How to Become a Nurse: A Complete Guide (2023)

Nurses of all educational backgrounds and levels are needed now more than ever. With the population aging and becoming sicker, there is an especially urgent demand for second career nurses. Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and nursing assistants are also highly sought after.

The increased need for more nurses in the workforce necessitates the education of nursing students to prepare them for the real world. This article will help you understand how to become a nurse from start to finish, including the education aspiring nurses need to complete, such as an online accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

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The following information will serve as a good starting point for anyone who is interested in becoming a nurse:

  • What is a Nurse?
  • How to Become a Nurse: 4 Steps
  • History of Nursing
  • Paths to Becoming a Nurse: 5 Types of Nurses
  • Common RN Practice Areas and Work Hours
  • RN versus NPs: What’s the Difference?
  • Where Do Nurses Work?
  • Required Skills to Become a Nurse
  • Qualities of a Nurse
  • Roles and Responsibilities of a Nurse
  • How Much Do Nurses Make?
  • How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse?

What is a Nurse?

Working within a team of health care professionals, nurses are responsible for the care and overall well-being of individuals who may need medical or care interventions for a multitude of reasons. Nurses provide compassionate support in an ever-changing environment.

Nurses work in a wide range of areas and specialties, including acute care settings like hospitals and surgical centers, as well as home health agencies, schools and nursing homes. Roles can range from working as a certified nursing assistant to conducting research on a variety of complicated health care questions at the PhD or doctorate level.

The majority of the workforce consists of registered nurses (RNs). Most RNs have a bachelor’s degree, which is typically acquired at a four-year university. However, this can be completed in as little as two years through certain accelerated nursing programs.

How to Become a Nurse: 4 Steps

The path toward delivering patient care as a licensed RN can vary from person to person, but the general steps will be the same. The nursing program and state where you are planning to practice will determine the necessary process for how to become a nurse.

Step 1: Complete an Education

The first step toward becoming an RN is to complete an official registered nurse program. Many programs are limited entry, which means that there are specific requirements such as a certain GPA and prerequisites. Additionally, an application is needed to be accepted into the program.

If you are accepted into a nursing program, the following prerequisite courses are typically necessary in order to start. Many also require laboratory hours, so this should be factored in when planning your semester:

  1. Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2
  2. General Chemistry for Health Science Majors
  3. Developmental Psychology
  4. Microbiology
  5. Sociology or Anthropology
  6. Statistical Analysis

Additionally, some programs require applicants to sit for an entrance exam to ensure that the minimum math, English and science standards are met. Each program is different, and how the entrance exam is applied can inform your approach to it. Some programs will take an average score of prior exams, while others will accept your highest score if attempted more than once.

Step 2: Register for and Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam

After you have completed an accredited nursing program, you can register to take the exam all nurses must complete to become licensed. The NCLEX-RN is a standardized test that determines whether a newly graduated nurse can competently and safely perform the duties of the job.

As a nursing student, you will be required to study for the board certification examination as part of your program. Review courses are available, which offer additional preparation to help you pass the boards on your first attempt. Depending on the type of nursing program, you may be required to complete a review course as part of your tuition, while others offer it for an additional cost.

Apply for State Licensure

After you pass the NCLEX-RN exam you’ll need to apply for the state license or compact license with the state board of nursing that you wish to work in. Some states are considered “compact states,” which allows a nurse to obtain licensure in a particular state and practice in several other states that participate in the compact agreement.

Apply for Nursing Jobs

Upon receiving your state or compact nursing license you can start to apply for available nursing positions. If you’ve been granted a compact license, you can apply for RN jobs in any state that’s part of the Nurse Licensure Compact.

History of Nursing

The history of nursing dates back to the mid-19th century with Florence Nightingale, who had a theory that the environment around those who are sick could affect the overall health and recovery process of an individual. The theory involved five main environmental areas of concern:

  • Fresh air
  • Pure water
  • Effective drainage
  • Cleanliness or sanitation
  • Light or direct sunlight

In 1854, Nightingale tested her nursing theory during Britain’s Crimean War. Thanks to her revolutionary ideas during that period, many lives were saved. Nightingale’s approach to caring for the sick proved to be very effective.

