A registered nurse or an RN is a licensed healthcare professional responsible for providing and assisting in patient care. The RN takes care of patients by administering medication and other treatments, consulting with other medical staff members, updating patients' records, predicting patients' needs, and educating patients and their family members on relevant conditions. These nurses must be licensed and have to have earned a bachelor, an associate's or similar degree in a nursing university or other program.
How To Become a Registered Nurse
To become a registered nurse, you usually need a associate degree and 1-2 years of experience. The most common jobs before becoming a registered nurse are staff nurse, licensed practical nurse, and certified nursing assistant. Hiring managers expect a registered nurse to have soft skills such as communication skills, compassion, and detail oriented.
The Registered Nurse license requirements vary by state. 43 states require registered nurses to have licensure for their work.
The national average salary for registered nurses is $73,349, but with the right certifications and experience, they can make up to $117,000. Getting a certification as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) will help you to earn more as a registered nurse.
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 12% and produce 371,500 job opportunities across the U.S.
How to become a Registered Nurse in 6 steps:
- Step 1: Explore registered nurse education
- Step 2: Develop registered nurse skills
- Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship
- Step 4: Obtain the necessary licensing
- Step 5: Research registered nurse duties
- Step 6: Prepare your resume
Key Steps To Become a Registered Nurse
Explore Registered Nurse Education
If you're interested in becoming a registered nurse, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 43.5% of registered nurses have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.7% of registered nurses have master's degrees. Even though some registered nurses have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a registered nurse. When we researched the most common majors for a registered nurse, we found that they most commonly have nursing, nursing science and psychology.
Registered Nurse Degrees
Registered Nurse Major Percentages Nursing 85.10% Nursing Science 3.10% Psychology 1.50% Business 1.40% Other Degrees 9.10%
Develop Registered Nurse Skills
It'll be a good idea to develop registered nurse skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in registered nurse job descriptions:
Skills Percentages Patients 23.84% BLS 10.41% CPR 5.94% Acute Care 4.88% Acls 4.82%
Complete Relevent Training/Internship
Registered nurses spend an average of 1-3 months on post-employment, on-the-job training. During this time, new registered nurses learn the skills and techniques required for their specific job and employer. The chart below shows how much time it takes to gain competency as a registered nurse based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and data from real registered nurse resumes.
Average Amount Of Time At Training
Less than 1 month
Obtain The Necessary Licensing
Becoming a licensed registered nurse usually require a college degree. However, you need to pass an exam to become a licensed registered nurse in most of states. 43 states require registered nurses to have license for their work. You can see the list of states below.
State Education Exam License Url Alabama Degree required State exam required Registered Nurse (RN) Alaska Degree required Third-party exam required Nurse, Registered Arkansas Degree required Third-party exam required Registered Nurse (RN) California Degree required Third-party exam required Nurse, Registered Colorado Degree required Third-party exam required Registered Nurse
Research Registered Nurse Duties
When you decide to become a registered nurse, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most registered nurse jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:
- Manage patient care for individuals with multiple diagnoses including COPD, diabetes, stroke and cardiac issues.
- Organize and manage regular clinics involving external physicians, including ophthalmology, ENT, Med/Surg, orthopedics, and podiatry professionals.
- Manage surgical recovery patients including vascular, ENT, GI urological and neurological cases, coronary bypass surgery patients.
- Manage patient pain relief and sedation by providing pharmacological and non-pharmacological intervention, monitor patient response and record care plans accordingly.
- Provide care for cardiac patients in arrhythmia critical care unit, providing patient education and monitoring telemetry
- Re-Cover surgical patients immediately after heart and vascular surgery until transfer out of ICU.
Prepare Your Resume
Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.
Choose From 10+ Customizable Registered Nurse Resume templatesBuild a professional Registered Nurse resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Registered Nurse resume.
Apply For a Registered Nurse Job
Registered Nurse Jobs
Average Salary for a Registered Nurse
What Am I Worth?
Becoming a Registered Nurse FAQs
What Should I Study To Become A Registered Nurse?
To become a registered nurse, you should study nursing basics and courses on such subjects as: