[Thanks to NB for sharing the career research report on how to become a registered nurse and related work information.]
The career I have chosen to research is a registered nurse. I became interested in nursing probably since I was about 14 years old. I have a health condition that can consist of me being in the emergency room quiet often. So I just came to fall in love with the work the nurses did.
I was definitely that annoying patient who asked them 200 questions about what they were doing and why. I just really wanted to be on the other side of things and actually get to help people instead of being the patient. Then as I got older I realized how much I was interested in really gory things, like blood and seeing the insides of a person. I truly felt as if nursing was like my “calling” in life. So my interest level in this career was definitely high and it was like I wanted so bad to be out of high school so I could start and live my dream.
At first the only things I really knew about registered nurses was what I saw in the emergency room. I didn’t really know the schooling side of it until last year when I started college. Since college I have learned a lot, and know now that it’s going to be a lot harder and longer process to get there then I had thought. But I plan to stick to it and accomplish my career in registered nursing.
A registered nurse to me is the backbone of the hospital. They are the ones who mostly attend to the patients and have to help the doctors so they can do their jobs to their best ability. A registered nurse takes care of the charts, informs the doctor on new symptoms, takes blood, draws the IV line, and is present whenever the doctor is there to assist and sometimes take control in an emergency situation. Depending on what level nurse you are determines how much you can do with the patient.
The typical work environment for a registered nurse is a hospital. You mainly see registered nurses in the emergency room, in surgery wards, in labor and delivery, and in flight, which is a trauma nurse who goes to the actual crash site in a helicopter to take care of the patient. So with all these places where you see an RN it’s always a fast moving environment and very chaotic.
The personal skills that you should obtain to be an RN are being able to stay on your toes and expect anything to happen. You have to keep up with the fast pace. You really also have to have a thick skin. RNs are essentially the ones who get to know their patients but you have to learn to not get attached just in case the worst happens like death. You have to have really great people skills and a true love for what you do, because if you don’t then you can make things very uncomfortable with your patients.
With getting your RN there is a lot of school, and depending on how you start and where you go the schooling process can take up to 6 years. I have heard of some RNs who got their school done within three but that is rare now-a-days since the RN career has become so attractive to people. First you have to take your general ed, and among these classes are most of the prerequisites for many of the registered nursing programs. Once you apply to the nursing program depending on how the school chooses to accept students, it can take up to 1-2 years to even be accepted. That’s why it is best to apply as soon as possible. Then once you’re in the program, if you’re passing the program takes 2 full years.
Then you graduate with a nursing degree and a bachelor’s degree if you did your 2 years of general ed first. Then once you are hired there is more training to come once you’re working in your specialty place. You follow an experienced RN around to make sure you’re doing things right.
When you first start as an RN your pay usually starts at about $68,000-$72,000, but that can vary as to where you choose to work. The more years of experience and your specialty the more you will get paid. A higher level nurse with experience can get paid any where from $75,000-$96,000. Along with good pay you tend to get great health and dental benefits, and even long-term benefits like a 401k plan, etc.
When it comes to professional associations for RNs, there are many. Unions are how registered nursing is based. Some examples of professional associations for RNs are the New York State Nurse Association, Registered Nurses Professional Association, and American Nurses Association.
So far the best path to attaining this career is school. It’s the only way you can become an RN. So far with me trying to get to my career I think I am on a good path. School does take time so I just can’t get discouraged or lose the long-term focus. Right now I’m working on the general ed and prerequisites to the nursing program. Also volunteering in hospitals is a really great way to familiarize yourself with the environment.
With the research I have done, I seem to learn a little more every time, even though this time around I think I have learned almost everything I can about this career. The only thing left to learn is the actual career of registered nursing.
Whenever I learn more or hear more about registered nursing it seems to interest me more and more and makes me want to achieve it as soon as I can. I’ve heard that all the hard work really pays off in the end, so that end result is truly what I look forward to.
- My aunt – RN management
- Case, Bette. Career Planning for Nurses (Professional Reference-Nursing).