A Guide to the Registered Nurse Education Requirements

While the specific registered nurse education requirements can vary from one state to another, people interested in a nursing career will have to take courses in a variety of generic subjects including nutrition, pharmacology, anatomy and more.

Registered Nurse Education Requirements: The Specializations

Registered nurses work in a myriad of settings from private clinics to large hospitals as well as in schools and in the corporate environment. There are several areas of specialty for people interested in nursing jobs. For instance, a person may be keen on working as a critical care or surgical or forensic nurse. In the corporate world, nurses are often hired to evaluate insurance claims. There are specific diplomas which have to be taken to meet the registered nurse education requirements needed to fulfill these roles.

Time Frame for Completing RN Requirements

Typically, most nurses earn their bachelor's degree from an accredited college before taking a specialization diploma or even endeavoring to get their state certification. The bachelorís degree program is a four year course that has to be taken full time. However, some colleges do offer part time courses and even grant extension to complete the program which may increase the duration of the course by one to two years. On the other hand, a diploma in nursing seldom takes more than a few months to complete.

Registered Nurse Educational Requirements: What Should The Course Include?

The bachelor's program in nursing sciences is usually divided into four semesters and two sections. The first section lasts for two years and over these two semesters, the students are expected to take generic, physiology, anatomy and patient care courses. In the concluding two years of the course, the focus shifts to specialized nursing. So, students get the option to choose from a number of subjects such as infection control, chemistry, and nutrition. Throughout the 4 year training program, prospective nurses are expected to get their education through hands on patient care.

The Right Course for Nursing Careers

For people who are not keen on investing four years of their life in a college education there is always the possibility of an associate's degree which can be completed in two years. This course will also have to be taken at an accredited university and they provide ample of opportunity for growth and progress in the sector. On the other hand, earning a diploma from a training center or nursing facility will just be enough to earn the student his/her license. The program allows very little room for further qualification or career advancement.

Other Skills Required to be Successful in a Nursing Career

Along with the right educational qualifications, individual's interested in nursing careers should also carefully weigh their personal work preferences and strengths. Nurses are expected to work long hours and often in shifts which can be demanding on a person's social and personal life. Despite this, they are expected to be cordial, empathetic, good communicators and proactive with the patients and their families. In other words, a nurse has to be a polite, go getter who has a heart of gold but accepts the reality of life and death.

Over half of registered nurse professionals work in hospitals while others work in private practices and establishments. The job outlook for nursing employment is extremely positive with 500,000 or more jobs expected to be put in the market over the next 5 to 7 years. Understanding the requirements is the important first step to taking on a new career as an RN.
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