Registered Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
The Registered Nurse, or RN, is the first step to moving anyone in the nursing profession to any specialty, whether it is trauma and emergency work, labor and delivery/gynecology, psychiatric and psychological treatment, post-operative care units, or community health.
The RN possesses a bachelor’s degree; associate degrees are useful for assistive positions in the nursing field, but genuine nursing requires a BS in Nursing to be competitive.
RNs do not have to remain in hospital settings. They can easily function as school nurses, Army nurses, veterinary nurses, trauma and crisis center nurses, and a number of other specialties.
How to Become a Registered Nurse – RN Training
It is best to begin as early as high school, excelling in the sciences (biology and chemistry) and mathematics. We say “excel,” because if you are not naturally gifted in those areas, nursing is probably not for you.
In college, you will want to move into a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, where you will receive additional training in medical ethics, patient care, and a number of specialties. If you complete a Bachelor’s degree in another field, you can move into an accelerated BSN program that will complete your nursing training in as few as four years.
Once in a BSN program, your class work will be far more advanced, involving seminars in anatomy, advanced chemistry, psychology and behavioral sciences, physiology, microbiology and even nutrition.
An even more salient choice beyond the BSN is an MSN program, to achieve a Master’s level in Nursing, a degree which will allow you to be even more competitive.
There are four advanced fields where a Master’s degree is necessary for a registered Nurse:
-Clinical nurse specialist: primary care assistance and office medical treatments
-Nurse anesthetist: hospital centered and providing anesthesia and related services for surgical procedures.
-Nurse midwives: gynecological and obstetric work in labor and newborn facilities, including pre- and post-natal care.
-Nurse practitioners: hospital and office centered, and on track to an administrative position.
Individuals who complete Registered Nursing training should know that MSN training requires at least a two year commitment in study and clinical practice, as well as two years experience as an RN.
Besides from the BSN degree route, there are several other ways to become an RN. Whichever way you take to become a registered nurse, you will eventually need to take the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination Registered Nurse) examination in order to actually be licensed to practice as an RN. The different degree programs allow you to be able to be eligible to sit for this licensure exam.
Other paths to become an RN include:
Going to college (usually community college or vocational school) and attend an Associate’s Degree in nursing program to earn an Associates in Applied science Degree in Nursing or another equivalent associates degree.
Attend an entry level masters degree program in nursing.
Complete a nursing diploma program.
become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and then take a bridge program, LPN to RN/ LVN to RN, to become an RN.
Clinical experience, the Must that Makes the Difference to a Registered Nurse
Clinical experience, the leveler of the nursing field, must equal 1,000 hours for entrance into BSN and MSN training, and should ideally be 4,000 hours or more to be competitive in the labor field; this experience can be obtained in a number of settings, although it is obviously a requirement that will take a nursing student years to complete.
Supervised experience can be obtained in seminars and preparatory classes, and the settings can include surgical centers, maternity wings, psychiatric offices or even pediatric departments. One can also obtain clinical experience in public health facilities, in home health companies, in ambulatory work places and in nursing care clinics.
Once you have obtained the necessary classes and required number of hours, and are well along in a BSN or MSN program, you can sit for the Registered Nursing examination for your state, an exam called the NCLEX-RN. Numerous programs can assist you while you are training to pass this exam; these programs can be on site at the clinic or facility where you gain experience and can also be found online.
Once you have obtained RN certification, you can begin to prepare for a specialty nursing position. Be aware that you should, by the time your specialized training is completed, also have finished your 4,000 hour requirement. You want as much of an edge on other candidates as possible.
Job Outlook and Salary for the Registered Nurse
The Registered Nurse has a “good” and “favorable” job outlook,according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the market growing “about as fast as the average” for nursing. Its growth is projected as high as 26% between the years of 2013 and 2018, and it carries a median starting salary of approximately $60,000.
One reason the BLS believes this figure will inflate is because of overcrowding in hospitals and emergency rooms, necessitating more staff to take up the slack.
The RN is a good deal of work and preparation, but Registered Nurse Training is an excellent way to open many different doors of employment in the medical profession.