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How to Become a Registered Nurse

You can become a nurse at virtually any age, but there are some advantages to planning early. Here are some tips.

Registered Nurse Career Plan Steps:

Become a Registered Nurse...

Nursing Resources...

  1. Take a college prep curriculum in high school Math courses are especially important. So are biology and chemistry. AP classes all four years of High School are encouraged as well. Your overall GPA and prerequisite GPA may both be considered for admission.
  2. Try to get some volunteering experience. Large hospitals generally have one or more volunteer coordinators.

    You may also want to consider nursing camp. Nursing camps generally combine job shadowing, career presentations, and various hands-on activities. There are a lot of different camps. Some are day camps or school year enrichment programs; others integrate college work and dorm life.

  3. Research nursing programs that are available in your community and around the country. Programs must be approved by the Board in your state or one in another municipality. Most are accredited through CCNE or the NLNAC. They are available at three levels: associates, diploma, and baccalaureate. The baccalaureate is becoming the preferred degree around the nation, but other programs may put you out into the workforce a little sooner.
  4. Enroll in your chosen program and take advantage of the opportunities. You will be require to do clinical rotations in four areas (perinatal, pediatric, adult, and mental health), but you may have some choices. Give thought to where you’ll want to work in the future, and treat the experience like a job interview.

    Also join a professional organization like the Students Nurses Association. There are chapters around the nation.

  5. Take the licensing exam.

  6. Now it’s time to put your connections to work for you and get a job. Many nurses get positions by networking. Your professional memberships may be a source of job leads. Also try participating in online forums.

Personality Traits: Your references will rank you on critical thinking, communication skills, professionalism, and empathy. These are widely viewed as critical for success.