Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (2023)

Steps to Becoming a Nurse

The first step to becoming a nurse is getting a solid education, whether you hope to be a licensed practical or vocational nurse (LPN/LVN), registered nurse (RN), or administrator. Every state and the District of Columbia require students to graduate from an accredited nursing program to become licensed.

  • Step 1:

Choose a Nursing Path

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (1)

Nursing can take you in many directions, from starting out as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or staff nurse to working your way up to nurse administrator.

When choosing your career path, think about the type of work environment you prefer. For example, RNs can be found in hospitals, doctors’ offices,andother medical settings, but certified nursing assistants often work in nursing homes. What type of setting will inspire you most?

You should also consider what role you want to play. If you want to support medical staff as part of a team, a CNA or LPN/LVN could suit you well. If you want to manage other nurses and assistants or oversee systems, a career as an RN or advanced practice nurse is likely a good fit.

Because there are so many facets to healthcare, nurses often specialize in certain areas, such as geriatrics or critical care. If you have a passion for a certain type of nursing, consider the type of education you’ll need to get there.

  • Step 2:

Earn a Degree

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (2)

The career path you’re interested in pursuing will typicallydictate the type ofnursing degree you’ll need. Nursing programs include classroom instruction as well as clinical experience. Clinical training will allow you to gain hands-on knowledge, ask questions in real-life scenarios, and connect with nurses. The experience will also give you the chance to observe how a medical facility runs.

Before choosing a program, determine how nursing school will fit into your busy life. If your program is on campus, will you have time to get there? Many bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing can be earned online, with clinical requirements completed in a medical setting in your community.

Before you choose a program, determine how nursing school will fit into your busy life.

If you want to become an RN, an associate’s degree program takes less time to complete, allowing you to enter the workforce sooner. The downside? Employers may be more apt to hire a nurse with a bachelor’s degree because they have a more in-depth education. However, plenty of nurses with ADNs go on to earn higher degrees, often with the help of tuition reimbursement from their employer.

Here are the types of nursing degrees available:

  • Nursing diplomas » Community colleges and vocational schools
  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) » Community colleges
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) » Available at colleges and universities
  • Master of Science in Nursing (BSN) » Colleges and universities
  • Doctoral degrees (DNP, ND,PhD, DNSc) » Colleges and universities
  • Step 3:

Get Licensed

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (3)

Once you complete your education, you’ll need to take an exam to demonstrate your knowledge and nursing skills.Nurses also need to be licensedto practice, and exams are the prerequisite to licensing.

Nursing Position

Education, Exams, Licenses Required

Certified nursing assistant (CNA)

Pass a state competency exam; earn a state license

Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

Complete a state-approved certificate program; pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN), earn a state license

Registered nurse (RN)

(Video) Becoming A Nurse| ep.1: Choosing Your Path| LPN| RN| BSN

Complete a nursing diploma, ADN, or BSN; pass the NCLEX-RN; earn a state license

Nurse practitioner (NP)

Complete an MSN; pass the NCLEX-RN and a national certification exam administered by a professional organization such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center, or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners; earn a state license

Nurse midwife (CNM)

Complete an MSN; pass the NCLEX-RN and pass the national certification exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) if required for licensure in your state; earn a state license

Nurse anesthetist (CNA)

Complete an MSN, but DNP if matriculating after 1/1/2022; pass the NCLEX-RN and the certification exam administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists; earn a state license

  • Step 4:

Become a Lifelong Learner

With new technologies and treatments, the healthcare industry is constantly evolving. Working on the front lines of healthcare requires nurses to stay informed and educated so they can remain effective as their responsibilities change. Nurses who pursue their careers from the perspective of lifelong learners can take advantage of new opportunities and roles as they arise.

  • Take continuing education courses:Nurses are required to complete continuing education courses, usually every two years. Check with your state nursing board for requirements.
  • Get certified:If you decide to specialize in a certain area of nursing, consider earning professional certification. This cements your commitment to the field and demonstrates your skill set to employers.
  • Earn an advanced degree:Earning a master’s degree may qualify you for a career as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, and certified nurse anesthetist.

Levels of Nursing

There are few careers that offer the number of opportunities for advancement and specialization as nursing. And, as more patients look for specialized approaches, nurses can fill this demand with more education, which may lead to a higher salary.

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (4)

Entry-Level Nursing

Entry-level nursing offers several career paths. Bridge programs, such as LPN-to-RN and RN-to-BSN pathways, also often allow nurses to apply previous education and experience toward the degree they want to earn. Which one suits your goals?

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Job duties:
CNAs help patients with daily tasks, such as bathing and feeding. They also answer patient calls, clean rooms, and are responsible for recording information and reporting issues to a nurse.

