Obtaining a registered nurse license is relatively straightforward for those with the dedication, time, and energy to learn.
However, students must complete several educational phases to acquire their license and begin work.
Registered nursing is a fantastic career that enables aspiring healthcare workers to improve the lives of their patients.
In addition, over 100 specializations exist to provide distinct careers for nurses with specific skill sets, interests, and needs.
Typically Duties of Registered Nurses
Registered nurses provide medical care and emotional support to patients with minor and acute injuries or illnesses.
They also educate communities and families on essential lifestyle and healthcare practices to prevent diseases and injuries.
As a result, extensive education and training are necessary to help patients achieve optimal health.
In terms of informing and educating patients about their condition, registered nurses teach them about their injuries and illness and provide answers to their questions.
The information they provide helps patients manage their injuries or disease more effectively.
Technical duties include recording patients’ symptoms, monitoring their recovery, administering medication, and assisting with treatments.
Registered nurses also participate in patient rehabilitation and collaborate with specialists to provide comprehensive care.
It all starts with developing academic and clinical skills to become registered nurses.
How to Get a Registered Nurse License
The first step towards earning your degree and becoming a registered nurse begins in high school.
To earn your registered nursing degree, you must have a GED or diploma before taking college courses.
Once you’ve earned your degree, you can apply to a college or university that offers a two-year or 4-year nursing program.
Those focused on the highest level of education may apply to nursing programs that offer MSN and DNP degrees.
Check here for an explanation of the various types of degrees nurses can earn and types of nursing degrees.
It’s essential to consider several important factors when applying to a nursing program.
These factors will help you determine whether a particular school is a correct fit for your academic needs.
Before applying to a school, consider how much the nursing program will cost.
You also want to evaluate the level of competition for getting into the program.
Some programs are highly competitive, requiring students to maintain a high GPA and complete challenging prerequisites.
Identify the resources and tools the school offers students to help them earn their nursing degrees.
Finally, determine the universities reputation and success rate for students who enter the program.
Complete Nursing School Prerequisites
Once you’ve found a school and applied to a nursing program, you’ll be required to take several prerequisite courses.
Before joining the program, you’ll also need to maintain a certain grade point average (GPA).
Nursing programs that have a high level of competition and fewer seats often have strict requirements.
As a result, it’s beneficial to sit down with a guidance counselor and determine you’re options.
They’ll help you understand what you must do to maintain the best chance of getting accepted into the program.
Because of this, many college students apply to multiple nursing programs to maximize their chances of getting accepted.
Enter a Nursing Program
Once you’ve completed the prerequisites and acceptance into the program, you’ll spend 2 – 4 years in nursing school.
The length of the nursing program depends on whether you pursue an ADN or BSN degree.
The ADN is an associate’s degree in nursing.
This degree requires two years of education for full-time students and prepares them for entry-level jobs.
As a result, it’s fantastic for students who want to enter nursing quickly and obtain a salary.
The BSN is a bachelor of science in nursing degree.
This degree requires four years of education for full-time students and prepares them for more advanced specializations.
While taking the program, you are highly encouraged to find a dedicated study group.
They can help you learn more effectively and keep you accountable, giving you the best chance of passing your courses.
By using the collective knowledge of the group, you’ll be able to find answers to complex questions.
You can also practice medical procedures and find the best solutions to healthcare and patient-related problems.
Nevertheless, choosing a group dedicated to pursuing the nursing field is essential.
A study group that is not focused on their education may be more distracting than helpful.
Pass the NCLEX-RN Examination
Upon completing the nursing program, you must take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.
It tests your academic knowledge and ensures you’re ready to obtain your registered nurse license.
You may have to pay licensing fees in the state you live and operate in to obtain your nursing license.
Read: “can registered nurses work in any state” for a thorough explanation of obtaining your license in various states.
After passing the NCLEX-RN examination, you’ll earn your registered nursing license to work in healthcare.
As stated earlier, gaining as much experience as possible to maximize your odds of getting a job after nursing school,
Congratulations, you’ve officially obtained your registered nurse license and can begin applying for healthcare jobs!
Gain Field Experience
It’s beneficial to gain as much field experience as possible when you begin your career.
Gaining experience helps you understand the field and gives you a better chance of getting hired once you earn a degree.
Students interested in obtaining early in-field training may apply for internships or volunteer work while in school.
You can also look for a job in a related nursing area if you have obtained LPN certification to gain work experience.
Is it Hard to Get a Registered Nurse License?
Getting a registered nursing license is relatively straightforward.
However, obtaining licensure takes years of education and dedication in a nursing program and passing the NCLEX-RN.
How hard acquiring a license is depends on how well nursing students develop their study routines and learn effectively.
Working full-time while attending nursing school makes it much more challenging to perform well in college.
It’s tough for those with numerous responsibilities outside of academics.
As a result, the best option is to concentrate primarily on school and work only as needed.
It’s also beneficial to select a nursing school with high passing rates.
Some universities and colleges have passing rates of up to 97%.
Getting into a nursing program alone can be highly challenging.
Some universities have acceptance rates as low as 35%, while more lenient schools accept up to 75% of applicants.
Therefore, you’ll want to research the best schools to ensure you perform well throughout the program and the NCLEX.
Nursing school can be challenging for those without good study practice, tutoring, and study groups.
Thus, taking each semester seriously and performing well is vital for succeeding in nursing school and getting licensed.
One bad semester doesn’t necessarily mean students are doomed to fail.
However, poor grades and ineffective study routines will make it more challenging to perform well later in the program.
Remain diligent, work only when needed and dedicate sufficient time to studying outside the classroom.
Nurse Licensure Compact
Registered nurses with licensure in their home state may need to apply for a license in additional states they wish to work.
Each state has specific requirements registered nurses must satisfy to obtain and maintain their licensure.
As a result, a registered nurse may not automatically operate in a different state without approval.
The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) enables registered nurses with a single license to work quickly in other compact states.
Unlike single-state licensure, those with an NLC can operate in additional accepted states without applying for separate licenses.
A Nurse Licensure Compact is a multi-state license that meets the requirements of multiple states and is approved by them.
Therefore, obtaining an NLC is ideal for registered nurses who frequently move to different states.
Those who operate as travel nurses particularly benefit from a Nurse Licensure Compact agreement.
It allows them to accept temporary assignments from different locations more easily.
They don’t need to worry about applying for licensure in each state they wish to work.
Nevertheless, registered nurses must understand which states have a Nurse Licensure Compact agreement.
Some states do not accept NLCs or have additional requirements registered nurses must meet to obtain licensure.
In addition, registered nurses who lose licensure in their state will likely not be able to use an NLC to work in another state.
State Licensure Restrictions
A registered nurse’s licensure restrictions and scope of practice may vary depending on the state they conduct their work duties.
As a result, registered nurses must understand state laws and regulations to operate legally within their state.
Advanced practice registered nurses also encounter restrictions in reduced and limited practice states.
Some restrictions include diagnostic capacities, prescriptive medicine constraints, and independent practice limitations.
APRNs may also have a more limited scope of practice in specific states.
Some advanced practice registered nurses require a physician’s or MD’s oversight for specific medical duties in reduced and limited practice states.