Do you want to become a RN fast after high school? If YES, here are the educational requirements needed to become a registered nurse online without a degree/BSN.
Nursing can be regarded as the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities; the prevention of illness and injury, the alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response. Nursing practice varies through its various specialties and countries, and nurses can either work independently as nursing professionals or interdependently with other health professionals such as therapists, dietitians, etc.
According to the international council of nurses, the nursing profession encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings. Nursing includes the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people.
Table of Content
- 1 What is a Registered Nurse?
- 2 Duties of a Registered Nurse and their Job Description
- 3 How Much Do Registered Nurses Earn Monthly/Annually in the United States?
- 4 How Long Does It Take to Become a Registered Nurse?
- 5 Educational Requirements for Becoming a Registered Nurse
- 6 Is It Possible to Become a Registered Nurse With an Associate Degree?
- 7 Why Go for an Associate Degree in Nursing Rather Than Bachelor’s Degree?
- 8 Certifications Required to Be Recognized as a Registered Nurse
- 9 Can You Become a Registered Nurse By Taking Online Courses?
- 10 13 Skills and Traits You Need to Become a Successful Nurse
- 11 Benefits of Becoming a Registered Nurse
- 12 Factors Discouraging People from Becoming a Nurse
- 13 Career ideas Within the Nursing Profession
- 14 Career Opportunities for Registered Nursing Professionals
What is a Registered Nurse?
A Registered Nurse (RN) is an expert who has gone through the necessary training and education of being a professional and well equipped nurse, capable of giving and providing basic and advanced health care and assistance to patients and other health practitioners. Such a person must have gone through the processes of education, licensing and experience, acquired through practice of providing care and assistance to people.
According to Wikipedia, a registered nurse is a nurse who has gone through and graduated from a nursing program or institution and has met the requirements necessary for licensing, outlined by the regulatory or licensing body of his or her country in order to obtain a nursing license.
Registered nurses are experts employed in a wide variety of professional areas and in most cases, specializing in their field of practice. They may be responsible for supervision of other nurses and other healthcare workers including enrolled nurses, unlicensed nurses, student nurses, practical nurses, etc. in the delivery of their duties.
Duties of a Registered Nurse and their Job Description
- Provision of basic and advanced health assistance to patients.
- Provision of necessary help and assistance to other health care providers, such as doctors.
- Assisting doctors during surgery.
- Performance of physical examinations and health histories on patients.
- Supervision of other health providers, such as unlicensed nurses and aides, in the discharge of their duties.
- Diagnosing the disease by analyzing patient’s symptoms and taking required actions for his/her recovery.
- Provision of health promotion, counseling, orientation and education.
- Administration of medications, care, and other personalized interventions.
- Carrying out the requisite treatments and medications.
- Interpretation of patient information and making critical decisions about needed actions.
- Recommending drugs and other forms of treatment, like inhalation therapy, physical therapy, etc.
- Coordination of care, in conjunction with other healthcare professionals.
- Observation and recording of patients’ behavioral changes.
- Conducting research in support of improved practice and patient outcomes.
- Coordinating with physicians and other healthcare professionals for creating and evaluating customized care plans.
- Creating harmonious environment for emotional and psychological support of patients.
- Maintenance patients’ medical histories and monitoring changes in their condition.
- Maintenance of the inventory and placing orders if required.
- Assessment and planning of nursing care requirements.
How to Become a Registered Nurse Online After High School – A Complete Guide
Facts, Figures and Labor Market Situation for Registered Nurses in the United States of America
- In the United States, the labor market analysis and statistics shows that in the United States, there are 2,824,641 Registered Nurses. The statistics also shows that 9.1% of these registered nurses are men. The median age for male RNs licensed in 2000 or later is 35, compared with 31 for female RNs.
- About 85% of the number of registered nurses or about 2,596,600 registered nurses are employed in nursing. In the same manner, the average number of hours worked by registered nurses is 37 hours a week.
- As at 2012, the number of jobs held by registered nurses is 2,711,500. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of registered nurses is projected to grow by 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is an employment change of about 526,800, faster than the average for all occupations. This implies that the registered nurse workforce is expected to grow from 2.71 million in 2012 to 3.24 million in 2022.
- This expected growth is projected to occur due to a number of reasons, including an increased emphasis on preventative care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for healthcare services from the baby boomer population, as they live longer and more active lives.