Degree needed:
Post-secondary certificate or diploma (4–12 weeks)

Median annual salary:

Become a CNA if:
You want to join the nursing field quickly and gain valuable on-the-job experience.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Job duties:
Under the supervision and instruction of an RN, LPNs—also called licensed vocational nurses in California and Texas—provide patients with basic care, including dressing, changing bandages, and bathing. Some LPNs are permitted to administer medication but this depends on state regulations.

Degree needed:
Certificate or diploma (1 year)

Median annual salary:

Become an LPN if:
You want to work in nursing sooner rather than later, but hope to become an RN one day. Many RN degree programs give credit for LPN experience.

Registered Nurse (RN)

Job duties:
RNs coordinate patient care, administer medication, assist doctors with exams and surgeries, educate patients, promote wellness, and manage other nurses and LPNs. While you can become an RN with a nursing diploma or an ADN, more employers prefer BSN-educated nurses, especially in acute hospital settings.

Degree needed:
Associate’s (2 years) or bachelor’s (4 years)

(Video) Life Your Way Workbook - How to become a nurse? How to get into Nursing School?

Median annual salary:

Become an RN if:
You’re interested in a diverse work experience, potential career growth, and further educational opportunities.

Advanced Nursing

Advanced nursing programs require students to hold a bachelor’s degree before enrolling. Many students earn their BSN from one school and attend a different school for their MSN.

However, bridge programs allow students to earn the education of two degrees at the same timefroma single school. An RN-to-MSN curriculum is designed in a way that students who are already registered nurses can receive their undergraduate education first and then move on to MSN courses.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Job duties:
Nurse anesthetists work with patients before, during, and after medical procedures to manage pain. They determine the amount and type of anesthesia needed—general, local, or regional—as well as the method for administering anesthesia.

Degree needed:
Master’s degree (2 years); All students matriculating into a nurse anesthetist program after January 1, 2022,must be enrolled in a doctoral program. This is because a doctoral education will be required for nurse anesthesia practice by 2025.

Median annual salary:

Become a nurse anesthetist if:
You want to work as part of a team under the supervision of doctors, or independently, depending on the laws of your state.

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Job duties:
Nurse midwives provide prenatal, postpartum, and newborn care, guiding and supporting women throughout their pregnancy. Nurse midwives also educate women and families about health and wellness. If major complications arise, you’ll refer women to a physician.

Degree needed:
Master’s degree (2 years)

Median annual salary:

Become a nurse midwife if:
You want to specialize in healthcare for women and infants.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Job duties:
NPs serve as primary care providers to patients of all backgrounds and can diagnose illnesses and prescribe medication. They also educate patients about preventive care. In some states, NPs can practice independently without physician oversight, allowing them to open their own offices.

Degree needed:
Master’s degree (2 years); a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) will be required by 2025

Median annual salary:

Become a nurse practitioner if:
You’re interested in providing more comprehensive care to patients.

Nursing Informatics

Job duties:
Training other nurses on new technology is just one part of nursing informatics. You’ll also spend time on system development, quality control, and finding new ways to use data. Patient confidentiality is key, as is efficiency in the workplace.

Degree needed:
Bachelor’s (4 years) or master’s (2 years)

Median annual salary:
$99,270 for clinical informatics coordinators, as part of the larger group of computer systems analysts

Become a nurse informatics specialist if:
You want to combine your tech-savviness with an advanced nursing career.

Nurse Leadership / Nurse Administration

Job duties:
From creating work schedules to managing finances, nurse administrators juggle many responsibilities. You’ll manage nursing staff, but also analyze services, look for ways to cut costs, and monitor the use of resources.

Degree needed:
Bachelor’s (4 years) or master’s (2 years)

Median annual salary:
$101,340 for medical and health services managers

Become a nurse administrator if:
You want to be instrumental in improving patient care while managing the business side of a medical facility.

Salary source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, 2021

Career Changes Within Nursing

Nursing is infamously rewarding and challenging at the same time. After years of bedside care, some nurses look for a career switch within the field. Often, going back to school is the way to make a change.

  • Specialize: Earning a master’s degree allows you to choose a specialty such as midwifery. If an MSN isn’t what you’re looking for, you can enroll in a certificate program, which takes less time to complete. You can choose from a variety of specialty certificates.
  • Teach: If you enjoy guiding new nurses in the workplace, you might be a good fit as a nurse educator. Colleges and universities hire nurses who hold a master’s or doctorate to teach nursing courses.
  • Research: A Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of NursingScience(DNSc)qualifies you to work in medical research. Your work could help make advances in the nursing profession.

Move to Nursing from Another Career with an Accelerated BSN

Accelerated BSNs are designed for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field.

You want to become a nurse, but your background is in finance. No problem. Not all RNs start out in nursing. Motivated by job dissatisfaction, salary, or other reasons, some people change careers and head back to school to earn a bachelor’s in nursing. But what if you don’t have the time and money to invest in another four years of school?Enter the accelerated BSN.

Accelerated BSNs are designed for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field.