At the turn of the 20th century, many industrialized countries began establishing professional associations that ultimately set the standards for both trained nursing assistants and untrained nurses.

In the mid-1930s, increased technological and clinical demands of patient care required transitioning to a more intensive setting than the home. This need for more specialized care led to the demand for hospital beds and trained nursing staff. By the mid-1950s, hospitals were the largest employer of RNs. This trend continues today — even with a growing number of in-home health options for patients.

Due to these changes in the health care industry over time, the educational path of nurses evolved. This includes training all nurses in typical educational settings. By the 1970s, education had expanded to include doctoral-level programs that emphasized nursing knowledge and research.

This expansion catered to the more immediate needs within the nursing field and paved the way for the present day, leading to the current nursing trends of today. While the majority of nurses are female, many males have worked in the nursing field throughout history and present day, making up about 13% of the nursing workforce.

How to Become a Nurse: A Complete Guide (1)

Paths to Becoming a Nurse: 5 Types of Nurses

RNs are the most sought-after nursing credential, making up most of the health care workforce. Education for nurses can range from earning the certificate necessary to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) all the way to a doctorate for a nurse practitioner role. Each state has a different set of criteria and scope of practice for each level of nursing. Therefore, the path to becoming a nurse can vary greatly depending on the state where a nurse is licensed.

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)

CNAs are nursing assistants who work directly with RNs to provide routine care and collect data for reporting purposes. They help patients with bathing, dressing and maintaining as much independence as possible. Most CNA programs can be completed in just a few weeks, with few prerequisites and a one-time certifying exam at the end of the program. CNAs are not required to take the NCLEX exam.

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs)

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are nurses who work alongside RNs in direct patient care. LPNs are usually able to monitor and document medical history and communicate with doctors and RNs to provide the best possible care for their patients. The state where the LPN is licensed and the scope of practice defined by the state board of nursing will determine where LPNs are utilized within the workforce.

In most states, they can provide routine care and procedures such as changing dressings. Some states permit them to start IVs and administer medications independently. However, they are typically restricted to oral medication administration under the supervision of an RN. LPNs and LVNs must complete a diploma in practical nursing or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Vocational or Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) before they can practice.

Registered Nurses

As the largest group of individuals in the health care field, RNs collaborate with LPNs and CNAs to ensure the safety of patients. RNs assess patients’ medical conditions, educate patients on disease processes, administer medications and communicate with physicians and health care team members. In addition to managing the care of multiple patients at once, they supervise CNAs and LPNs to ensure that competent and safe care is provided. Registered nurses must pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

Nurse Practitioners

A nurse practitioner (NP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) with an advanced degree, which is typically attained through either a master’s or a doctoral program. NPs perform similar duties to physicians, such as diagnosing and prescribing medications for patients. They also conduct assessments, analyze and interpret lab and test results and create care plans through collaboration with each patient and their needs.

In addition to passing the NCLEX-RN exam, aspiring NPs must also pass a nurse practitioner exam. The type of NP certification exam a candidate must sit for varies depending on the area of medicine they wish to specialize in, such as family nurse practitioner. A comprehensive list of NP certification exams is available on the American Nurses Association website.

Common RN Practice Areas and Work Hours

Nursing professionals are dispersed across various settings and work with many different patient populations. Professionals interested in how to become a nurse have numerous specialization areas and settings they can work in, including:

  • Pediatrics
  • Surgical services
  • Women’s health
  • Research
  • Geriatrics
  • Skilled nursing or home health
  • Inpatient psychiatric facilities
  • Education

Working hours for RNs and NPs can vary widely based on the facility where they work. For example, those employed in private or group practice settings may work 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, during standard business hours. Nurses employed by facilities that provide 24-hour care, such as hospitals and hospice care centers, may need to work night, weekend, holiday and on-call shifts.