- Nurses play a very significant role in the nation, as most healthcare services involve some form of care by nurses. For instance, in 1980, 66% of all employed registered nurses worked in hospitals.
- By 2008, that number had declined slightly to 62.2% as more health care moved to sites beyond the hospital and nurses increased their ranks in a wide range of other settings, including private practices, health maintenance organizations, public health agencies, primary care clinics, home health care, nursing homes, nursing centers, insurance and managed care companies, schools, mental health agencies, the military, industry, nursing education, and health care research.
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (B.L.S), registered nursing is the top occupation in terms of the largest job growth from 2008 – 2018. Government analysts project that more than 581,500 new RN jobs will be created through 2018.
How Much Do Registered Nurses Earn Monthly/Annually in the United States?
In the United States the average annual salary for a Registered Nurse is currently $67,930 which breaks down as an average of $32.66 per hour, $1,306 per week and a monthly salary of $5,660. California comes out as the highest paying state for a Registered Nurse with an average annual salary of $94,120 while Iowa is the lowest paid state on mainland U.S.A. with an average RN salary of $52,540.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Registered Nurse?
There is more than one way to become a registered nurse. There are two-year programs at community colleges and four-year programs at state schools. Most of these programs require certain classes or pre-requisites in order to enter the program.
The timeline for becoming a registered nurse varies according to what type of formal education program an individual chooses. Aspiring registered nurses have their choice of 2-year associate’s degree programs or 4-year bachelor’s degree programs in nursing to gain training in this field; less commonly available are 3-year diploma programs held at hospitals.
Educational Requirements for Becoming a Registered Nurse
To be eligible for any of the educational programs of becoming a nurse, applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. The most common educational paths to becoming a registered nurse are to obtain a bachelor’s or an associate degree in nursing. Aspiring nurses may also consider 3-year diploma programs offered by hospitals, although these programs are much less available.
An associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) can be earned at both 2-year community colleges and 4-year learning institutions and it takes two or more years to complete, including classroom education and clinical training in a healthcare setting. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) may take up to four years to complete as it provides a faster entry into the profession.
Is It Possible to Become a Registered Nurse With an Associate Degree?
An associate degree in nursing (ADN) is basically an introductory nursing degree. Until very recently, the ADN was the most popular degree held by resident nurses in the field, and many ADN graduates go on to become Registered Nurses.
It is very possible to become a registered nurse with an associate degree. How it works is that you would first enroll and acquire an associate degree in Nursing. After you have acquired the degree, you must then have to sit for your National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
The exam has test questions that ranges from 75-265 questions and it covers a lot of the information you will need to know to be a nurse. Specific test categories include Safe and Effective Care Environment, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psycho-social Integrity and Physiological Integrity. If you pass the examination, then you would now be licensed to become a registered nurse.
Typically, an associate degree provides a quick, inexpensive path to qualifying for the NCLEX-RN exam and entering the nursing workforce.
Why Go for an Associate Degree in Nursing Rather Than Bachelor’s Degree?
One of main reason why people choose to go the associate route when seeking a career in nursing is that it takes just two years of coursework and clinical hours to become a practicing registered nurse. After you have gotten your license, you can start to work as a practicing nurse and gain essential work experience in the field.
Students who register for Associate Nurse Degree are taught crucial nursing skills like patient care, confidence and clinical decision making, and they are given a well-rounded perspective on nursing and healthcare.
Some prospective nurses also get an Associate Degree along the way to a bachelor’s degree, choosing to pursue their associate first either to get work experience or to save money. Associate programs tend to be more affordable than other nursing degrees, and by starting with an ADN, nursing students can save money on their education.
Also note that when you do decide to return to school for your Bachelor’s Degree, you can choose to earn your Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Masters degree in Nursing concurrently. Both the BSN and MSN degrees can be earned in about 30 months, offering a candidate two valuable career credentials in less time and for less overall cost.
An Important Reality Check
By 2020, 80 percent of hospital-employed nurses will be required to hold a BSN. This mandate was given by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, known as 80/20. Indeed, one of the goals of the mandate is to encourage new nurses to enter a BSN program no later than five years after they acquired their associate degree.
Whether or not you should get an Associate Degree in nursing depends entirely on your personal situation and preferences. There is no one size fits all nursing degree. You need to take a look at your schedule, financial situation and educational background before making a choice.