While you may have to complete certain science and math prerequisites, accelerated BSN students aren’t required to take general education courses again. Instead, the accelerated program (usually about 18 months) focuses solely on nursing skills. Studentsgraduate with a BSNand should be prepared to take the NCLEX-RN.

Job Outlook for Nurses

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2020 there are 3,080,100 registered nurses in the United States. Yet there’s still room for more.

Registered nurses can begin their careers with an ADN or BSN. While both degrees qualify you for RN licensure and a wide range of positions in hospitals and other healthcare settings, a BSN provides a broader education and can position you for roles in nursing management.

The BLS predicts that the RN workforce will grow by 195,400 jobs by 2031. Since the BLS includes nurses who have ADNs, BSNs, and MSNs in their reports on RNs, the expected opportunities extend across many roles. Opportunities will also expand as more than one million nurses reach retirement age over the next 10 to 15 years, according to the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

195,400 RN Jobs Will Be Added to the Workforce By 2031

(Video) How to become a Nurse || Steps to take on becoming a registered nurse || Carle Rae

Factor in the number of nurses who will retire and leave the field during this time and the projected workforce in 2031 will be


Here’s a look at some factors that could impact the nursing job market in the foreseeable future.

Positive FactorsNegative Factors
More Jobs: Nursing shortages exist in some areas of the country.Fewer Jobs: Nursing surpluses exist in some parts of the country.
Opportunities in a wide range of workplaces means more employment options across the length of a nursing career.There are many steps to becoming a nurse. Nurses must meet education and clinical hour requirements, pass the NCLEX-RN, and meet state-specific criteria to qualify for nursing jobs before they can pursue employment.
Baby boomers are living longer, creating a larger population of patients who need more complex care.Nurses delay retirement as adults stay healthier longer and work past traditional retirement ages.
Specialized nursing is growing, allowing nurses to pursue areas of interest within their existing careers without losing the benefits of their work experience.A limited number of clinical sites and a shortage of nurse educators means that admission to nursing schools in some areas is competitive and not everyone will get in, even if they qualify.

Where Should You Look for Job Growth?

The American Nurses Association (ANA) says there are opportunities for growth in community-based care, geriatrics, informatics, and care coordination. Healthcare initiatives have also fueled growth in areas, including disease management, primary care, prevention, and wellness.

Want to make yourself more marketable?
Here are a few tips.

  • Learn another language:Many hospitals need nurses who speak more than English, with Spanish being the second language in highest demand.
  • Get certified:If you haveexpertise in a specialized area, earn professional certification.
  • Be flexible:Be open to working for different employers, even if you have your heart set on one in particular. The experience you gain could be valuable.

How to Find Nursing Jobs

Once you’ve graduated from school, you’ll want to find your first job as a nurse. Many nursing programs offer career counseling to help you identify potential employers, prepare your resume and ace the interview. It’s important to note that new nurses can face hurdles since employers often look for experienced staff.


Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (5)

In most careers, including nursing, you can improve your chances of getting the job you want by networking with established professionals in your field. Start by joining your local chapter of theANA and attend chapter events. Connect with other nurses and, if there’s a job opening at their workplace, they might think of you first.

In most careers, including nursing, you can improve your chances of getting a job by making connections with established professionals in your field.

Specialized nursing associations, such as the Emergency Nurses Association or the National Association of School Nurses, also have local chapters. Another networking option:Joina registered nurse meetup in your area.

Find States with Nursing Needs

Research shows that some states will have nursing shortages in the coming years, while others will have surpluses. Moving to an area that needs nurses may potentially open doors to job opportunities.

The BLS projects 195,400 RN job openings through 2031, though the opportunities won’t be evenly distributed across the country. States with the highest number of employment during this period include California (307,060), Texas (219,330), Florida (183,130), New York (178,550), and Pennsylvania (146,640).

Military Nursing Jobs

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (6)

The military is another avenue nurses can take as they build their career. Possible areas to consider in the military include critical care nursing, OBGYN nursing, family nurse practitioner, and public health nursing.

As a military nurse on active duty, you may work overseas, on a ship, or on a base. You can also choose to enlist in the reserves. This allows you to continue working at home and only serve when you’re needed. Concerned about how you’ll pay off your nursing school loans? As a nurse in the military, you may qualify for loan repayment.

Become a Healthcare Volunteer

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (7)

Volunteering is another networking opportunity. You’ll not only get experience working with patients, you’ll also meet other healthcare professionals.

If you plan to choose a nursing specialty, look for volunteer opportunities in that area. While you won’t be paid for your time, treat the experience as you would a job. Making a good impression could mean a career connection in the future.

Make Connections During Clinicals

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (8)

When it’s time for you to complete clinical rounds during school, you’ll likely be assigned to a hospital where you’ll shadow a nurse (preceptor). During this period, be an attentive learner with a positive attitude. Make connections with your preceptor and even their managers. If a position opens up, they may be more willing to recommend you for the job.