RN versus NPs: What’s the Difference?

One of the biggest differences between these roles is how to become a nurse versus a nurse practitioner. NPs possess at least a master’s-level education and can specialize in several different areas. Certified nurse anesthetists may administer anesthesia for both routine and complex medical procedures. Most programs require years of critical care clinical experience to apply for additional certifications.

Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are nurse practitioners whose scope of practice ranges across the entire lifespan. FNPs are in growing demand and have the potential to work in many different specialties and settings.

Like RNs, advanced practice nurses work directly with patients to provide compassionate and appropriate care. Working independently within a team, they do what is best for the patient at any given point throughout their care.

Because NPs hold at least a master’s degree, they can participate in the research and development of policies and procedures and hold more leadership roles. Depending on the scope of practice, NPs may independently order tests and procedures and perform more complex and more invasive procedures than RNs can.

Determining your path comes down to knowing what you are looking for in a career. Some thrive in a leadership role with more autonomy and responsibility, while others prefer to be hands-on with patients at the bedside in an RN role.

How to Become a Nurse: A Complete Guide (2)

Where Do Nurses Work?

Many health care facilities are always open. With most nurses employed by hospitals and nursing care facilities, most of their patients require care 24 hours a day. As a result, nurses are commonly employed in full-time positions. However, part-time and per diem roles are also available to provide around-the-clock care. This means shifts can last either eight or twelve hours, depending on your specialty and setting.

  • CNAs are largely employed in nursing care settings like skilled nursing facilities, with another one-third in hospitals.
  • The majority of LPNs work in nursing homes and residential care facilities. Hospitals, doctors’ offices and home health settings are the main employers of LPNs.
  • Hospitals employ the majority of RNs in the workforce. This is followed by outpatient facilities and doctors’ offices.
  • The largest employer of NPs is hospitals, followed by outpatient facilities and educational services.

Required Skills to Become a Nurse

During any shift, a nurse performs many duties and tasks that require specialized training and education. That being said, maintaining a good understanding of yourself and how you work and learn best is one of the most important skills a nurse can learn to develop to provide competent care.

  • Performing and monitoring invasive procedures: Nurses are responsible for handling many procedures. Staying organized and aware of surroundings is critical to maintaining a sterile environment. Nurses are skilled in starting and maintaining intravenous access and drawing blood for laboratory tests.
  • Basic mathematics: Nurses are required to accurately determine the dose of medications and ensure the safety of patients. Most measurements and medication dosages you will be working with use the metric system, so understanding it is important to ensure safety and consistency throughout care.
  • Critical thinking: Nurses work in a highly dynamic industry. Needs are rarely the same from one patient to the next. Conditions can change rapidly, which requires medical staff to look at the entire person and provide individualized care.
  • Communication skills: Working directly with patients, nurses are responsible for providing education and presenting important medical information. Being an efficient and effective communicator is especially important. This includes sharing changes with all necessary individuals and explaining complex medical conditions in a way that makes sense to patients.
  • Time management: In many settings, nurses are responsible for multiple patients at a time. Patients’ needs must be prioritized and clustered to complete all necessary tasks. Time management is a skill that benefits both nurses and patients.

Qualities of a Nurse

Nurses are the front line of health care. They work directly with patients, collect data and facilitate the logistics required at every turn of care. Nurses are experienced in working with people and managing their health-related problems and concerns. They are also trained in looking at the individual as a whole.

