There is a high demand for Nurses right now for numerous reason. For instance, the aging baby boom population, increase in health risks, retirement of old nurses with the advancement of technology and so on have all contributed towards this demand. All these reasons contribute towards the high requirement of new nurses in the field.
What Does a Nurse Do?
The first and foremost duty of a nurse is to coordinate with doctors and other healthcare professionals to provide healthcare for patients. They are also supposed to enlighten patients about aspects related to their healthcare such as, dos and don’ts for surgery patients and their immediate family members/caretakers including dietary restrictions and dressing of wounds etc.
According to the data reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019, registered Nurses are supposed to perform the following duties. They are to;
Work closely with the doctors, patients, family members/caretakers of patients
Evaluate a patient’s condition and record the medical history by asking various questions
Assess patient’s symptoms and inform the doctor on call
Make and record their observations regarding the patients
Administer the medicines and treatments to the patients as instructed by the doctor
Use, monitor and operate the required medical equipment as and when required
Aid in performing all required diagnostic tests as well as in analysis of results
Provide patients and families with instructions on how to manage their diseases or take care of their injuries at home after getting treated at the hospital
Steps to Become a Nurse in the US
This career is very challenging and demands a lot of physical and mental strength since you need to deal with sick people all the time. Most nurses work long hours and don’t get many holidays. However, if you have the passion to help people and take care of them in their worst moments as a nurse, you need to get proper education and training to do this job right. To help give you a complete picture of where and how to begin, here is a step by step guide.
An Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ASN)
Typically, you can begin working at an entry-level job as a nurse if you complete an associate’s degree in Nursing from an accredited college. This degree includes a curriculum that provides students with fundamental knowledge of nursing practices and may take 2 to 3 years to complete. However, all graduates must clear the National Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to begin practicing.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Although you may work in the field with an associate’s degree, nurses with a bachelor’s degree have better job prospects and are paid better. Graduates of BSN are given more responsibilities because they receive extensive training. All graduates of BSN degree must also pass the National Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to begin working in the field.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
The nurses who have completed several years of practice in the field often choose to complete the MSN degree. This degree provides them with training on leadership and administration in nursing. They are also provided specialized education and training in a particular area of their choice. This degree is designed for nurses who wish to become Licensed Nurse Practitioners.
Step-2: Licensure or Registration
As discussed above, all nurses must sit for and clear the National Nursing Licensure Examination (NCLEX). To become a Registered Nurse (RN), you are required to clear the National Nursing Licensure Examination (NCLEX: RN) Registered Nurse. All nurses must be licensed/registered and the requirements vary for each state.
How Much Can I Earn as a Nurse in the US?
As per the data reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019, Registered Nurses earned an annual mean salary of $77,460 which roughly equates to $37.24 mean wage per hour. Moreover, BLS predicted a 12% employment growth for this career between 2018 and 2028. Furthermore, California was named as the state with the highest employment rate (302,770) and as the top paying state for this occupation with an annual mean income of $113,240 in 2019.