How to Become a Nurse?

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How to Become a Nurse

Proudly known to us as the frontline warriors, nurses are the eminent pillars of the healthcare system. They are caregivers and nurturers which stand by the side of patients after they have gone through a medical procedure or have been treated by the doctor. Nurses are also the key link between a doctor and a patient as they ensure that patients recover after their treatments and are given proper care to restore their wellbeing. For those interested in following the career path of a nurse, there is a wide range of Nursing courses available from training diplomas to full-fledged specialised degree programs. If you are exploring the question of how to become a nurse, then here’s a blog with collated information on all the major courses, universities and the complete career map that you can follow.

What Does a Nurse Do?

Nurses are the one’s who wear many hats in the medical field. From being able to coordinate with the doctors to provide complete care to patients. Here are a few responsibilities that are important across many different nursing specialities.

  • They assess the condition of their patients and also assist doctors in forming a treatment plan.
  • Nurses record patient’s medical data and relevant behaviour.
  • They operate and maintain medical equipment.
  • Work and communicate efficiently with other members of the healthcare team.
  • Advise families on the condition of the patient and post-hospital care.

Career in Nursing

While considering the question of how to become a nurse, you must also meticulously research about the type of nursing specialisation or career you want to pursue. There are various subfields available in Nursing which aspirants can choose from. Take a look at the major types of Nursing careers you can consider:

  • Registered Nurse
  • Paediatric Nurse
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Cardiac Nurse
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Critical Care Nurse
  • ER Nurse
  • Nurse Midwife

How to Become a Nurse?

Regardless of the particular specialisation, the initial steps along the journey of becoming a Nurse remain the same. Generally, many students opt for a diploma or associate degree and get the requisite training to become a general registered nurse but if you aim to become a specialised nurse as the profiles mentioned above, then you must opt for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the specialisation you want to pursue. Below, we have enlisted the major nursing courses you can explore to follow the noble profession of a nurse:

Diploma or Associate Degree in Nursing

An associate degree can be the ideal option for you if you want to work as a Nurse Assistant. The general duration of an associate degree or diploma ranges around 1-2 years during which you will be provided with the foundational knowledge of nursing as well as equipped with the essentials of patient care and nursing practices. Apart from an associate degree, you can explore the following diploma courses in Nursing:

Bachelor’s Degree Courses in Nursing 

As one of the popular courses for those aspiring to become a Nurse, bachelor’s degree programs in Nursing are more focused towards clinical training but the initial duration of programs emphasize on strengthening your theoretical knowledge of the field. Following the course structure, you will be equipped with clinical education applicable in various subfields of nursing. Here is a list of popular undergraduate degree programs in Nursing:

  • BSc Nursing
  • Bachelor’s in Nursing and Midwifery
  • Bachelor’s in Medical Rehabilitation and Nursing Care
  • Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Psychological Science

Accelerated Nursing Programs

Accelerated nursing programs are often pursued by students who are targeting a senior-level job in the field. Accelerated programs are fast-paced courses that equip the individual with preliminary education of a chosen specialisation along with the skills to work in intensive situations. These programs are also suitable for those planning to steer towards a career in Nursing but have completed their earlier bachelor’s degree in a different discipline. You can either opt for an integrated Accelerated and Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Accelerated Nursing course and these programs are available online as well as full-time courses.

Master’s Degree Programs in Nursing

If you aim to specialize in a particular field of Nursing, then opting for a master’s degree is the best route for you. There are numerous master’s degree courses available in Nursing and some of the prominent ones are listed below:

  • MSc in Nursing
  • Masters in Nursing in Critical and Emergency Care
  • Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing
  • Master’s in Medical Rehabilitation and Healthcare Management
  • Masters in Mental Health Nursing
  • MSc in Public Health Nursing
  • Master of Nursing (Research)
  • Master of Nursing (Perioperative Nursing)

Obtaining Licensure in Nursing

After completing a diploma, bachelor’s or master’s degree course registered under Indian Nursing Council, you will be qualified to practice as a registered nurse in the healthcare sector in India. For those aiming to get a license in Nursing, you can register with the State Nursing Registration Council of the state you want to work in. For those who wish to practice as a nurse in the USA or Canada, you have to qualify the National Nursing Licensure Examination. 

