A registered nurse looks after the needs of patients suffering from illness and also caters to the needs of patients in a variety of settings, including operating rooms, ambulatory care, intensive care, physician’s offices, health care clinics or specialized practices. Today, in the United States there is a huge demand for eligible registered nurses. In fact, registered nurses (RNs) make up the majority of workers in the health care industry.
To prepare students to work in the medical field as a Registered Nurse, there are three main programs:
Associate Degree In Nursing (ADN):
Most of the eligible candidates prefer to enroll for the ADN program to become a registered nurse as it only takes a shorter period of time for a person to finish studying his/her nursing course. This program typically takes an average of two to three years to complete. You can find many community and junior colleges where Associate Degree in Nursing is offered. After finishing Associate Degree in nursing, you can choose to work in a hospital. There are many entry level jobs in the market for an AND degree holder that offers various benefits—including tuition reimbursement and college credit toward your two-year bachelor’s in nursing degree. This choice also provides valuable hands-on or practical experience for you in the field while earning an education.
Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN:
BSN programs, offered by colleges and universities, take at least 4 years to complete. However, after completing ADN or diploma course, many registered nurses enroll themselves for a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing by completing an RN-to-BSN program. There are education programs available for people interested in switching to a career in nursing as well. Individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field may enroll in an accelerated BSN program. Accelerated BSN programs last 12 to 18 months and provide the fastest route to a BSN for individuals who already hold a degree.
This is the oldest and most traditional type of nursing education in the United States. A nursing diploma program takes two to three years to complete and is usually administered in the hospital setting. Graduates of these programs receive a diploma as opposed to a college degree. Most diploma programs are now affiliated with colleges or universities that grant college credit for certain courses. Nowadays it is hard to find a diploma program as most colleges only offer ADN and BSN courses.
These above mentioned RN programs will prepare students to work in the medical field as a Registered Nurse. By enrolling in any of these RN programs, students learn to administer medication and treatment to patients, perform laboratory work, and to give diagnose. They also learn geriatric & pediatric care, obstetric & neonatal nursing, and mental health care, treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease, home health care, hospice care and out-patient surgery.
After completing an RN program, students become eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN). Passing this examination is important in order to obtain a registered nursing license. This examination is designed to test the knowledge, skills and abilities essential to the safe and effective practice of nursing at the entry-level. Without the license students are not eligible to apply for jobs. Registered nurses are also required to renew their nursing license (RN license) from time to time.
For advancement in career, suitable candidates also complete the accelerated master’s degree in nursing (MSN) programs in the United States. In case, you want to study MSN, it is important to remember that a BSN degree is a prerequisite for admission to an MSN program. An advanced RN field, such as a nurse practitioner, also usually requires an advanced (MSN) degree. Master’s degree programs in nursing include two years of schooling in addition to a minimum number of hours of clinical work. After completing the master’s degree, candidates can become a nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse, clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator or other specialist in nursing.
In order to be eligible for any RN programs, students must have a high school diploma, current CPR certification and have completed the necessary prerequisites with a GPA of 2.0 or higher from a regionally accredited institution. Prerequisites include English, Math, Speech, Sociology, Psychology and several life sciences. An important step is to find a school which is accredited to teach a nursing program. Make sure that the school you will choose has been accredited since it is a proof that it can provide you the best quality education.
Overall cost of education:
Nursing education is expensive but the overall cost of education depends on the nursing program you want to do, the RN school where you want to take the admission and the state where the school is located. Well, for those who cannot afford too much on education can go to community colleges for a diploma degree which will only cost around $3,000 to $5,000 annually. Admission in a graduate program in a private RN school will cost more than $20,000 every year. The admission fees in state universities are much less as compared to private schools.
In case if you need financial aids to complete your studies, there are many RN scholarships available in the United States for registered nurses. Various RN scholarships are given to bright and needy students every year. There are government-funded scholarships, non-government group scholarships, and scholarships by private entities which can help many students to finish their nursing education. With RN scholarships you don’t have to worry about tuition fees and other financial supports to complete your studies. With a little research and perseverance, you can easily get a scholarship to complete your registered nursing.
So, now is the time to choose the right RN program and choose the best RN school in the U.S. The right RN program and the right RN school can make a lot of difference in your career and future too.