Registered Nurse Requirements
This post provides complete information on the requirements, including educational, job, and certification, you may need to meet to become a registered nurse and succeed in your career.
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Registered Nurse Requirements for Career Success
Here are major requirements to meet for a successful registered nurse career:
- Registered Nurse Educational Requirements
To start up a career as a registered nurse, you need to have certain educational trainings that will qualify and prepare you adequately to be able to effectively handle the responsibilities of the job.
Recruiters for the registered nurse position commonly demand that applicants for the position meet certain educational requirements because they want to be sure that the person they are hiring has been effectively train to succeed as a registered nurse.
So, if you are interested in becoming a registered nurse, the kind of education you need to have is given below:
- Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN): An Associate’s degree in nursing is a stepping stone if you want to start a career in nursing.
It prepares students to enter into the nursing career after just two years of full-time enrollment. It requires the student to complete a number of clinical hours so as to graduate.
It includes fundamental nursing courses such as Anatomy, Microbiology, and Pharmacology.
It also includes essential art courses like English, Writing and Communication, and Psychology. It prepares students for employment in the nursing field immediately after graduation.
Admission requirements for Associate’s degree in Nursing: To enroll for this program, the applicant must attain a high school GPA of at least 2.5 or college GPA of at least 2.0, and must at least have a “C” grade or higher in Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Reading comprehension and Vocabulary.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): It takes typically four years of full time enrollment to complete BSN.
Many hospitals and pharmacy outlets or other health-based organizations prefer nurses with Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing to those with Associate’s degree.
In the first two years of the program, students are to study courses such as Psychology, Physiology, and Organic chemistry, and in the last two years of the program students gain instructions in nursing practices and techniques like Pediatrics.
They also go further to study chronic diseases and mental health. In addition, they gain clinical experience in health care facilities.
Admission requirements for Bachelor’s degree in Nursing: The admission requirements will vary, but generally the applicant must have CGPA of 2.72 or higher in High School or Associate’s degree program, and must pass the required courses like Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics.
- Master’s of Science degree in Nursing (MSN): The Master’s of Science degree in Nursing comes after the Bachelor’s degree.
It consists of several different specializations where nurses are able to specialize in a specific medical field such as Mental Health, Anesthesiology, Pediatrics, and Gerontology.
The Master’s degree in nursing program impacts advanced knowledge in students for the particular nursing career they have chosen.
Students with Bachelor’s nursing degree take two years to earn a Master’s degree.
Admission requirements for Master’s of Science degree in nursing: To enlist for the MSN program, the candidate must attain a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing before beginning graduate studies.
Most Master’s degree programs require a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher in Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
- Doctorate Degree in Nursing: An individual can further their education to a Doctorate degree level.
A Doctorate degree presents the holder as an expert in the nursing profession who is qualified for top administrative nursing positions.
The Doctorate in nursing degree is divided into two parts, which are Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Nursing (DNP).
PhD takes up to four to six years to complete and candidates for the program must write a dissertation.
DNP prepares nurses for the highest positions in a clinical setting, and it takes 2 or 3 years to complete the program.
Admission requirements for Doctorate in nursing degree program: The Doctoral degree in nursing is a terminal degree; it requires applicants to hold a Master’s degree in nursing before they are admitted for the program.
2. Registered Nurse Job Requirements
To work as a registered nurse, recruiters or employers will expect you to meet specific requirements, which may differs from one organization to another.
Here are major requirements you may be expected to meet to be considered for the registered nurse job:
- Clinical skills: Registered nurses need to have good clinical skills to provide care for patients, as well as assist physicians in providing treatment to patients in various medical settings
- Solid knowledge of health and safety procedures and guidelines (decontamination, sanitation, etc.) and willingness to follow them at all times
- Medical teamwork: Registered nurses should have the ability to work in collaboration with members of different departments in a medical health setting
- Multi-tasking: Nurses will face multiple patients with differing needs and stages of health conditions. Being organized and knowing how to scale preferences and prioritizing will be helpful
- Registered nurses need to know how to assess a patient’s health status, carryout diagnoses as administered by the doctor, and also detect changes in symptoms, health or pain, and also need to know how to ratio the administration of medications
- Verbal communication and listening skills: As a registered nurse, you will be communicating directly with patients who are seriously ill, in pain or in shock. Families and relatives will have questions and want answers from you. You will need to be a good listener and a communicator to help keep everyone calm and help them understand the situation, and give them encouragement to stay positive about the situation whether critical or minor
- Being able to carryout duties in the heat of emergency will be necessary; nurses are likely to face emergencies and life-or-death situations.
3. Registered Nurse Certification Requirements
Having a certification as a registered nurse will help you stand out in the industry and put you in a position to gain juicy jobs.
If you are a registered nurse and want to be certified by an accredited certification program, you may consider enrolling in any of these programs:
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA): This certification allows nurses to administer anesthesia for surgery.
This third party program vouch that an individual is worthy to prescribe anesthesia for patients.
Requirements: To enroll in this program, the candidate must first earn a Master’s degree and to qualify for the test, the nurse must hold an appropriate registered nurse license.
- Family Nurse Practitioner: This program impacts knowledge on the student to care for medically stable patients across age groups, including infants.
It gives the individual the competency to diagnose illness, examine patients, and administer care.
Requirements: Applicants must have a Master’s or Doctoral degree in nursing from an authorized or recognized college.
- Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN): OCN is a certification issued to candidate after successfully completing the program.
Students are given instructions and tuitions on how to care for people of all ages who are diagnosed with cancer.
Requirements: Attained Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and a proof of two years of work experience within the last four years. Additionally, applicants need to have completed at least 1,000 hours of adult oncology practice in nursing.
- Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN): The Certified Pediatric Nurse is issued to candidates to certify that they are qualified to work as a pediatric nurse.
This program gives the individual the knowledge on the medical care of neonates and children up to adolescence.
Requirements: To earn the Certified Pediatric Nurse credentials, applicants must hold an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree.
Nurse also need 1,800 pediatric clinical hours completed within the last two years or 3,000 hours of duty as a pediatric nurse in the past five years.
- AIDS Certified Registered Nurse (ACRN): ACRN is issued to nurses who have completed the program.
The certification vouches that the nurses have specialized knowledge about HIV/AIDS, including how to help the infected patients live productive life with the disease.
Requirements: To enroll for this program, you must have attained a Bachelor’s degree and have at least 2 years experience as a registered nurse in a clinical practice.
Registered Nurse Responsibilities
Registered nurses work as part of a team with physicians or doctors and other nurses to provide care to patients.
Shown below are highlights of registered nurse major responsibilities:
- Diagnosing diseases by analyzing patients’ symptoms and following a treatment procedure, taking required actions for their recovery
- Ensure working environments are safe and hygienic in adherence with procedures set by the healthcare facility
- Performing laboratory duties and giving complete information to the physician about patient’s condition during or after anesthesia administration
- Preparing room for surgery and decontaminating equipment and instruments that will be used for the surgery
- Observing and recording patients’ behavior and how they tend to respond to medical treatments administered to them
- Discussing treatment with pharmacists and physicians in the critical cases and how to solve the case
- Recommending drugs, medications, and other forms of treatment, like inhalation therapy, physical therapy, etc.
- Considering the age of the patient and their emotional stability and determining the appropriate treatment
- Adhere to the philosophies and standards of care of hospital and nursing division set by state board of nursing, state nurse practice act, and other governing agency regulations
- Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops and participating in professional societies
- Educate patients and the public on disease prevention and health maintenance.
See registered nurse job description