Certifications Required to Be Recognized as a Registered Nurse
The licensing body for registered nurses in the United States is the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The examination which can be taken via computer requires the candidates to pay a fee. The computer keeps giving questions until it is certain whether or not the test-taker is qualified.
The candidates must know how to keep patients comfortable and calm, identify appropriate use of medications necessary for the treatment of particular ailments, calculate doses and recognize adverse effects of medications. The candidate must have applied to his or her respective state board of nursing where he/she intends to practice. The license fee ranges between $200 -$400 depending on each state.
Can You Become a Registered Nurse By Taking Online Courses?
Nursing is certainly a hands-on profession, but that doesn’t mean online programs are not available. There are many associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs to choose from online. Distance learning usually requires the students to complete their studies online and conduct their clinical experiences within their local community. Online RN-to-BSN programs are also available.
These programs are specifically geared toward working nurses and using an online classroom can make getting a nursing degree more convenient. Accelerated, or second degree programs, can also be completed online and can usually help people starting a new career in nursing get going quickly.
13 Skills and Traits You Need to Become a Successful Nurse
To become a successful registered nurse, you:
- Must be organized and perform activities in a planned manner.
- Must be able to manage stress and physical trauma.
- Must be kind, compassionate and sympathetic to patients, mentally and emotionally.
- Must be able to handle official duties without any fear or favor.
- Must be able to treat patients as required without sentiments.
- Must have excellent communication skills to interact with patients, colleagues and doctors.
- Must be cautious, calm and alert.
- Must be dedicated, patient and committed to his or her duties, and to the patients.
- Must be agile, focused and detail oriented.
- Must be competent to make critical decision.
- Must be attentive, vigilant and observant.
- Must be responsible in the discharge of his or her duties, and do such without negligence.
- Must be mentally stable and physically strong to cope with daily activities and stress.
Benefits of Becoming a Registered Nurse
- Registered nurses save lives
- Registered nurses have many choices of locations and careers and flexible work schedules
- Registered nurses receive a higher salary than others.
- Growing availability of registered nurses jobs
- Registered nurses have a wealth of career growth and educational opportunities
- Registered nurses receive more respect from physicians and colleagues.
Factors Discouraging People from Becoming a Nurse
- Nurses are exposed to all types of germs and viruses.
- The job of a registered nurse can be stressful and demanding
- Registered nurses may have to work holidays, nights and weekends.
- Registered nurses are exposed to violence at work place.
- Exposure to hazardous chemical chemicals daily at work.
- Often times, nurses are not given adequate respect as compared to doctors.
- Nurses are also at the risk of being exposed to the various diseases carried by their patients. For instance, during the last Ebola outbreak in West Africa, a lot of doctors and nurses lost their lives while trying to fight the disease and save infected patients.
Impact of Technology and Internet on the Nursing Profession
- The nursing profession will improve through the non-invasive and minimally invasive and more accurate tools for diagnostics and treatment which will generally result in lower patient risk and cost.
- The use of Biometrics can increase the security of confidential healthcare information or data and eliminate the costs of managing lost passwords.
- When robots are introduced and used in hospital environments, they can provide improved diagnostic abilities; a less invasive and more comfortable experience for the patient; and the ability to do smaller and more precise interventions
- Nurses and other Healthcare providers have access to critical patient information from multiple providers online, literally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which gives room for better and coordinated care.
Equipment and Tools of the Registered Nursing Trade
- Hand Sanitizer: A registered nurse can carry his or her own hand sanitizer or antiseptic, especially when such is not provided by their health facility.
- Pulse Oximeter: These are very small useful digital devices that nurses use to check a patients pulse. These devices can be placed on a patient’s finger in order to get accurate blood oxygen saturation levels and pulse rate readings.
- Scrubs: These are very popular in the nursing community and are comfortable to move in. They are very light, easy to clean and easy to remove, which is extremely important in the medical profession, especially when working with sick and injured patients.
- Nursing Shoes: nurses wear shoes in and around the hospital environment, and the choice of the shoes play an important role in the discharge of their duties. Generally, nurses work on hourly shifts which involve a lot of standing and walking and thus require having a comfortable, breathable, light pair of walking shoes with lots of support.
- Pen Light: Pen lights enable nurses to check and gauge pupil dilation which helps them to get a better understanding of their patients’ condition such as their consciousness and if there are any abnormalities or anomalies with the patient.
