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How to Build a Career as a Registered Nurse in the US?
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How to Build a Career as a Registered Nurse in the US?

Oct 10, 2022

Becoming a registered nurse (RN) in the US can be a rewarding career choice. It is one of the most promising careers indeed. According to BLS, there were more than 3,130,600 jobs for RNs in the US in 2021. Registered nurses are some of the most committed medical workers in the business. 

They are responsible for treating patients, managing medications, and diagnosing illnesses, among other duties. It’s also a profession that will allow you to work directly with people, helping them when they need it the most. Reading through this article will inform you how to become a registered nurse in the US and get started on your new career path today.

Get an Accelerated Degree in Nursing

If you have a bachelor’s degree and want to become an RN, you may be considering an accelerated program. These programs are shorter than traditional nursing programs and are often completed in just one year. But, unfortunately, they’re also more expensive than a traditional program.

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is a fast-paced, online nursing degree program designed to help you advance your career as a nurse. For those who are working and want to pursue a degree program to enhance their career but cannot match the schedule of in-campus college classes, an online degree program is the best option. The best part about an ABSN program online is that it allows you to earn a degree without taking time away from your job and family.

Gain Experience

The most vital step toward becoming a registered nurse is gaining practical experience. Nursing school courses are helpful but can’t replace hands-on experience with patients. In addition, you might find that some of your instructors are too theoretical to prepare you for the real world adequately.

So how do you get this experience? The simplest way is to work as an aide or nursing assistant while going to school full time. It will allow you plenty of time to focus on your studies while giving you valuable insight into what it’s like working as a registered nurse. 

Once again, if possible, try getting into a job at a hospital so that your duties include more than just assisting with tasks such as changing bandages and emptying bedpans. You’ll be able to observe how others work and get exposure to different areas within the nursing field.

Complete Clinical Hours

Clinical hours are the most crucial thing to consider when looking at your career as a registered nurse. To become licensed, you must complete a certain number of clinical hours. It is so because clinical hours allow you to learn how to work with patients and practice what you have learned in school.

Most states require RNs complete at least 1000 hours of clinical experience before being eligible for licensure. However, this number may vary depending on where they are in their education and where they plan on working once they graduate from nursing school.

Obtain Certifications

The first step to building a nursing career is obtaining certifications. There are many certifications available that will help you get hired by hospitals.

Here are some examples of the different types of certifications you can obtain:

  • Registered Nurse (RN) certification
  • Emergency Nursing Certification (ENC)
  • Nursing Assistant certification (CNA)

You can find out more about each of these at their website, which has information on obtaining those credentials. You should also check your state’s website for any additional requirements specific to your location.

The second thing you should do is maintain your credentials by keeping up-to-date with continuing education courses that meet the standards set forth by the licensing agency.

Find a Mentor

To build a successful career, you need someone to help you. First, find someone who is successful in a similar field and can offer advice on how to succeed in your career. A mentor will not only give you advice on how they became successful, but they will also provide insight into the industry from their perspective as an expert in their field. The type of mentor you choose will depend on what kind of advice or mentorship you are looking for. For example, if your goal is to become an expert nurse specializing in surgery, it would be best for your mentor to be someone who specializes in surgery nursing, such as an orthopedic surgeon.

Increase Your Nursing Skills

It’s crucial to keep up to date by reading journals, attending conferences and seminars, joining professional associations, or taking classes. However, if you don’t have time for all these activities, consider joining a study group with other nurses interested in learning more about the nursing field.

Being an RN means being part of an elite group of professionals who work hard every day to save lives and improve the quality of life for others. They are therefore considered one of the most honest professionals according to a poll by Gallup polls with 89% votes. As an RN, you must maintain your skills by continuing education throughout your career. In addition, it helps to continue providing excellent care for patients as they age or if there is a change in their condition.

Stay Updated On New Medical Technology and Practices

Once you have learned the basics of nursing, you must keep up to date on new medical technology and practices. Local colleges, universities, and online learning sites offer continuing education courses.

Registered Nurses – A Rewarding Career

A career as a registered nurse in the US can be rewarding for those passionate about helping others. As a nurse, you have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and help them with personal issues. You’ll be able to assist with surgeries, monitor patients’ vital signs, administer medications, and much more. Furthermore, there are so many different settings where you can work as an RN, from hospitals to nursing homes or even private practices.

Registered nurses earn excellent salaries compared to other professions requiring similar levels of education/training. According to a survey report of 2020, RNs earn an average income of approximately $80,000 annually in the US. Although the salary of RNs is decent, becoming an RN also means that being part of this profession will never become boring or routine. Every day presents new challenges that require skillful problem-solving skills and creativity when navigating unexpected situations.

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