If you love helping people than learning how to become an RN can be a highly rewarding career path. There has never been a better time to enter the healthcare field with so many from the baby boomer generation entering retirement and expected to have increased medical needs. You will have many stable employment opportunities, flexible shifts, and excellent health benefits. There are many people that learn how to become a nurse in their thirties, forties, and beyond so no matter what your age it is possible to have a fulfilling career.
Steps To Take:
1. If you are in high school, work toward getting the best grades you possibly can as entrance in nursing school is highly competitive. Try to take AP classes if offered as this can shorten the amount of time you will need to spend in a collegiate program. Pay particular attention in math and science classes as you will need a solid foundation in these areas to be successful in nursing school.
2. Research nursing schools to learn about the different options available. There are two year programs that lead to an Associate Degree in Nursing and RN license as well as four year Bachelor Degree programs. If you think you will want to get a Masters Degree or other graduate degree, than you may want to go for four year Bachelor Degree so you will be ready to move to your graduate studies right away. If you would like to get your feet wet and be working quickly consider LPN/LVN programs which last only nine to eighteen months and can be used as a stepping stone to getting your RN license. People who successfully complete an LPN program are eligible to take bridge programs reducing the amount of time it takes to get an A.S. in Nursing and their RN license to only one additional year of schooling.
3. Apply to several schools you would be willing to attend. Try to have your SAT scores high if in high school or your prerequisites done if an adult learner as it is not easy to gain admission to nursing programs. Review their program to see what you will need to take before being allowed entry into their program.
4. Investigate financial aid. This is important as nursing programs are intense and working full time while also going to school full time can be very difficult to do. This may also be a great time to consider CNA work during the weekends since this will open your eyes to the reality of dealing with patients in a clinical setting and help you decide if nursing is really the best career path for you.
5. Study hard and make attendance a top priority. Most nursing programs will dismiss students if they miss a small number of classes, so it is essential that you have plans to always attend class.
Once you have completed your education from an accredited college you are allowed to test for your RN license. Once you pass your tests, you will be granted your RN designation. With your RN license, you will be able to apply for nursing jobs at hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies, doctors offices, and other healthcare facilities. It can be a rewarding career both with personal satisfaction and financially, too. It is not uncommon for a beginning nurse to make $40K+ during his or her first year.