July 26th, 2022 | Updated on January 23rd, 2023
The nursing profession is a highly sought-after and respected field in the United States. It offers stable employment, good wages, and many opportunities for career growth.
But becoming a nurse in the United States of America is no easy task. There are many hoops you must jump through and a lot of red tapes to cut through before you can even begin the process.
However, it can be done with enough time and effort—and this can be an extremely rewarding career choice. There are many ways to become a nurse in the U.S., and this guide will outline the most common paths to becoming a registered nurse (RN).
So whether you are just starting your nursing journey or are already working as a nurse but want to take your career to the next level, keep reading for all the information you need to know about becoming a nurse in the U.S.A.!
Step 1: Get A Nursing Degree
The first step to becoming a nurse in the U.S.A. is to get a nursing degree from an accredited institution. There are many different nursing programs available, so it is important to research and choose one that is right for you.
If you are starting from scratch, the most common type of nursing program is the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program.
This will give you the broadest knowledge base and allow you to take on more responsibility when entering the workforce.
However, if you already have a degree in another field or are looking for a faster path into nursing, there are also two-year associate’s degree programs and even some accelerated B.S.N. programs that can be completed in as little as 15 months.
Once you have chosen a program, the next step is to apply and be accepted into the nursing school of your choice. This process can vary from school to school, but most will require you to submit transcripts, take an entrance exam, and possibly even participate in an interview.
Step 2: Get Licensed
After you have obtained your nursing degree, the next step is to get licensed by your state’s board of nursing. To do this, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The NCLEX is a standardized exam that all nurses must pass to become licensed.
To prepare for the NCLEX, it is recommended that you take a review course and study extensively. There are many different review courses available, both online and in person.
Once you feel confident that you are ready to take the exam, you can register and schedule a time to take it at an authorized testing center.
Once you have passed the NCLEX, you will be officially licensed as a registered nurse (RN) and can begin working in the field.
However, keep in mind that each state has its own specific licensure requirements, so be sure to check with your state’s board of nursing for more information.
Step 3: Get Certified
While not required, getting certified in a specialty area can help you advance your career and earn a higher salary. To become certified, you must pass an exam by a national nursing organization.
The experts from the international nursing recruitment agency, Connetics U.S.A. say that there are several specialty certification exams available, so choosing one relevant to the type of nursing you want to practice is important.
For example, if you want to work as an emergency room nurse, you would take the Certification for Emergency Nursing (C.E.N.) exam.
Once you have passed the exam, you will be officially certified in your chosen specialty area. This can make you more attractive to potential employers and open up opportunities for advancement in your career.
Step 4: Advance Your Career
You need to advance your career once you have obtained your nursing degree and passed the NCLEX. You will be officially licensed to work as an R.N. in the U.S.A. From there, you can begin your nursing career and start working towards advancing your career and earning a higher salary.
There are many ways to advance your nursing career, but one of the most common is pursuing a higher degree. For example, you could earn a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.).
Pursuing a higher degree will allow you to take on more responsibility and leadership roles, which can lead to a higher salary and more opportunities for advancement. Additionally, it can also help you specialize in a particular area of nursing, such as primary care or pediatrics.
Step 5: Gain Experience In Nursing
After obtaining your nursing degree and passing the NCLEX, you can begin working as an R.N. in the U.S.A. To gain experience in nursing, it is recommended that you start out working in a hospital setting.
Working in a hospital will allow you to work with different patients and learn about various diseases and conditions. You will also work with other nurses and healthcare professionals, which can help you learn more about the profession.
After gaining experience working in a hospital, you may want to consider pursuing a position in a different type of healthcare setting, such as a primary care clinic or a nursing home. This will allow you to work with different patients and learn more about different aspects of nursing.
No matter where you work, it is important to always be learning and expanding your knowledge base. The more experience you have the better prepared you will be for advancement in your career.
The field of nursing is constantly changing, so it is important to stay up-to-date on new developments. One way to do this is to get involved with professional organizations like the American Nurses Association or the National League for Nursing. These organizations offer many resources, including continuing education opportunities and networking events.
Getting involved with professional organizations can help you meet other nurses and learn about new developments in the field. It can also help you advance your career and earn a higher salary.
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