Paths to Becoming a Registered Nurse
The best thing about becoming a registered nurse is the fact that there are three paths to choose from, which is definitely better than being constrained to just one. These three paths are as follows:
- A four-year bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN) offered by colleges and universities
- An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) takes 2 to 3 years to complete in community and junior colleges
- A diploma program directly administered by hospitals take 3 years to complete
These requirements may include clinical experience for a certain number of years in certain institutions, say, a nursing home or a physician's clinic. You may also be required to be well-versed in certain nursing procedures and processes such as in the operation of a medical machine.
Such is the variety of possible RN careers that you can choose to either specialize in one area or become a general practitioner, either of which will still bring plenty of RN jobs within your reach. Or you can always move into the business side of the healthcare industry through policy development, quality assurance and strategic planning.
We must emphasize, however, that registered nurses with a BSN under their belts are more likely to land the job than those with an AND or diploma in nursing, all other things including job experience, competence and capabilities being equal. So, if you want to advance in the nursing profession, we suggest aiming for higher education like a master's degree in nursing or certification programs in specialty areas.
Let's assume that you already have a degree in an unrelated field, say, management and finance but you want to avail of the benefits of landing registered nurse jobs. We suggest enrolling in an accelerated BSN program that lasts for 12 to 18 months, thus, providing the fastest route to becoming a registered nurse. Add in another 2 years for a master's degree and you are well on your way to enjoying one of the most successful RN careers in this generation.
Your education will prepare your mind and body for the rigors of RN jobs. You will acquire theoretical knowledge about the various aspects of nursing while also getting actual clinical experience in various healthcare facilities including hospitals.
Ways to Find Job Opportunities
Of course, even when the registered nurse jobs are aplenty, you must still apply for these jobs instead of waiting for employers to come knocking at your door begging for your services. With the thousands of qualified registered nurses in the country and in many countries of the world, competition for jobs in the nursing sector is still high.
In order to increase your chances of landing the jobs that will launch your career, we suggest the following methods:
- Become a member of an online job site. This way, you can be updated on the latest job postings according to your personal criteria. Your application can also be submitted to the employers with just one click of the mouse, thus, making for easier job hunting and, hopefully, faster employment in the desired job.
- Check the jobs that may not necessarily be in healthcare facilities but are still related to the health profession. For example, schools and offices will require nurses to provide for basic healthcare for their students and employees, respectively. Insurance companies also require experienced nurses for their medical documentation. Other organizations include the armed forces, medical testing offices, and pharmaceutical companies.
- Look into possible RN careers such as becoming a legal nurse consultant, a nursing educator, or a community health nurse.