Once your clinical ends, stay in touch with your preceptors as they may be a good resource for job opportunities.

15 Growing Nursing Specialties

Technology, advocacy, and education are just a few areas where nurses can excel. Here’s a look at 15 growing career paths.

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (9)

1. Nursing informatics specialist

Nursing informaticsgets more attention in today’s technology-obsessed world, but the discipline has been around for several decades. In the 1980s, nurse informatics specialists dreamed of big things:

“We envisioned such things as minimal time spent in documentation, working together with patients to document past history and care received, a lifetime healthcare record, and the use of aggregated data to improve nursing practice.

“Informatics, we believed, would free nurses and other healthcare professionals to spend more time with patients and minimize the pain of documentation.

-Linda Thede, PhD, RN-BC.

While informatics has certainly changed the nursing landscape, experts say there is more work to be done. As electronic health records (EHRs) and mobile technology become the norm, nurse informatics is a field full of possibilities. Informatics nurses now also use data to learn how to improve workflows and deliver a higher quality of care.

2. Virtual nursing

Nurses have plenty of stories to share about patients treating a health problem based on information they find on the internet. As a virtual nurse, you can provide valid, accurate guidance and care for patients online via a video call or over the phone.

With the growth of telemedicine for diagnosing and treating patients, the job of a virtual nurse can extend past primary care. You can also be responsible for triaging online appointments, for example.

For patients who are unable to leave their homes, perhaps due to illness or other circumstances, a virtual nurse helps ensure continuity of care. Virtual nurses need at least an ADN or BSN and should be good communicators.

3. Nurse midwife

Nurse midwives go beyond delivering babies; they also work as primary care providers for women and newborns. Because of their versatility, more nurse midwives are needed. The BLS expects 11% job growth through 2030, which is nearly double the national average.

According to the National Library of Medicine, nurse midwives have been instrumental in improving primary health care services for women in inner-city and rural areas of the country. There’s even more good news: The National Institute of Medicine recommends thatnurse midwivesshould have a larger role in providing women’s healthcare.

4. Travel nursing

Travel nursing was created as a solution to the nursing shortageand remains a popular option for adventurous types. While some nurses are placed in beautiful locales, you may also be sent to an emergency situation or disaster zone. During a strike, a travel nurse may be called to fill the role of a regular employee. RNs, NPs, LPNs, and CNAs alike can work with an agency that matches them with a short-term assignment in another city or country. Flexibility and the ability to adapt to new surroundings easily are necessary.

Travel nursing tends to offer higher-than-average pay, and housing may be provided. To find travel nursing jobs, go online to look at agencies, such, that match nurses with job opportunities.

Foreign nurses who would like to work in the U.S. also have opportunities, but they must meet certain criteria to be eligible.

5. Nurse educator

Share your experience and knowledge with aspiring nurses by educating them. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), more than 80,407 qualified nursing school applicants were turned away in 2020 partly due to faculty shortages, including too few teaching candidates with master’s or doctoral degrees.

The demand for more nurse educators is likely to increase. The AACN says a significant number of nurse educators will retire over the next decade, creating job vacancies at campuses across the country.

6. Home-care nurse

Hospital stays may have gotten shorter, but patients still need care once they’re discharged. This is why home-care nursing is experiencing a boost in employment. Another factor? Advances in technology allow patients to receive more elaborate treatments at home.

As a home-care nurse, you’ll have a variety of patients. You may treat older people, new moms, patients recovering from an accident, and those with chronic illnesses. If you prefer to work outside a hospital and build relationships with a regular set of patients, a home-care nurse career could be a good fit.

7. Case management nurse

The number of older people in the U.S. is increasing, and this has created more opportunity for case management nurses. For one thing, as people live longer, they’ll likely need expert advice and guidance for chronic illnesses over an extended period of time.

Case management nurses manage a patient’s care, monitor costs and resources, and ensure patients and families are supported. At times, these nurses also serve as important decision-makers.

8. Geriatric nurse

The National Council on Aging estimates about 80% of older adults have a chronic condition. Combine this with the aging baby boomer population and it spells employment growth for geriatric nurses.

While many tasks of a staff RN will be the same for ageriatric nurse, you’ll also focus on treating conditions more prevalent in old age, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis. Since some elderly patients may have trouble communicating their wishes, you’ll also serve as a patient advocate.

9. Critical care nurse

Good decision-making skillsare crucial for a critical care nurse. Many work in hospital intensive care units (ICUs), treating patients suffering from burns, heart problems, and other serious conditions.

As more hospitals expand their ICUs and nursing homes care for very sick patients, critical care nursing has become a growing specialty. Critical care nurses should be comfortable with advanced technology and working at a fast pace.

(Video) Registered Nurse: Finding Your Path

10. Neonatal/perinatal nurse

Neonatal and perinatal nurses work with women and their newborn babies, although in different ways. Perinatal nurses take care of women before, during and after birth.

