How to Become a Nurse

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Careers in Nursing

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing is expected to have some of the highest growth across all job fields. Job opportunities for registered nurses ( RNs ) are expected to increase by 27 percent through the year 2014. Similarly, jobs for licensed practical nurses ( LPNs ) are expected to grow by 9 to 17 percent.

Nursing offers many professions, some of which are:

  • Emergency

  • Forensic

  • Radiology

Due to the diversity of careers found in nursing, nurses practice in a wide range of settings such as:

  • Hospitals

  • Homes

  • Schools

Nursing Schools

The first step to becoming a nurse involves graduating from high school. You'll then have to choose among the many programs that offer LPN and RN degrees .

Many high schools, hospitals, community and junior colleges, and universities have training programs in practical nursing. These programs last about one year and include classroom study and clinical practice.

Some LPNs eventually decide to become RNs through LPN -to- RN training programs. Additionally, if you're interested in becoming an RN, there are three educational options that will allow you to obtain this nursing degree :

BSN programs require four years of study, while ADN programs require three years to complete.

Online Nursing degrees

There also exists the possibility of acquiring an online nursing degree. These are offered by nursing schools and generally cover the same course content as that of traditional coursework. With these programs you'll complete the non-clinical part of your coursework online and the clinical practice portion will be completed at a medical facility.

As you can see, there are many options for high-school graduates interested in becoming a nurse. Plus, once you obtain your nursing degree , finding a job shouldn't be difficult.

Continuing Your Education with a Nursing Degree

Careers in nursing are expected to experience the highest job growth across all industries through the year 2012. If you're already a licensed practical nurse ( LPN ) or registered nurse ( RN ), you can increase your advancement opportunities by continuing your education with one of the training programs offered by nursing schools .

Nursing Degrees

If you hold an LPN degree , you may choose to take advantage of the many LPN -to- RN programs, which allow you to become a registered nurse. These programs can take as little as a year to complete since some schools give credit toward previous LPN work experience.

RNs who have received a diploma or associate degree in nursing, can enroll in an accelerated bachelor's of science (BSN) degree program that lasts anywhere from 12 to 18 months. RNs that have a BSN degree may further advance their careers by enrolling in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program. An MSN degree will allow you to work in one of the four advanced nursing careers:

  • Clinical nurse specialists

  • Nurse anesthetists

  • Nurse midwives

  • Nurse practitioners

If you're interested in becoming a nurse, but hold a bachelor's degree in another discipline, you'll be happy to know that some nursing schools offer accelerated MSN degrees . These schools require prerequisite courses related to the natural and behavioral sciences.

You can also continue working while attending school by taking advantage of online nursing degrees. Online nursing degrees will have you complete the non-clinical part of your courses online, while the clinical practice portion will be given at a medical facility.

As you can see, the possibilities for increasing your job advancement opportunities are virtually endless. Plus, with the projected increase in nursing jobs, you're chance for a rewarding career in nursing is great.


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