occupational Health

An occupational health nurse often works in a clinical environment, but may also work as a full-time nurse for a major organisation. A major manufacturing corporation, for example, would hire an occupational health nurse to assist prevent injuries, manage workplace health concerns, and handle workers’ compensation and family medical leave. A certification programme is available through the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses (ABOHN).

Public Health Nurse

Public Health Nurses work with government agencies, NGOs, and other groups that promote public health via education and screening. Rather than treating individuals in private clinics, public health nurses treat the entire community. RNs with five years of public health experience and a bachelor’s degree can apply for the National Board of Public Health Examiners’ Certification in Public Health.

What Does a Registered Nurse do?

Registered nurses are vital members of the healthcare community. While their particular position and responsibilities vary greatly based on the size of their team and the context in which they operate (for example, in a hospital, doctor’s office, or school), they often involve the following:

  1. Monitoring patients and conducting evaluations
  2. Keeping track of a patient’s medical history and symptoms
  3. Updating patient’s data as needed
  4. Create a patient care plan in collaboration with the rest of the medical team.
  5. Treatment and drug administration
  6. Taking care of wounds
  7. Collecting blood, urine, excrement, and other samples for laboratory testing 

    Registered nurses often enjoy high levels of employment security and a competitive income in exchange for completing these obligations. In actuality, the typical annual compensation for RNs working in the United States in 2019 was $73,300, or about $35.24 per hour. Of course, this amount varies depending on a nurse’s degree of expertise as well as the location in which she works.

Where do registered nurses often work?

RNs work in doctor’s offices, nursing homes, long-term care institutions, hospitals, clinics, government, and education. The majority of registered nurses work in hospitals, according to the BLS report on registered nurses. As of 2020, the following are the most common job areas for registered nurses:

61 percent are hospitals.

18% are doctors’ offices, home health care, and outpatient treatment.

Nursing homes account for 6% of the total.

5% for the government

Education (3%)

Salary of a Registered Nurse

How much do registered nurses make? Salaries are determined by criteria such as area, education, employer type, experience, and others. According to the BLS, RNs in the United States earned an average of $75,330 in May 2020. RNs in government receive the highest average salary of $84,490, followed by RNs in hospitals ($76,840), ambulatory care services ($72,340), nursing care facilities ($68,450), and education ($64,630).

According to the BLS occupational employment and salaries for registered nurses, the following states have the highest annual mean wage:

$120,560 in California

$104,830 in Hawaii

$96,250 in Massachusetts

$96,230 in Oregon

In Alaska, $95,270

The information was last updated in January 2022.

How to Become a Registered Nurse

While every RN goes through the same process to get a licence, the particular criteria differ by state. Certain states, such as New York, require RNs to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The following list outlines the steps required to become a registered nurse.

1. Complete the ADN or BSN prerequisites.

Nursing students must pass liberal arts, maths, and scientific prerequisites regardless of whether they pursue an ADN or BSN degree. Basic anatomy, physiology, biology, psychology, and anatomy are common requirements for nursing school. Nursing schools sometimes require entering students to obtain at least a “C” in these courses.

2. Obtain a BSN or ADN degree.

A four-year BSN degree provides extensive study in several areas as well as leadership, interpersonal communication, and clinical nursing. Apart from an accelerated BSN programme that allows students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing subject to finish in as little as one year, a two-year ADN degree covers nursing principles and provides the quickest path to become a registered nurse.

3. Pass the NCLEX examination.

Students can apply for licensure and register for the NCLEX-RN around six weeks before graduation. This computerised test needs test takers to answer at least 75 questions. They have up to six hours to complete the examination.

4. Look for work.

Be proactive in your job search, regardless of your educational path. This entails utilising your college network and career options prior to graduation. While the nursing profession expands, graduates must make an impact during clinical rotations with future healthcare employers.

5. Achieve Board Certification.

RNs who wish to advance in their professions (and earn more money) pursue board certification. RNs typically need two or more years of clinical experience in a specialist emphasis and must pass an exam to qualify.

TOP colleges/universities for RN:

1.) Duke University.

2.) Georgetown University.

3.) Johns Hopkins University.

4.) New York University.

5.) University of Pennsylvania.

6.) University of Michigan.

7.) University of California Los Angeles.

8.) University of Washington.

9.)Emory University

10.)University of Maryland

Job Prospects for Registered Nurses

With an ageing population, there is an increasing demand for health professionals in the United States. These healthcare professionals, particularly registered nurses, will account for a significant portion of job growth in the United States during the next several years. To adequately care for the old and ailing populations, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the number of employment in all healthcare occupations will expand 18 percent by 2026, the fastest rate of growth among all occupational categories in the country.

The nursing career forecast, in particular for the future of RN positions, remains positive. According to the BLS, there will be a net increase of more than 438,000 additional RN employment by 2026. This is a 15% increase over job possibilities in 2016. The predicted rise in RN job vacancies is also more than double the national average for all occupations, which is now at 7%.

With rapid development and numerous work prospects, pursuing an RN profession is a viable option in today’s ever-changing labour environment. There has never been a better moment to pursue a registered nursing profession, given the high demand, predicted growth, and possible income gains.


Do you get to be a registered nurse in two years?

Yes. You might complete an ADN or ABSN degree in 1-2 years. The amount of time is determined by your  past college work. Prospective nursing students must also consider the number of clinical hours necessary. Additional time is required for NCLEX-RN preparation.

Where do I begin my journey to become an RN?

The first step in becoming an RN is completed in the classroom. Find a programme that is a good fit for your interests and professional goals, whether it is an ADN, BSN, or ABSN degree. Find a school that will prepare you to take the NCLEX-RN and work in a healthcare field that interests you.

Is a registered nurse (RN) a good career?

Being a registered nurse (RN) may be regarded as an excellent career since it has a quicker than average job forecast for 2018-2028, has above-average median compensation, and allows you to serve other people.

What are the working hours of registered nurses?

Registered nurses (RNs) often work in shifts or rotations of eight, ten, or twelve hours. Registered nurses working 8-hour shifts work at least four days per week, but registered nurses working 12-hour shifts may only work three days per week. In addition to these shifts, certain workplaces may have optional or mandatory overtime. When interviewing for a registered nursing employment, it is a good idea to inquire about the normal RN schedule.

What is the mean annual registered nurse salary?

California has the highest average compensation for registered nurses (RNs), with a statewide average salary of $118,183. West Virginia has the lowest average wage, with a statewide average registered nurse salary of $58,270.

Is it difficult to be a registered nurse (RN)?

It can be difficult to be a registered nurse (RN) at times. During shifts, nurses are frequently highly busy ensuring that their patients receive the necessary care. While it might be difficult, many RNs believe it to be one of the most gratifying occupations.

What are the prerequisites for becoming a registered nurse?

Registered nurses (RNs) must have a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree and have completed the national council licensure examination (NCLEX). Each state has different criteria for taking the NCLEX, so be sure to verify the prerequisites for becoming an RN in your state.

What exactly is the distinction between a registered nurse and a certified nursing assistant?

A registered nurse (RN) possesses a college degree and has completed a certification exam to be recognised as an RN. A degree is not required for a certified nursing assistant (CNA), but training and certification are required.