Neonatal nurses care for infants up to 28 days old, usually as part of typical newborn care after childbirth.

Neonatal nurses also work in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) with babies born prematurely or with serious medical complications.

Perinatal nurses are also called labor and delivery nurses and often serve as the patient’s advocate and guide during the birth experience in a hospital or birth center.

Both neonatal and perinatal nurses must be able to communicate effectively since educating patients and their families on prenatal and newborn care is part of their role.

11. Pediatric nurse

You’ll need a love of children from infants to teens and a lot of patience to succeed as a pediatric nurse.

In many cases, pediatric nurses have to examine and treat patients who don’t understand why they’re being prodded and poked, so you’ll have to gain patient cooperation and trust to accomplish tasks.

You’ll also need to be comfortable communicating with parents and other caregivers responsible for decision-making.

Pediatric nurses work in routine care, emergency services, and treatment of diseases in a variety of medical settings from physicians’ offices and children’s hospitals to pediatric critical care facilities.

12. Psychiatric nurse

As a psychiatric nurse, you can help expand access to mental healthcare to patients who need it. A shortage of qualified mental health professionals means that only 44% of adults and less than 20% of children and adolescents who have diagnosable mental health problems get the help they need, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

These nurses assist psychiatrists and physicians in interviewing and diagnosing patients.

The role requires a knowledge of mental health issues and the compassion and emotional maturity necessary to work the mentally ill.

Psych nurses work with individuals, families and groups in hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, outpatient facilities, correctional facilities, and schools.

13. Trauma/ER nurse

Trauma and ER nurses care for patients with acute injuries or illnesses. No two days in the life of a trauma or ER nurse are the same, and many days are chaotic.

This specialty can be physically and emotionally intense. Nurses in trauma units, especially, see patients with serious and life-threatening injuries and must often make split-second decisions. They must be prepared to perform a wide range of duties that can include triage, intubation, and preparation for surgery.

14. OR nurse

OR nurses are also known as perioperative or surgical nurses. In this role, you’ll care for patients before, during, and after surgery. The growing aging population has meant more surgical procedures.

Working as an OR nurse requires a commitment to teamwork, attention to detail, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. There are OR positions in hospitals, although more surgeons are working in outpatient surgery centers

15. Labor and delivery nurse

Labor and delivery nurses guide women through childbirth, coaching them through sometimes difficult contractions, administering medication, watching for any potential complications, and helping new moms breastfeed their newborns for the first time.

It’s a nursing role that can be by turns intense, stressful, and joyful. Every new mom’s delivery is different, and that means labor and delivery nurses must be critical thinkers who can quickly switch from coaching a laboring mother to taking charge if a complication arises.

They must also be prepared for the times when there is a heartbreaking outcome and be able to accept loss.

Technology and Nursing

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (10)

Technology has led to new ways to diagnose and treat patients. Nurses today communicate with patients via email and consult with them during virtual appointments on desktop and mobile devices. OR nurses work with physicians who use robotic devices to perform surgeries.

To keep up with evolving technology, nurses will need to learn new skills throughout their career.

Up Next: Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Now, artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as the next frontier of healthcare. Some healthcare systems use AI-supported virtual nursing assistants to direct patients to appropriate healthcare providers and help with time-consuming administrative tasks. The result: Managers can assign nurses to positions where direct human interaction is most critical.

Other Advances That Play a Role in Nursing

As you embark on a nursing career, you’ll need to be prepared for even more innovations in healthcare.

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (11)

Genetics| Gene mutations can predict whether a patient is at risk of developing a disease. The use of genetics and genomes can also help identify whether a parent will pass along a mutation to their child. Since nurses often have the most communication with patients, it’s their job to gather as much information about family history, help patients make informed decisions about genetic/genomic tests, especially now that genetic tests are readily available to consumers, and provide guidance and referrals to patients based on test results.

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (12)

Biometrics | Proper healthcare can’t exist without confidentiality and security, which is why biometrics is so important in today’s fast-paced healthcare environment. Biometrics is a scientific method used to identify people through physical qualities such as fingerprints and voice. In healthcare, biometrics are used to accurately identify patients and providers, ensuring that care is provided to the right patients and that only authorized providers have access to patient data. For nurses, this means easier sharing of patient records for more efficient and coordinated care. For patients, it means fewer medical errors and better outcomes.

Your Path to Becoming a Nurse. (13)

Social Media| The use of social media in nursing has benefits and drawbacks. It can provide networking opportunities and an easier way to communicate with fellow students and colleagues. A quick scan of Facebook and Pinterest will show you that nurses also use social media for support and levity.

There can be a risky side to social media, however. Nurses must be careful not to post disparaging remarks or information that violates a patient’s privacy. The American Nurses Association has established social networking principles that advises nurses to maintain the same standards of professionalism on social media as they do in any other situation. Nurses and nursing students are encouraged to use this resource to adhere to the do’s and don’ts of social media.


