Nurse Training and Education
There is a growing demand for workers in the health care industry. The demand is only
expected to increase as baby boomers age, increasing their need for health care while at
the same time retiring from these positions in record numbers. The outlook for those
interested in a career in nursing is very good. Although the education required to become
a nurse is intensive, the pay scale is lucrative and many hospitals provide tuition
The education requirements for nursing include both theoretical and practical
experience. The theoretical work includes classroom education, and covers subjects such as
chemistry, nutrition and anatomy. The practical work provides the student nurse with
hands-on supervised training in the clinical setting. Once you have completed the nursing
training from an approved nursing school you are required to take, and pass, the NCLEX-RN,
a licensing exam. Upon passing the exam you are awarded your RN license.
There are a variety of roads to becoming a registered nurse. Many community colleges
offer an associate program. Using this program, you can have a nursing license in two to
three years. It is also an economical choice, as most community colleges are substantially
less expensive than a traditional four year state or private school. If you choose the
four year degree, you will graduate with a B.S.N. or Bachelor of Science in Nursing. You
will still be a RN, and must still pass the licensing exam before earning the right to
wear your scrubs.
The benefit of obtaining a bachelorís degree is that the four year degree is required
for many supervisory positions within the nursing field, and you must have a B.S.N to
receive your master's degree. Many colleges now offer a fast track program to allow those
with their RN to complete their B.S.N. in a short amount of time, attending classes part
time or over the internet.
Master's degree programs in nursing allow a nurse to receive a higher level of
compensation as well as the capability to work with more autonomy. A master's program also
allows the nurse to specialize in the type of nursing that he or she prefers. There are
master's programs available in clinical specialties, such as a nurse anesthetist or a
Many schools also allow a nurse to enter the teaching field with a master's degree.
A master's program in nursing, regardless of the specialization, typically requires two
years of coursework. A nurse may also choose to earn his or her doctorate degree in nursing,
which would open up many administration level jobs as well as the ability to teach in any college.
Nursing programs are approved by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. To
ensure that you are properly prepared for the licensing exam that you must pass before
becoming an RN, choose a school that is fully accredited. This means, among other things,
that their curriculum has been examined and determined to cover the material that is
included in the NCLEX-RN exam.