Despite the fact that there are no character requirements for acceptance into a nursing program, certain qualities can help you become a nurse and improve the lives of patients as well as make nurses’ lives in and out of work run more efficiently, including:

  • Emotional stability: Working in emotionally charged situations can be challenging for nurses. Understanding yourself, maintaining the ability to control your emotions and having a healthy outlet to release frustrations may be crucial. A strong support system can also be invaluable for nurses who find themselves in these situations daily. Knowing people will support you during difficult times can be very comforting and play a part in how you process the emotions of the job.
  • Choosing to care for those at their most vulnerable: As a health care professional, you will be exposed to many vulnerable moments throughout your career. You may find yourself in many situations where you have no control over the outcome. Nevertheless, showing support for your patients as they go through vulnerable transitions is imperative.
  • Physical stamina: Nurses spend most of their time at work on their feet in a fast-paced working environment. Shifts can be very long, and there may be limited time to sit down and nourish yourself. Patients are also becoming heavier. Nurses are typically responsible for turning those patients who are bedbound and need assistance. This means that it could be helpful for nurses to be capable of lifting a considerable amount of weight.
  • Compassion: It’s important to be compassionate and empathetic when it comes to handling patients' conditions. Nurses care for people when they are in a vulnerable state, which can be challenging on an emotional level.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Nurse

RNs are responsible for many aspects of the health care system, including overall patient well-being and safety. They also have medical knowledge that allows them to conduct assessments, prioritize medical interventions, administer medications and educate patients about simple and complex medical procedures.

RNs can be given a range of tasks and responsibilities, depending on their clinical setting and official duties. They are responsible for drawing blood, communicating lab results, administering treatment or procedures and educating patients on their changing health conditions. General duties include:

  • Documenting and communicating health history
  • Communicating with physicians
  • Monitoring responses to medications
  • Consulting with health care team
  • Assessing health status
  • Interpreting vital signs

How Much Do Nurses Make?

Nursing salaries vary by level of education, geographical location across the country and the specialty and setting a nurse works in. Most nurses work in full-time positions that typically include retirement and insurance packages. Because there is such high demand for nurses, there are many opportunities to increase income by picking up extra shifts or working a per diem job in addition to your full-time position.

Keeping that variability in mind, median salaries for these common nursing roles are a good estimate of what the typical nurse in each position earns.

  • CNA: The median annual income was $30,310 in 2021.
  • LPN: The median annual income was $48,070 in 2021.
  • RN: The median annual income was $77,600 in 2021.
  • NP: The median annual income was $120,680 in 2021.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse?

Becoming a nurse can take as little as 16 months depending on the route and role you're interested in. If you remain focused and have a previous degree before enrolling, there could be prerequisite classes that you do not need to retake.

There are many different ways to become an RN and various levels of education to get there. Typical nursing programs are held at four-year universities and follow a traditional school semester schedule. Due to the popularity and increased demand for more nurses, there are now many nontraditional options when it comes to nursing school.

Nowadays, several nursing programs are specifically designed for a career transition to nursing, with many online class options for convenience. These fast-track nursing programs can be completed in as little as 16 months and can have you starting your new career in another industry in less than two years.

Learn why Marymount University's online ABSN students chose our fast-track nursing program to kickstart their new careers.

Become a Nurse with Marymount University’s Online ABSN Program

Nursing can be a fulfilling and rewarding career, offering the ability to provide patients with competent and compassionate care. Starting with education, this continues throughout all phases of the job. By working as a nurse, you are given the chance to make a difference.

Marymount University’s online accelerated BSN is designed for the second career nurse and offers clinical placement assistance and NCLEX review courses to prepare you to enter the workforce as quickly as possible. Explore becoming a nurse at Marymount University.

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How to Become a Nurse: A Complete Guide? ›

An associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) are the two most common fast track options. With each of these ways to receive nursing instruction, they require passing the NCLEX licensure examination.

How do I become a nurse checklist? ›

Nursing School Preparation Checklist
  1. ☐ Get Your Background Check & Drug Screening.
  2. ☐ Get Up to Date on Immunizations.
  3. ☐ Earn Required Certifications.
  4. ☐ Determine Your Work-School-Life Balance.
  5. ☐ Get the Right Gear.
  6. ☐ Stock Up on Supplies.
  7. ☐ Setting Goals for the Semester Ahead.
Jul 7, 2020

What is the fastest nurse course? ›

An associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) are the two most common fast track options. With each of these ways to receive nursing instruction, they require passing the NCLEX licensure examination.

