Do you dream of becoming a nurse but don’t know where to start? You are not alone!
Nursing is a noble profession that is quite challenging yet professional. It allows you to take care of others and make their life better.
Becoming a nurse is not a one-step process. It is a rapidly growing field in the medical industry which requires a proper degree and certification to practice. Whether you are a high-school student or a professional who is considering a career change, we are here with a guide on how to become a nurse. Here are the ten necessary steps you need to follow to start your nursing career:
Step #1: Set Your Goals
The first step to becoming a nurse is setting a clear ambition. Understand the complexity of the profession and learn the types of nurses you can be.
Whether it’s a registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), or a nurse practitioner (NP), you must understand the difference between all three. Once you have researched the roles, it will be easier for you to set a goal.
Step #2: Get Education
Completing your basic education is the most important part of becoming a nurse, and another easy way to become a nurse. You cannot pursue a career in the medical industry after dropping out of college. Be attentive in math and science classes, especially to have a strong base in these subjects. With a strong academic background, you will be ready for the next step of becoming a nurse.
Step #3: Start Volunteering
Volunteering at local hospitals, health camps, clinics, and nursing homes can bring you the early experience of handling patients. This hands-on experience is essential to learning the complexity and demanding nature of the profession.
You’ll gain insight into the occupation and confirm your passion for nursing. Not only that, this volunteering gig can be a valuable part of your resume.
Step #4: Obtain a Degree
You cannot become a nurse without getting a proper degree. Consider enrolling yourself in a nursing program. You can choose a college or university for your degree. Look up a few institutions that offer an elaborate nursing program that suits the requirements of your career path.
Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) will open up more career opportunities. It will also prepare you for advanced nursing roles in the future.
Step #5: Stay Organized
Studying in a nursing school can be challenging. It requires you to stay organized at all times. You can use planners and calendars to keep track of your lectures, assignments, exams, and clinical rotations.
Whether you choose conventional methods or use an app to organize depends on your preference. With proper time management and organization, you can maintain a healthy work-life balance. It helps you fulfill your academic responsibilities without them getting overwhelming.
Step #6: Join Community Service
Participate in extracurricular activities related to healthcare or community service. Since you cannot get a nursing job while you are studying, you can add valuable experience to your resume through community service.
Join medical mission trips or health fairs to practice what you are learning. Apart from enhancing your resume, these services show your dedication towards your nursing career and the community.
Step #7: Practice Communication Skills
Since you have to deal with a number of patients every day as a nurse, it is important to practice effective communication skills. It is an essential part of a nursing career. Work on developing your communication skills, both verbal and written.
Remember, families and patients will not trust a nurse who is not able to communicate well. Practice listening and understanding your patient’s medical history. Learn to clearly explain the procedures you will have to follow while caring for the patient. It fosters trust among the patients.
Step #8: Gain Professional Experience
As mentioned above, gaining experience through volunteering is essential for your career. During your nursing degree, you will get opportunities to practice under senior doctors and nurses. They will help you gain experience in the professional world of nursing.
Ask questions to understand the procedures to add to your experience. Take your clinical rotations seriously to have hands-on experience in handling patients. It provides you with a solid base for your future career.
Step #9: Prepare for Licensing Exam
The licensing exam is the trickiest part of the nursing degree. You will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN) to become a licensed nurse. Since you cannot practice without a license in most parts of the world, it is essential to get it as soon as you finish your degree. Prepare for this exam in advance so you can have as much relevant information for this as required.
Step #10: Keep Learning and Growing
Lastly, do not stop the learning process. The nursing field is a rapidly growing one, and you need to stay ahead of the curve to take care of your patients correctly.
Stay up to date with the latest trends and technological advancements. Enroll in a course to get certified for using new technology for your patients. Continuous learning will help you stay at the forefront of your career.
Things You Should Know About Becoming a Nurse:
· How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Nurse?
The nursing degree is required for years to complete, which is the basic time it takes to become a nurse in most parts of the world. However, advanced practice can take up to eight years.
· What Type Of Nurses Are Needed The Most?
Currently, critical care nurses, pediatric nurses, cardiovascular nurses, radiology nurses, and rehabilitation nurses are the most demanded types of nurses due to their expertise with different types of patients and technology.
· What Is The Average Salary Of A Nurse?
In the United States, the average annual salary of a registered nurse is $92,688. The annual salary goes up as you keep adding new certifications and experiences to your resume.
Becoming a nurse is a fulfilling journey that requires dedication, hard work, and compassion. By following these ten steps, you can find the way to a successful nursing career. Stay focused, never stop learning, and embrace the rewarding path of nursing. It will help you make a meaningful impact on the lives of others every day.