What is the best pathway to become a nurse? ›

The most direct (and common) route to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is to graduate from a four-year baccalaureate program that offers two years of prerequisite and general education classes, followed by two years of advanced nursing and clinical training.

How long does it take to become a nurse? ›

Your nursing training

Approved full-time nursing degree courses last for three (or four years if taking a dual-field degree), or longer if taken on a part-time basis. Accelerated courses for graduates take two years.

How do you know you want to become a nurse? ›

Nurses are the ones who care for patients directly, often giving them more attention and treatment than doctors. If you want to make a difference in your community, and you have the patience required to work with people, then this might be the tell-tale sign that you are meant to become a nurse.

What is your career path? ›

A career path can be defined as a series of jobs that lead you closer to your career goals and vision for life. Some people follow a linear path through one field, advancing into roles with more responsibilities and higher salaries.

What type of nurses are the happiest? ›

Let's take a look at some nursing specialties where nurses report being happiest.
  • School Nurse. ...
  • Labor and Delivery Nurse. ...
  • Case Management Nurse. ...
  • Nurse Educator. ...
  • Parish Nurse. ...
  • Travel Nurse.
26 Aug 2022

Is becoming a nurse very hard? ›

You're headed for a great career, one that's rewarding, challenging, and always exciting. But nursing school is notoriously difficult. Most nursing programs require high GPAs and impressive scores in math, chemistry, biology, psychology, and other demanding subjects. It's also extremely fulfilling.

How much do nurses earn per month? ›

Average R 17 890 per month.

How difficult is it to be a nurse? ›

Nursing programs have a demanding credit load, and many nursing students stack challenging courses during the same term in order to fast-track their degrees. That could mean multiple critical exams falling on the same day or week. However, as long as you take the time to study and prepare, you should be okay.

What age do most nurses start? ›

Worried about being “too old” to become a nurse? Don't be!
  • The average age of ADN nursing students at community colleges is 26-40 years old.
  • BSN programs have an average age of early-mid 20s.
  • Students in RN-to-BSN programs are typically in their late 30s.
26 Nov 2021

What does a beginner nurse do? ›

As an entry-level nurse, you should be making rounds, administering medication as needed. If you are working in a clinic, you could be responsible for providing first aid and immunizations. You might also be responsible for inserting catheters and feeding tubes.

What is a beginner nurse called? ›

1. Nursing assistant (CNA) Nursing assistants also go by the title of nursing aides or CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants). While these professionals are not technically nurses, they are on the frontline of contact between medical staff and patients—and the role can serve as a starting point for many aspiring nurses.

How do I know if I can handle being a nurse? ›

10 Signs That You Were Born to Become a Nurse
  1. You have a caring personality. ...
  2. Blood doesn't freak you out. ...
  3. The smallest details don't escape you. ...
  4. Multi-tasking is fun for you. ...
  5. You have a never-ending supply of energy. ...
  6. You can sleep anywhere. ...
  7. You never know what to wear. ...
  8. People like you.
11 Jun 2018

What are the five things to know about becoming a nurse? ›

If you're thinking about becoming a nurse, here are five things to consider.
  • Nurses Work Varying Shifts. ...
  • Nurses Love Their Work—But It's Not Without Challenges. ...
  • Nursing Offers Numerous Career Opportunities and Paths. ...
  • Nurses Combine Science and Service. ...
  • Nursing Requires Continuing Education.
7 Jun 2018

What skills do I need to be a nurse? ›

Ten Essential Skills for Nurses
  • Communication. ...
  • Attitude and confidence. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Networking. ...
  • Critical thinking and creative problem solving. ...
  • Professionalism. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Conflict resolution.
16 Jan 2021

How do you answer a career path? ›

You have two main objectives when answering the question, “What are your career aspirations?”: Demonstrate that your aspirations align with the company's vision and long-term goals. Show the interviewer how the role will help you gain the skills and experience necessary to achieve your career aspirations.

What is your career path Example answer? ›

Answer Example: My goal entering the company would be to evolve my skills in a challenging environment, work within a team, and provide efficient solutions. Within 5 years, I aspire to reach a managerial position that will allow me to make crucial decisions while applying my leadership skills.

What is the least stressful nurse? ›

The 10 Least Stressful Nursing Jobs This Year (2022)
  • Nurse Educators. ...
  • Institutional Nurses. ...
  • Research Nurses. ...
  • Public Health Nurses. ...
  • Occupational Health Nurses. ...
  • Case Management Nurses. ...
  • Home Health Nurses. ...
  • Clinic Nurses.
6 Jul 2022

What is the most stressful part of nursing? ›

The most stressful nursing jobs include ICU nurse, ER nurse, and NICU nurse. In these roles, nurses work in an intense environment with high stakes. They manage emergency situations and care for critically ill patients. Other stressful nursing jobs include OR nursing, oncology nursing, and psychiatric nursing.

