Registered Nurse Qualifications
The educational qualifications for becoming a registered nurse are usually met by either earning a bachelors of science in nursing (BSN), associates degree in nursing (ADN), or nursing diploma from an accredited institution. Bachelors programs typically take four years to complete, whereas associates and diploma programs generally take two to three years. Regardless of the path, registered nursing programs will include courses in nursing, anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other social and behavior sciences. Bachelors programs will also include courses in communications, leadership, and critical thinking, along with more extensive instruction in the physical and social sciences. Jobs in nursing administration, research, consulting, and teaching usually require the completion of a bachelors degree or higher. All states require registered nurses to be licensed. In order to become a licensed nurse, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
Above all, registered nurses should be highly compassionate, caring, and sympathetic towards a patient's needs. Hospitals and care facilities will be looking for applicants who are detail-oriented, organized, and have well-developed critical-thinking skills. It will be your responsibility to ensure that patients receive the correct medications and treatments at the right time. Qualified registered nurses must also possess strong communication skills in order to effectively talk with patients and work well in a team environment with other health care professionals. Nurses also need to have the patience and emotional stability to deal with the physical and emotional stress of working with human suffering under sometimes hectic conditions.
Experience in a health care related field is often among the qualifications for a registered nursing position. All registered nursing education programs include some supervised clinical experience in hospital departments and sometimes in long-term care facilities, public health departments, home health care agencies, or emergency clinics. Valuable experience can also be gained while in school through internship opportunities or medical related volunteer work.
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