How To Become A Registered Nurse

How To Become A Registered Nurse

If you find fulfillment in caring for those who are sick but don’t want to perform the seemingly cold and clinical work that doctors do, you can consider becoming a registered nurse. In this role, you will be part of a patient’s healthcare team. You will be administering a patient’s medications and giving treatment under the supervision of a doctor. You will be aiding other healthcare providers in performing diagnostic tests and reading the results.

You will be observing the patient and recording important information. Based on the doctor’s orders, you will be teaching patients and their loved ones ways to manage their medical conditions at home.

As a registered nurse, you have to be compassionate when you do your job because you will be dealing with the sick and the suffering. You will need to be emotionally stable and rational even in the midst of emergencies and suffering. Because registered nurses move and lift patients, they also need to be physically fit to succeed in the profession.

Why Become A Registered Nurse

Being a nurse is a noble calling since it puts one in the position to serve those who are suffering and at their most vulnerable. The demand is also set to be higher in the coming years as more people live longer and become more conscious about their health. It is also a rapidly growing profession that is expected to have a lot of employment opportunities in the next few years.

Registered Nurse Work Environment

Registered nurses typically work in hospitals. They work rotating shifts and can be assigned at night, on weekends or holidays. They may also be placed on-call. Nurses who don’t work in hospitals are employed by nursing and residential care facilities, doctor’s offices, home health care services and the government. Back strain and injuries are a common complaint among registered nurses because they often assist patients in moving in their positions. They are also prone to contracting illnesses as a result of handling patients who have infection.

Registered Nurse Salary

The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that registered nurses earned a mean annual wage of $68,910. The agency reported in May 2012 when the median annual wage of nurses was at $65,470 that registered nurses employed with the government got the highest pay at $68,540 followed by those working in hospitals who were paid $67,210.

Those who were employed with home health care services firms got $62,090 while those working in nursing and residential care facilities and physician’s offices were paid $58,830 and $58,420, respectively.

Average Registered Nurse Salary

Registered Nurse Salary By State

Rank State Hourly Rate Annual Salary
#1 California $48.92 $101,750
#2 Massachusetts $42.82 $89,060
#3 Hawaii $42.75 $88,910
#4 Oregon $41.83 $87,000
#5 Alaska $41.56 $86,450
#6 Nevada $40.28 $83,790
#7 New York $38.86 $80,830
#8 New Jersey $38.74 $80,580
#9 District of Columbia $38.70 $80,500
#10 Washington $38.52 $80,120
#11 Connecticut $37.63 $78,270
#12 Rhode Island $36.15 $75,200
#13 Maryland $35.92 $74,710
#14 Minnesota $35.55 $73,940
#15 Arizona $35.31 $73,430
#16 Illinois $34.08 $70,890
#17 Delaware $34.05 $70,820
#18 Colorado $33.92 $70,550
#19 Texas $33.84 $70,390
#20 Michigan $33.22 $69,100
#21 Pennsylvania $33.06 $68,770
#22 New Mexico $33.02 $68,670
#23 New Hampshire $33.02 $68,680
#24 Wisconsin $32.66 $67,930
#25 Vermont $32.59 $67,780
#26 Virginia $32.05 $66,670
#27 Georgia $31.13 $64,750
#28 Florida $31.07 $64,630
#29 Montana $30.91 $64,300
#30 Ohio $30.75 $63,960
#31 Maine $30.67 $63,800
#32 South Carolina $30.51 $63,470
#33 Louisiana $30.47 $63,370
#34 Wyoming $30.28 $62,980
#35 Idaho $30.04 $62,470
#36 Utah $29.98 $62,360
#37 North Carolina $29.49 $61,330
#38 North Dakota $29.25 $60,840
#39 Missouri $29.25 $60,830
#40 Oklahoma $29.15 $60,630
#41 Nebraska $29.02 $60,370
#42 Indiana $28.87 $60,050
#43 Kentucky $28.76 $59,810
#44 West Virginia $28.55 $59,380
#45 Tennessee $28.08 $58,410
#46 Kansas $28.01 $58,260
#47 Arkansas $27.71 $57,630
#48 Mississippi $27.41 $57,010
#49 Alabama $27.36 $56,900
#50 Iowa $27.06 $56,290
#51 South Dakota $26.89 $55,920
#52 Virgin Islands $25.45 $52,930
#53 Guam $25.43 $52,890
#54 Puerto Rico $16.73 $34,810

Registered Nurse Career Outlook

Job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be rosy. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that from 2012 to 2022, the employment rate of Registered Nurses is set to grow 19 percent, a rate that is faster than the average for all occupations. The demand will come from the elderly and those with chronic conditions. The federal health insurance reform will also contribute to the demand since this will give more people access to healthcare.

Registered Nurse Degree

Registered nurses typically hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing or BSN, have an associate’s degree in nursing or ADN or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Employers generally hire those with a bachelor’s degree for administrative posts, teaching and research. All registered nurses must have a license before they can practice the profession.

Each state has difference licensing requirements but generally the two main criteria for obtaining a license are graduation from an approved nursing program and the passing of the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN. Nurses who want to enhance their credentials in a particular practice, such as gerontology, pediatrics or ambulatory care, may opt to get voluntary certification.

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