How to Become a Nurse

Information on Becoming a Nurse

As the population continues to grow, so does the need for educated nursing professionals. With such a strong need for nurses many would think it would be easy to get a nursing education. The fact is it may be harder than many people think. Today the United States also has a shortage of nursing educators and this makes many nursing programs hard to get into often with long waiting lists.

Nursing forum: Career planning and education advice for nursing careers

Even with all these hurdles in place, a nursing career is still a great choice as long as you select the correct carrer path. As with any career you choose, you want to create a plan and timeline so you can advance into a senior position in the future. Below we have provided some general information about how to get started with becoming a nurse.

Nursing Assistant vs. LPN/LVN vs. Registered Nurse

Many people in the nursing industry start their careers by becoming a nursing assistant or nursing aide. This is a great way to get started in the nursing profession and a nursing assistant usually only requires course work but no diploma. Becoming a nursing assistant may also help an individual get into a better nursing program down the line and provides employment while they are seeking bigger and better things.

Becoming a LPN/LVN or Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse usually requires a one year course of study from a vocational school or junior college. The LPN/LVN usually work under the supervision of a physician or RN and usually has more advanced skills than the nursing assistant but can perform less tasks than a registered nurse can. Again, most people who become a LPN/LVN are gaining the experience and knowledge that is necessary to become a Registered Nurse and may use this during future studies.

The next step is becoming a Registered Nurse. RNs require higher levels of study and almost all new nurses have a ADN or BSN degree.

Selecting an ADN or BSN Degree

Today two typical courses of study are available for registered nurses. The ADN or Associate Degree Nurse has to go through a two year degree program while the BSN or Bachelor of Science nurse requires a 4 year degree. Today the debate whether all nurses should require a 4 year degree rages on. The high demand for nurses has made a case for keeping the ADN programs around.

Today it is recommended to get the BSN because while experience plays a role, many hospitals will pay you based on your level of education. The BSN also will give you a stepping stone for further education into areas of specialization.

Where should you get a nursing degree?

Today many colleges offer wonderful nursing degree programs. One major thing you need to make sure of before selecting a program is that the program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the (NLNAC). By selecting a school with accreditation you usually guarantee that you will be able to sit for your boards. Make sure you get professional help before selecting a nursing degree program because not all of them are the same.

Today there are thousands of wonderful nursing career resources on the web. You can get detailed information about almost any college and college program in the country. If you are still asking yourself "how do I become a nurse?", we recommend the following web sites:

http://www.medical-colleges.net/ http://www.universities.com/Distance_Learning/Degrees_Masters_Degrees_Nursing.html http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Publications/AcceleratedPrograms.htm http://www.yourcareertraining.com http://www.top-colleges.com/v/medical.html http://www.collegeanduniversity.net http://www.classesusa.com/featuredschools/programs/featured_nursing.cfm