A career as a Register Nurse (RN) is the perfect option for anyone who is looking for a career in the healthcare industry. There is currently a high demand for qualified RNs and this demand is only expected to continue to increase over the next several years. Many of those starting out their career as a CNA or a LPN, continue on to achieve the RN status. However, you can complete your schooling now, and become a RN upon graduation. Below is a closer look at what an RN does and how you can become one.
What Is an RN?
RNs are found in a wide range of health care facilities, such as physician offices, hospitals, neo-natal units, nursing homes, emergency rooms, and assisted living facilities. RNs can also work in schools, governmental agencies, and provide private in-home health care services like hospice. If you are considering a job as an RN, you can expect to spend the majority of your day on your feet treating patients and performing various administrative duties.
As a RN, you will likely work directly with your patients’ physicians to manage their care. You will be part of the team that coordinates patient care and will be expected to alert the doctor to any problems that the patient may be experiencing. You will directly supervise both LPNs and CNAs who have been placed under your supervision.
You will be qualified to perform an array of nursing duties, such as record and monitors patients’ vitals and symptoms, IV starts, wound care, monitor treatment plan, speak with the patients and the patients’ family, operate medical equipment, perform diagnostic testing, assist in emergency treatments, such in the case of a heart attack, stroke, burns, and more.
If this sounds like the right career option for you, then you first need to ask, what degree does an RN need? RNs are expected to have at least an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN), but many medical facilities are now requiring the RNs to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN), or to attain one within so many years of being hired. This equates to two to four years of schooling at an accredited college or university. There are some approved nursing schools that offer a diploma program for those wishing to become an RN. The training will consist of both classroom instruction and clinical training.
Obtaining your degree or diploma is only the first step, you must still find out how do I become an RN. RNs are required to take and successfully pass the NCLEX-RN (National Council of State Boards of Nursing) in your specific state. This test will cover everything you were taught during your training. It is administered several times throughout the year. Once you pass this exam you will receive your RN license and will be able to obtain employment as an RN.
What Is the Job Outlook for an RN?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has listed RNs as one of the top ten careers for job growth in the upcoming years. The demand for RNs is expected to grow by as much as 19% in the next six years. This is due to many reasons, including the large number of baby boomers reaching retirement age and in need of increased medical attention, the increase in various medical conditions like diabetes, and greater health insurance availability. The BLS has listed the average wages for RNs in 2012 at $65,470 per year.