Courses for Nursing

There are many courses for nursing at various levels. Students can either opt for diploma courses or specialization or even complete their masters and doctorate in nursing. Here are a few courses for Nursing.

  • B.Sc. in Nursing (Basic)– bachelor’s degree course – 4 years
  • B.Sc. in Nursing (Post Basic) – 2 years 
  • ANM (Diploma in Auxiliary Nursing and Midwifery) – 2 years 
  • GNM (Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery) – 3.5 years
  • M.Sc. in Nursing– 2 years 
  • M.Phil. in Nursing– 1-year advanced program (2 years in part-time format)
  • PhD in Nursing– 3 to 5 years 

Types of Job Roles Nurse

There are various types of nurses that students can choose amongst after attaining the required educational qualification. The job profiles may also differ depending upon the need and requirement of the healthcare industry and the interests of the candidates. Listed below are a few job profiles for nurses.

  • Registered Nurse (RN): These nurses are registered by medical institutions and organisations. They work in hospital premises with physicians to perform tasks related to different medical settings.
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): These nurses work with or under the supervision of registered nurses or doctors and are responsible for giving injections and checking and maintaining medical requirements.  
  • Travel Nurse: These are registered nurses who work nationally and internationally on a temporary basis. 
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists: These are nurses who are skilled to diagnose and treat illness within their area of expertise. 
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Registered Nurse: ICU RNs have a prescribed and definite role designed only for taking care of medical requirements and maintenance related to the ICUs of hospitals or nursing homes. 
  • Operating Room (OR) Nurse: Commonly known as Perioperative Nurses or Scrub Nurses, operating room nurses are responsible for taking care of patients before, during and after the operation or surgery.
  • Home Health Nurse: These nurses are the ones who provide medical help and support to the patients at their homes. These nurses offer care mostly for patients with mobility or development issues.
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP): These nurses are work under the supervision of a doctor or physician and can also become independent medical practitioners prescribing medicines and diagnosing diseases.

Eligibility Criteria

Now that you are familiar with the educational qualifications you need to fulfil to become a nurse, take a look at the general admission prerequisites for Nursing courses:

  • For Bachelor’s courses: Candidates must have completed formal schooling of 10 + 2 with BiPC subjects.
  • For Master’s courses: A undergraduate degree like BSc Nursing or a related field in Medical Science.
  • If you are planning to study abroad, you will be required to submit scores of English language proficiency exams like IELTS, TOEFL, etc. along with LORs and SOP.

Top Universities Offering Nursing Courses

There is a wide range of medical schools and universities across the globe which offer specialised Nursing courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. We have enlisted the top Nursing colleges and universities you must consider for pursuing a diploma or degree in this field.

Key Employment Areas

Gaining the adequate educational qualifications required for becoming a nurse, you can explore lucrative opportunities in the healthcare industry. Here are the major employment areas for graduates in Nursing:

  • Private Hospitals 
  • Government Hospitals
  • Private Clinics 
  • Government Nursing Homes
  • Community Health Centres
  • Rehabilitation Centres 
  • Rural Health Care Centres
  • Educational Institutes 
  • Corporate Organisations 

Salary

Nursing is a unique and rewarding field that is now being pursued by many students. There are many specializations that come under nursing with varying salaries. Here are a few of the professions along with their salaries.

Specialized Profession Salary
Clinical Nurse $90,616
Informatics Nurse Specialist $82,710
Dialysis Nurse $70,806
Nurse Midwife $96,970
Nurse Anesthetist $174,790
Nurse Anesthetist $153,780
Family Nurse Practitioner $114,000

Hence, we hope that this blog provided you with the essential details on how to become a nurse. If you are unsure about the right course to pursue a career in Nursing, get in touch with our Leverage Edu experts and we will help you find the best program and university as per your interests and requirements. Sign up for a free session with us today!

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