What can I do instead of nursing? ›

Nurses who have completed the required training and no longer want to work in a clinical nursing career may find these non-nursing professions to be desirable:
  • Medical Biller.
  • Health Writer.
  • Nutritionist.
  • Health Service Administrator.
  • Health Researcher.
  • Medical Sales Executive.
  • Nurse Consultant.
  • Clinical Nurse Educator.

Is nursing worth the money? ›

Becoming a Registered Nurse is a solid career choice when it comes to job security, salary potential, and fulfillment. For nurses who plan to work in California, the rewards and opportunities are even more promising. The average registered nurse salary in California is often higher than any other state!

Do nurses get paid well? ›

They typically earn a gross salary of between €47,799 and €56,540. A so-called 'senior' staff nurse or midwife can expect to be on an annual salary of €47,898. The salaries for clinical nurses and clinical instructors at various managerial or specialist levels can vary.

Does nursing have math? ›

Nursing in the "real world" generally requires very basic math skills, but almost all programs require at least one college-level math class — usually algebra. Some nursing schools may require a basic statistics course as well, so if you know what schools you're applying to, be sure to check for this requirement.

What do most nurses make an hour? ›

This is the 2021 ranking. Click here to see the 2022 edition. The average hourly pay for nurses in the U.S. is $38.74 for registered nurses and $55.05 for nurse practitioners, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' occupational employment statistics survey released March 31.

Who earns more between a teacher and a nurse? ›

Teachers tend to make more, with average salaries that hover around ​$62,870​ per year for high school teachers; ​$60,810​ for middle school teachers; and ​$60,610​ for kindergarten and elementary school teachers.

What is a student nurse? ›

noun. a person who is training to be a nurse at a nursing school or hospital.

Is nursing the hardest degree? ›

There's a rumor circulating on the internet that The Guinness Book of Work Records has declared a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing to be the toughest of all bachelor's degrees to obtain. There's no truth to this claim.

What is the hardest part of being a nurse? ›

Seeing the death of their patients.

Most nurses said seeing the death of patients was the hardest part of their job, including Heather, a nurse from North Carolina, and Chelsey Rodgers, a former nurse who now runs an education company called Tribe RN.

Which is harder nursing school or being a nurse? ›

Being a Nurse is better than being in Nursing School

In nursing school, it's about 90% theory and lectures, and 10% skills and application. In the nursing profession, it's flipped: its 90% application and 10% theory and learning. In fact, you apply theory and think critically as you're working.

Is a 2 year nursing degree worth it? ›

The Benefit of an Associate Degree in Nursing

Rather, you are setting yourself up for success in many ways – For one, an ADN will qualify you to take the licensing exam and start working in the field within two years' time, putting you a step ahead other aspiring nurses pursuing a four-year bachelor's degree.

Is it too late to become a nurse at 24? ›

To answer this question quickly and succinctly: No, absolutely not, get that out of your head. There is no “appropriate age for nursing school.” We have had students from age 18 to 55 years old in our NCLEX Exam Prep Course and all of them go on to become great nurses. The issue isn't age and it never will be.

At what age do most nurses retire? ›

For nurses with time to plan, the prospect of an early or timely retirement with a properly sized financial portfolio and social security benefits appeals to them when they reach the current full retirement age of about 67 years or even before at 62 years (without full social security benefits).

What are 5 things a nurse does? ›

Specifically, here are some of the things nurses do on a typical day:
  • Conduct physical exams.
  • Take detailed health care histories.
  • Listen to patients and analyze their physical and emotional needs.
  • Provide counseling and health care education to patients.
  • Coordinate care with other health care providers and specialists.

What are 3 things nurses do? ›

Registered Nurses
  • Perform physical exams and health histories before making critical decisions.
  • Provide health promotion, counseling and education.
  • Administer medications and other personalized interventions.
  • Coordinate care, in collaboration with a wide array of health care professionals.

What should I know before accepting nursing? ›

What Should I Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer?
  • Start date.
  • Schedule (and amount of flexibility)
  • Supervisor's name (if you don't already know it)
  • Health insurance coverage and deductibles.
  • 401(k) match.
  • Vacation and sick leave policies.
  • Paid holidays and how they're scheduled.
  • Overtime availability.
20 Dec 2019

What are the 7 steps of nursing? ›

  • The common thread uniting different types of nurses who work in varied areas is the nursing process—the essential core of practice for the registered nurse to deliver holistic, patient-focused care. Assessment. ...
  • Diagnosis. ...
  • Outcomes / Planning. ...
  • Implementation. ...
  • Evaluation.

What is the easiest nurse field? ›

Easiest Nursing Jobs Availabile
  • Nurse Educator. Average Annual Salary: $62,000. ...
  • Nurse Blogger. Average Annual Salary: N/A. ...
  • Clinic Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $65,000. ...
  • Traveling Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $70,000. ...
  • School Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $50,000. ...
  • Summer Camp Nurse. ...
  • Nurse Administrator. ...
  • Public Health Nurse.
31 Aug 2022

Can you be shy and be a nurse? ›

It would be logical to think that extroverts would be the ones to excel in the world of nursing because the profession is all about relationships and communication with patients, families, and doctors. However, introverts can fit well into the nursing field and give some of the best care and intuition around.