What are the three main paths to becoming an RN? ›

After you've decided that you would like to pursue a career in nursing, the steps to becoming a registered nurse are fairly straightforward. First, you must earn the appropriate degree. Then, you must pass the NCLEX Exam. And finally, you must obtain a license in the state that you wish to practice in.

How to make 6 figures as a registered nurse? ›

  1. Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) ...
  2. Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) ...
  3. Become a Nurse Midwife. ...
  4. Advance in Nurse Leadership. ...
  5. Begin travel nursing assignment. ...
  6. Change Nursing specialties. ...
  7. Relocate to a higher paying state. ...
  8. Make sacrifices.

What should I do first to become a nurse? ›

Steps to Become a California Registered Nurse
  1. Take college prep classes in high school.
  2. Choose the type of nursing school you want to attend.
  3. Select a college and apply for admission.
  4. Apply for financial aid.
  5. Obtain an RN license.

What is the first thing to know as a nurse? ›

Know the Patient's Diagnosis and Health History

You'll want to know why your patient is in your healthcare facility in the first place. Why are they receiving treatment? In addition, you'll want to know the patient's health history, as this will help you determine specific things to watch for during your shift.

What is the hardest type of nurse? ›

Possibly one of the most difficult nurse practitioner specialties, a critical care nurse practitioner has to learn to deal with life and death situations daily due to treating the most acutely ill or traumatized patients.

What is the shortest nursing program? ›

Certified Nursing Assistant

A CNA program is a fast-paced program that only takes a couple of months to fully complete. After graduation, students can enter the field right away, assisting nurses with patient work in a wide variety of settings.

Which nursing class is the hardest? ›

Hardest Nursing School Classes
  • Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
  • Pharmacology. ...
  • Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
  • Evidence-Based Practice.

What is the easiest nursing degree to get? ›

An LPN or LVN program usually takes around a year to complete, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). What makes an LPN or LVN preparation program the easiest type of nursing education you can pursue is its focus on training for basic nursing services only and its quick completion time.

What type of RN makes the most? ›

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist consistently ranks as the highest-paid nursing career. That is because Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled Registered Nurses who work closely with medical staff during medical procedures that require anesthesia.

What is the timeline of becoming an RN? ›

Depending on the specific nursing program that you enroll in, it could take anywhere from 16 months to four years to become a registered nurse.

Where do nurses make the most money? ›

Highest-paying states for registered nurses

California tops our list of the highest-paying states, where registered nurses make $124,000 per year on average.

Can a nurse make $500,000 a year? ›

It's not uncommon when a person who wants to get into nursing school tells others they can make the “big bucks” doing what they do. That's why Olivia Reeves, 35, gives her steps to success on how she made between $250,000 to $500,000 a year — and paid off her student loans — by the time she was 27.

What is the highest pay scale for nurses? ›

  • Clinical Instructor.
  • 58799 59751 60455 61762 63080 64502 65931 67359 68784.
  • Clinical Nurse/Midwife.
  • Manager 3.
  • 64845 66129 69372 70648 71931 73231.
  • Nurse Tutor.
  • 66326 67226 68124 69026 69926 70829 71724 72628 73529 74428.
  • Principal Nurse Tutor.
Mar 1, 2023

What is the best nurse to become? ›

1. Certified registered nurse anesthetist. Nurse anesthetists are in one of the most well-respected fields in nursing, and it requires years of education, training, and experience to become one. These nurses provide anesthesia to patients, typically in a surgical, dental, or ER/OR scenario.

What skills do nurses need? ›

These nursing skills are crucial for anyone in this important field.
  • Communication skills. No matter which type of nursing role you wind up in, communication will be a critical part of your job. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Patient assessment. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Urgent care. ...
  • Physical endurance. ...
  • Technology skills.

