How to become registered nurse

How to become registered nurse

Job description: What woes a registered nurse (RN) do?

Hardly any other job profile is so dedicated to the ideal of charity as that of the nurse. Nurses are there for their patients around the clock and look after and care for them. Also, nurses are important assistants for treating doctors. You not only work with them during the examinations but also document the course of the illness and always keep patient documents up to date.

Due to demographic change, nurses are among the most sought-after specialists in the job market. As a result of the increasing aging of society and better medical care, it is already foreseeable that in ten or 20 years more elderly people who need care will have to be cared for. Accordingly, the job prospects are good to very good.

Nurses do their job not only in hospitals but also in nursing and residential homes, hospitals, and outpatient care facilities. Since patient care must also be guaranteed at night, the job profile of the nurse is not a classic nine-to-five job. Shifts and night shifts belong to the job description. To compensate, there are not only salary supplements but also the corresponding time off.

Education: How do you become a registered nurse?

The prerequisite for being able to work in the nursing profession is a medium-level educational qualification or comparable completed schooling. The training to become a nurse lasts three years and ends with a state examination, the exam. It is divided into a theoretical and practical part, in which the basics of health and nursing or health and children’s nursing are taught.

Theoretical training takes place at state-recognized nursing schools and includes the following focuses:

  • Health and nursing
  • Nursing and health sciences
  • Scientific and medical basics
  • Nursing knowledge from the humanities and social sciences

The lessons also include the practical exercise of various tasks and work processes in practical care. This includes:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Put on and change bandages
  • Pressure ulcer prophylaxis and care
  • General wound care
  • Administration of medication
  • The practical training is divided into a general area and a differentiation area.

In the general area, prospective nurses learn the basics of health care and nursing for people of all ages in inpatient care in the fields of surgery, orthopedics, internal medicine, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and maternity and neonatal care. Outpatient care in the preventive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative areas is also on the curriculum.

Specialization takes place in the differentiation phase. The aim is to acquire knowledge that is specifically required in specific inpatient facilities such as surgery, psychiatry, pediatrics, or pediatric surgery. The nurse training ends with three written, three oral, and one practical exam.

Employer: Who is looking for a registered nurse

Nurses help sick people to regain, improve, maintain, and promote their physical and mental health and can find employment in the following areas:

  • In hospitals
  • In specialist practices
  • In health centers
  • In old people’s homes and nursing homes
  • In dormitories for people with disabilities
  • In outpatient social services
  • With health insurances / medical services

Salary: How much does a registered nurse make?

The income of nurses differs depending on whether they work for a public, church, or private institution. The region also influences the level of gross monthly income.

Map of registered nurse salaries

The darker areas on the map show where registered nurses earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Map of registered nurse salaries
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $50,800 ($24.42/hour)
  • Median Annual Salary: $71,730 ($34.48/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $106,530 ($51.22/hour)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Also, there are wage surcharges for performing special work. These surcharges are usually between 20 and 30 percent and are paid out in the following cases:

  • Overtime
  • Extra layers
  • Night shifts
  • Holiday work
  • On-call service
  • Alternating shifts
  • On-call service

Entry opportunities: the prospects for registered nurses

The health sector in USA is an important economic factor and growing market with diverse employment potential. Well-trained nurses are wanted nationwide in health and social services. This will not change in the next few years due to demographic developments and increasing health awareness among the population. This means that the nursing profession is not the only current, but will also be a crisis-proof job with excellent entry opportunities on the job market.

Application: How do registered nurses score

Anyone who is interested in the natural sciences and has access to medical topics, likes to help other people, and is socially-minded, is the right advice with the job profile of the nurse.

In dealing with sick people and their relatives, however, resilience also plays a significant role. Also, prospective nurses should combine the following skills in their resume and cover letter and highlight them accordingly in their application documents :

  • Teamwork
  • Communication talent
  • Independence
  • Sense of responsibility
  • To be free from fear of contact
  • Empathy in dealing with patients
  • To be able to keep calm in difficult situations

Also, close physical contact with sick and elderly people shouldn’t be a problem for budding nurses. Also, they should be able to advise and listen carefully.

Career: Development opportunities as a registered nurse

After completing their training, nurses can complete numerous specialist training courses. In the meantime, there are specialist training courses for specialist nurses in almost every direction in the hospital, for example in the following areas:

  • Intensive care
  • Dialysis
  • Pediatric nursing
  • Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Anesthesia
  • Pain management
  • Intensive care
  • Psychiatry

There are also other options. Anyone who would like to continue their training outside of practical nursing in the hospital can train to become a hygiene specialist, ward or department manager, nursing service manager, practice manager, or case manager.

Graduates with a high school diploma can also take the academic path. The courses in nursing science, nursing pedagogy, and nursing management/nursing economics enable university qualifications and pave the way for further careers. You can then work in nursing research institutions or nursing schools. Alternatively, a degree in medicine and a career as a doctor is recommended.

Registered nurse resume template

With a successful resume, you collect important plus points with which you can secure the invitation to an interview. Don’t leave the success of your applications to chance and use our nurse resume template. You can also choose ready-made templates for nurses in this section of the site.

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How to become registered nurse
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How to become registered nurse
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Are you contemplating a career as a registered nurse (RN)? Review a registered nurse (RN): job description, educational requirements, skills, salary, qualifications.
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