- Stethoscope: A high quality stethoscope is an essential and important tool for nurses and doctors as it allows them to listen for heart and lung abnormalities.
- Medical Handbook: Medical reference books and pocket guides gives nurses invaluable information that can help them make better decisions and avoid mistakes in their daily assignments.
- Writing Materials: registered nurses carry with them during work, material like pens, Pencils, clipboards, paper and medical forms, necessary for keeping track of their patients’ conditions and manage the progression of their health.
- Medical Bag: Medical bags are essential in the nursing field as they are necessary tools used for carrying all of the nurses’ medical equipments. These items include medical planner, stethoscope, dressing scissors, thermometer, batteries, medical tape, telemetry calipers, writing utensils, hand sanitizer other cleanliness products, lotion, Smartphone and/or tablet, snacks, water bottles, lunch and other essential and nonessential items.
Other essential equipments include Smartphone or tablet, hand watch, blood pressure monitor, dressing scissors, thermometer, blood sugar monitor etc.
Career ideas Within the Nursing Profession
- Emergency Nursing
- Enterostomal Therapy Nursing
- Gastroenterology Nursing
- Gerontological Nursing
- Hospice Palliative Care Nursing
- Cardiovascular Nursing
- Neuroscience Nursing
- Occupational Health Nursing
- Critical Care Pediatric Nursing
- Medical-Surgical Nursing
- Nephrology Nursing
- Community Health Nursing
- Critical Care Nursing
- Oncology Nursing
- Orthopedic Nursing
- Prenatal Nursing
- Preoperative Nursing
- Rehabilitation Nursing Clinical Study Observer (and Interviewer) Nurse
- Educator Nurse
- Geriatric and Retirement Nurse
- Intensive Care Nurse
- Mental Health, Psychiatric and Addictions Nurse
- Nurse Midwife
- Oncology (Cancer) Nurse
- Palliative Care Nurse
- Nurse Health Coach
- Life Care Planner
- Nurse Navigator
- Academic Nurse Writer
- Legal Nurse Consultant
- Hospice Nurse
- Public Health Nurse
- Concierge Nurse
- Forensic Nurse Consultant
- Nurse Case Manager
- Dialysis Nurse
- Nurse Midwife
Professional Bodies and Associations within the Nursing Profession in the United States of America
- Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses
- Academy of Neonatal Nursing
- American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing
- American Association of Moderate Sedation Nurses
- American Association of Nurse Life Care Planners
- American Association of Nurse Practitioners
- American College of Nurse Practitioners
- American Nurses Association
- American Nursing Informatics Association
- American Organization of Nurse Executives
- American Psychiatric Nurses Association
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
- American Association of Diabetes Educators
- American Association of Heart Failure Nurses
- American Association of the History of Nursing
- American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants
- American Association of Managed Care Nurses
- American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
- American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
- American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordinators
- The American Association of Nurse Attorneys
- American Association of Nurse Life Care Planners
- American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
- American College of Cardiovascular Nurses
- American College of Nurse-Midwives
- American College of Nurse Practitioners
- American Holistic Nurses Association
- American Nephrology Nurses’ Association
- American Nurses Association
- American Nursing Informatics Association
- International Association of Forensic Nurses
- International Council of Nurses
- International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care
- International Society of Nurses in Genetics
- National Academy of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners
- National Association of Neonatal Nurses
- National Federation for Specialty Nursing Organizations
- National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
- Society of Pediatric Nurses, ETC.
Career Opportunities for Registered Nursing Professionals
There is no straight jacketed way through which one can possible make a living in the profession. This is why various ways have emerged. Registered nurses can work and practice in all healthcare settings such as
- Nursing Homes
- Medical office
- Community health centers
- Care centers
- Home services
- Relief Camps
- Homeless shelters or homes
- Sporting events
Nurses may also practice in:
- cruise ships
- hospice facilities
- industry (occupational health settings)
- long-term care facilities
- military facilities
- pharmaceutical companies (for example, as researchers)
- physician offices
- private homes
- retirement homes
To become a successful registered nurse within the framework of the nursing profession, an aspiring nurse must understand the profession, which is about the provision of care. Such a person must be able to analyze the pros and cons of the profession and ascertain whether he or she fits in. once this is established, such a person must learn the skills, traits and qualities involved. In addition, he/she must obtain the necessary educational qualification and get licensed, and also strive to be a professional in the field.
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