What I wish I knew before going into nursing? ›

You will have to study hard

During your time in nursing school, you will quickly notice life getting much busier. Nursing school is difficult and, like any other healthcare-related program, involves a lot of studying. And not only that, but you'll also have to devote time to a clinical rotation program.

What does a beginner nurse do? ›

As an entry-level nurse, you should be making rounds, administering medication as needed. If you are working in a clinic, you could be responsible for providing first aid and immunizations. You might also be responsible for inserting catheters and feeding tubes.

Is learning to be a nurse hard? ›

Nursing requires more dedication than many other careers. However, it's one of the most rewarding jobs you can have. Nursing school is notoriously difficult—and it's not for everyone. Graduate school is challenging as well.

What is the most stressful job nurse? ›

The most stressful nursing jobs include ICU nurse, ER nurse, and NICU nurse. In these roles, nurses work in an intense environment with high stakes. They manage emergency situations and care for critically ill patients. Other stressful nursing jobs include OR nursing, oncology nursing, and psychiatric nursing.

Which type of nurse is most prone to burnout? ›

Critical care nurses tend to suffer the highest rates of burnout. Critical care specialties include the emergency department (ED) and intensive care unit (ICU). Emergency department nurses tend to experience the highest rates of burnout.

Can I be a nurse if I have anxiety? ›

Can I Be a Nurse If I Have Anxiety? Absolutely. Pre-existing mental health conditions do not preclude individuals from being a successful nurse.

What is the lowest GPA for nursing? ›

While most nursing schools set their minimum GPA requirements at 3.0, there are accelerated nursing programs out there that accept students with 2.7 and 2.8 GPAs. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean you'd receive a lesser nursing education with these programs.

Is 48 too old to go to nursing school? ›

Of course! There is no “best age to go to nursing school” requirement.

Is it common to fail nursing class? ›

Many nursing schools require a minimum grade of roughly 80% to actually pass, as well. By the time you realize you aren't doing well enough to be successful in the course, the choices can be pretty limited. Failure happens all the time. It happens every day...

Which state is the hardest to become a nurse? ›

  • MAINE. ...
  • ALASKA. ...
  • Georgia. ...
  • Alabama. ...
  • Hawaii. ...
  • South Carolina. ...
  • Kentucky. ...
  • Summary. There are a few cases when temporary licenses can be obtained through the state board of nursing.

Is nursing school harder than med school? ›

However, don't take it for granted that nursing school will be much easier than medical school, especially in an accelerated format. Both offer a unique set of challenges and demand the utmost in student commitment and work rate.

Is it too late to go to nursing school at 30? ›

When you think of nursing school, you likely envision young people 18–24, but there are actually many nurses who don't get their RNs until their 30s, 40s, or 50s! You're not too old just because you're older than the average student. In fact, there are a lot of benefits to becoming a nurse later in life.

What degree is closest to nursing? ›

7. Majors Related to Nursing
  • Medicine.
  • Medical Science.
  • Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science.
  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Dentistry and Dental Support Services.
  • Bioethics or Medical Ethics.
  • Movement and Mind-Body Therapies.
  • Social Work.

Where is it easiest to become a nurse? ›

Easiest states to become a nurse – Length of licensing process
  • Maine: 1-2 weeks.
  • Maryland: 2-3 days.
  • Missouri: 2 weeks.
  • Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
  • Texas: 2 weeks.
  • Vermont: 3-5 business days.

What is the burnout rate for nurses? ›

At least 25% of nurses have been experiencing burnout symptoms. This includes things like stress, anxiety, depression, and other forms of emotional exhaustion. Additionally, many of these nurses also face depersonalization and a diminished sense of professional achievement. 85% of nurses experience career fatigue.