What I dislike on being a nurse? ›

DISLIKE: The demands of caring for patients

At present, there is an imbalance in the patient/nurse allocations, which can be difficult. I also dislike it when (some) patients can be overly demanding or rude to their nurses who are trying to do their job.

What are 3 qualities a nurse should have? ›

What Makes Someone a Good Nurse?
  • Caring. ...
  • Communication Skills. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Attention to Detail. ...
  • Problem Solving Skills. ...
  • Stamina. ...
  • Sense of Humor. ...
  • Commitment to Patient Advocacy.
25 Feb 2020

What motivates you to be a nurse? ›

Many nurses are drawn to the profession because of a sincere desire to help others. These professionals can get a renewed sense of job satisfaction very day as they continue to provide caring and compassionate service to the patients to whom they are assigned.

What is the most important thing for a nurse? ›

The key to being a successful nurse is communication.

Communication skills are one of the most important requirements of a nurse's job—both following directions and communicating with patients and families. Patients who are sick or suffering often are not in a position of strength to speak up for themselves.

Is nursing a career or a job? ›

Nursing is a great career choice because it is a career where you do not have to make a full-time commitment. You can choose to work full-time or part-time. Full time is defined as working 40 hours a week. Working part-time means that you work less than full-time hours.

What type of nursing is most in demand? ›

Registered nurse (RN)

BSN-prepared nurses are the most sought-after RNs in the job market and can advance to leadership and management roles more quickly than the ASN nurse.

What degree is closest to nursing? ›

For those who are interested in more behind-the-scenes work, or who want to explore their options in healthcare, health science is a great alternative major to nursing. A health science degree can lead to many different careers, from a healthcare administrator to medical biller and coder.

Which nursing career is the easiest? ›

Low-Stress Nursing Careers
  • 1 1. Nurse Educator.
  • 2 2. School Nurse/Summer Camp Nurse.
  • 3 3. Nurse Administrator.
  • 4 4. Public Health Nurse.
  • 5 5. Nurse Researcher.
  • 6 6. Nurse Informaticist.
  • 7 7. Case Management Nurse.
  • 8 8. Home Health Nurse.
30 Sept 2020

What type of nursing pays best? ›

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist consistently ranks as the highest-paid nursing career. That is because Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled Registered Nurses who work closely with medical staff during medical procedures that require anesthesia.

What are the 4 fields of nursing? ›

There are four fields of nursing: adult nursing • children's nursing • learning disabilities nursing • mental health nursing.

What are 10 roles of a nurse? ›

Nurses care for injuries, administer medications, conduct frequent medical examinations, record detailed medical histories, monitor heart rate and blood pressure, perform diagnostic tests, operate medical equipment, draw blood, and admit/discharge patients according to physician orders.

What is the fastest nurse to become? ›

If you're itching to enter the field, the fastest way to become a nurse would be taking the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) route. While you wouldn't actually be an RN, you could complete a Practical Nursing program and be well on your way to launching a nursing career in as few as 12 months.

Can I study nursing in 2 years? ›

Once completing this 1 year course, you will work alongside a registered nurse that has completed their degree or diploma qualification. Diploma in nursing - This qualification takes 3 years to be completed and students will be equipped to work as an enrolled nurse or staffing nurse.

Is nursing a hard major? ›

Nursing requires more dedication than many other careers. However, it's one of the most rewarding jobs you can have. Nursing school is notoriously difficult—and it's not for everyone. Graduate school is challenging as well.

What type of nurse is the least stressful? ›

The 10 Least Stressful Nursing Jobs This Year (2022)
  • Nurse Educators. ...
  • Institutional Nurses. ...
  • Research Nurses. ...
  • Public Health Nurses. ...
  • Occupational Health Nurses. ...
  • Case Management Nurses. ...
  • Home Health Nurses. ...
  • Clinic Nurses.
6 Jul 2022

What is the most chill nursing job? ›

9 Lower-stress nursing jobs
  1. Nurse educator. Nurse educators are medical professionals who train nurses and aspiring nurses. ...
  2. Long-term care nurse. ...
  3. Nurse administrator. ...
  4. Clinical research nurse. ...
  5. School or summer camp nurse. ...
  6. Clinic nurse. ...
  7. Nurse informatics. ...
  8. Lactation consultant nurse.
2 Dec 2019

What type of nurse is less stressful? ›

Frequently topping the list of the least stressful nursing jobs are that of nurse educators. Nurse educators are RNs who hold an advanced education degree; however, it is not required in all instances. Typically nurse educators teach in universities but may also work in trade schools and community colleges.


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