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How to Become A Registered Nurse

As a registered nurse, you would be joining the largest healthcare occupation, already accounting for 2.7 million jobs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and projected to grow much faster than the average between 2010 and 2020. The following are some career specialties you may consider and their basic job descriptions:

Rn Registered Nursing
    1. Nurse practitioners provide nursing and healthcare services in a variety of areas.
    2. Nurse-midwives monitor future moms and assist in labor and delivery.
    3. Nurse anesthetists assist with anesthesia during surgery.
    4. Critical care nurses care for patients with serious illnesses in intensive care hospital units.
    5. Home healthcare nurses care for patients after discharge from hospitals.
    6. Clinical nurse specialists care directly for patients in areas such as psychiatric-mental health.

     

      As a registered nurse, you could specialize in the treatment of a particular ailment, such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or cancer; or a particular organ or body system, such as the heart, the skin, or the reproductive system. You could also provide preventive and acute care to a specific population, such as babies or the elderly; or treat military personnel or under-served communities worldwide. You could even assist with criminal investigations, become a medical writer or a public policy adviser.

      Nursing schools

      To become a registered nurse, you should possess a diploma, associate or bachelor's degree from one of the approved registered nursing schools, as well as a registered nurse license. Advance practice nurses, including clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners, must have master's degrees. It may take you two to three years to complete diploma or associate degrees and four years to finish a bachelor's degree.

      If you already possess a bachelor's degree in another field and are interested in becoming a registered nurse, schools often provide accelerated bachelor's degree programs that can be completed in 12 to 18 months, or master's degree programs that can be completed in about two years. It is important that you pass a national licensing examination, known as the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN, in order to obtain a registered nurse license in the United States.

      Registered nurse: salary expectations

      For a registered nurse, salary depends on the level and the location of the job within the United States. In 2011, the BLS reports the following mean and top-paying annual wages for nursing careers:

        1. U.S. average--$69,110
        2. California (highest paying state)--$90,860
        3. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA (highest paying metropolitan area)--$120,540

         

          As a RN, your salary should increase as you advance in your career. You could start as a staff nurse in a hospital and become chief of nursing. You could also pursue a master's degree and become an advance practice nurse. You may also have the option to move into the business side of healthcare, managing ambulatory, acute, home-based, or chronic care businesses, or marketing pharmaceutical or insurance company products or services. Teaching potential registered nurses or conducting research are two other career paths that you may also consider as a RN.

          Sources:
          Bureau of Labor Statistics, OOH, 2013, Registered Nurses: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm
          Bureau of Labor Statistics, OES, 2013, Registered Nurses: http://www.bls.gov/oes/2011/may/oes291111.htm

          Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific curriculum, and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.


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                    Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

                    You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

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                    About Brightwood College

                    Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

                    About Education Corporation of America

                    Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

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                    • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
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                    • Provides a Department of Student Services and Resources that assists students with résumé preparation, interviewing skills coaching, mock interviewing, professional development workshops, and more.
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                    • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
                    • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
                    • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
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                    • Offers accredited online bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctor of nursing programs to help both working professionals and recent graduates advance their careers.

                    • Provides graduate nursing programs that teach cutting-edge professional knowledge and skills to prepare students for today’s dynamic, evolving health care industry.
                    • Teaches through an online learning system that allows students to complete coursework with the flexibility to fit their schedule, while a cohort structure helps them to collaborate with fellow students.

                    •Provides scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid to those who qualify.

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                    •        Ranked among the top 20 Regional Universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.

                    •        Listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes Magazine in 2014.

                    •        More than 97% of tenure-track faculty holds a terminal degree in their field.

                    •        Student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and 47.5% of classes have fewer than 20 students.

                    •        Accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

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                    Platt College , Online (campus option available)
                    • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
                    • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
                    • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
                    • 3 campuses in Southern California.
                    • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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                    • Ranked among the Best Grad Schools for Physician Assistants in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
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