If you are interested in becoming a registered nurse but you get confused by the different programs and what each one requires in order for you to follow your dreams you should keep reading and learn how the different types of registered nurse training programs vary and how the requirements vary. You may find that you can achieve your goal without going the long way to do so.
Regardless of the type of nursing degree you choose, there will be academic requirements that are necessary in order to become a nurse. Before starting on any nursing career path, the potential nurse must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. If an associate or bachelor degree path is being utilized there may be entrance exams and other preliminary steps before admission is granted to the program.
There are essentially three paths to achieving the required level of education to be considered eligible to take the registered nurse exam and these are:
- Nursing Diploma – simplest to obtain, limits the areas of work and how far the nurse can move up in the field.
- Associate Degree – Slightly more advanced than a diploma, provides more advancement opportunities than the diploma but not nearly as many as the Bachelor’s Degree.
- Bachelor Degree – Typically a four-year course. This degree opens many doors for advancement, including going for the Master’s Degree in nursing.
Of these three degrees, the Bachelor’s degree takes the longest but at the same time provides many more options than the diploma or associate degree. It is possible to get an associate’s degree in order to start working as a nurse and then continue on to a Bachelor’s Degree.
Classes Involved in Nurse Training
All paths leading to a nursing degree have similarities in the courses that are required. This is in part due to the registered nurses exam being the same exam regardless of where the student received their degree. Some of the typical courses include:
- Communication Skills
- Nursing Classes
Students in the associate or bachelor’s program will ultimately take many more classes and have more in-depth knowledge. In addition, students who pursue their Bachelor’s of Science in nursing will have elective courses in the humanities and other areas.
Clinical Training Requirements
Clinical training is required regardless of the type of degree that is being obtained. There may be more clinical work involved in a Bachelor Degree than there is in a diploma but all three types of nurse training programs would have clinical work to ensure that the skills needed to perform certain tasks are in place.
The NCLEX-RN for Nursing Registration
In order to become recognized as a registered nurse, once the education and training are completed the potential nurse must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is comprehensive and covers all areas of nursing that the student should have learned during their nurse training and education. Some nurses practice without this; however, the majority of nurses have their registration and are better compensated. Ever y state has different requirements when it comes to registration and the exam. It is up to you the student to find out what they are and comply with them.
Other Requirements for Nursing
In addition to the educational and clinical training requirements that are necessary to become a nurse, there are some other items that must be considered before choosing to go forward with nursing school. Some of these include:
- Health: Nurses must not have any communicable diseases. This is to ensure the safety and health of the patients they come in contact with on a daily basis.
- Immunizations: Many states require nurses to have specific immunizations, particularly the Hepatitis series. This is for their own health protection and to protect patients they work with from becoming infected.
- Criminal Background: Most states do not allow nurses to have a felony background. There are many reasons for this: dealing with prescription medications and having access to them is one reason and people with violent crimes might be considered a risk when dealing with other people.
These are some of the things that could be required by states in order to become a registered nurse. It is best to check with your state before enrolling in college. Typically, when you start the admissions program for nursing school you will be required to complete a questionnaire that will cover these and any other requirements before you are granted admission.
Registered nurse training requirements include may vary from state to state but usually include education, clinical training and some personal life factors. You should choose the path of your nursing career based on what your ultimate career goal is and then make sure you can meet all the requirements.