A registered nurse (RN) is the glue that holds healthcare together. A nurse is a caregiver, educator and protector of a patient’s overall wellbeing. As an RN, you work directly with patients, whether at a hospital, medical office, nursing care facilities or other facility. You provide and coordinate patient care and educate patients and the public about various health conditions. Most importantly, you are part of a healthcare team, working with physicians and other medical professionals to make sure each patient receives the best care and treatment possible.
If nursing interests you, get a head start on math and science classes while in high school, including biology and chemistry. An RN can earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), but it’s the BSN that offers more earning potential and job responsibilities.
Once you earn the degree, you then need to successfully pass the NCLEX-RN exam to be a licensed RN. NCLEX-RN covers physiological adaptation, management of care, reduction of risk potential, safety and infection control, pharmacological and parenteral therapies, basic care and comfort, psychosocial integrity, and health promotion and maintenance. Most college programs provide training for the exam, but there are also review courses and booklets that are helpful.