Who makes the most RN or LPN? ›

Let's compare their average salaries to find out who makes more LPNs or RNs. According to March 2022 data, registered nurses earn more than licensed practical nurses, making $34 per hour. Meanwhile, LPNs make $22 per hour. This means that the average annual salary of an RN is $70,335, while that of an LPN is $46,282.

What is the average age someone becomes a RN? ›

The average age of ADN nursing students at community colleges is 26-40 years old. BSN programs have an average age of early-mid 20s. Students in RN-to-BSN programs are typically in their late 30s.

What is the average age of a RN? ›

Key Nursing Statistics

Over 325,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) are licensed in the United States. The nurse population is comprised of 14% men and 86% women. 44 years old is the average age of a registered nurse. 69.6% of all nurses in the United States are white.

What does an RN do all day? ›

Working as a registered nurse, you can expect your days to include: Checking vital signs. Providing direct patient care: conducting physical and psychological assessments, administer medications, collaborate with other healthcare team members to provide holistic care. Interpret lab and other diagnostic test.

What is the lowest paying state for nurses? ›

The lowest-paying states are South Dakota ($60,540), Alabama ($61,920), Mississippi ($63,130), Iowa ($64,990), and Arkansas ($65,810).

Who makes more money than nurses? ›

While both nurse practitioners and doctors can enjoy the benefit of great incomes, doctors make almost twice as much as nurse practitioners. In fact, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, doctors typically earn an average annual salary of about $200,000 or more.

Do nurses get paid more for being bilingual? ›

Bilingual Registered Nurse Salary:

The median pay for a Registered Nurse is $75,330, with the highest-paid RNs earning in excess of $116,230. A bilingual registered nurse's salary will typically be around the same range or a little higher.

Can I make 200k as a travel nurse? ›

Even with the decrease, travel nurses can make nearly $200,000 per year, assuming a weekly rate of $3,080.

Can you make a living off of being a nurse? ›

Nursing can be a lucrative and rewarding career. Find out how to make more money as a nurse and maximize your income with these tactics. When you choose a career in nursing, there will always be potential for professional growth, including new opportunities to maximize your income and earning potential.

Can you survive on a nurse salary? ›

Make The Most Of Your Salary

You might not be able to afford a Rolls Royce living as a nurse in California. However, due to California's high-paying nursing salaries and various cities with affordable living costs, it's very possible to live comfortably in this state on your own.

How much do cruise ship nurses make? ›

Pay rates vary by company, locale, education, and experience. ZipRecruiter reports as of September 2022 that cruise ship nurse salaries range from $39,000-$105,500.

Do most nurses make 6 figures? ›

Can Nurses Make Six Figures? Yes, you can 100% make six figures as a nurse. The disclaimer is that working in some states may make this easier than working in other states. Geographic location is a huge indicator of starting salary and can be a reason why some of you are not as close to others when looking at raw data.

What is pharmacist salary? ›

What are the 5 steps to nursing? ›

The nursing process functions as a systematic guide to client-centered care with 5 sequential steps. These are assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.

What are the five things to know about becoming a nurse? ›

Top 5 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Nurse
  • Preparation Requirements. You will need a nursing education to become an RN. ...
  • Personality. Your personality type can prove very important in a nursing career. ...
  • Responsibility. Nursing jobs involve a great deal of responsibility. ...
  • Decision-Making Ability. ...
  • Fitness and Health.

What are the 4 R's of nursing? ›

Turner and Rushton created a potential solution built on 4Rs: recognize, release, reconsider, and restart. Recognize. The first thing nurses should do is recognize the situation for what it is; not what it represents.

What are the 6 core of nursing? ›

The 6 Cs – care, compassion, courage, communication, commitment, competence - are a central part of 'Compassion in Practice', which was first established by NHS England Chief Nursing Officer, Jane Cummings, in December 2017.

What are the 4 fundamentals of knowing nursing? ›

The four ways of knowing are empirics—the science of nursing, esthetics—the art of nursing, the component of personal knowledge in nursing, and ethics—the component of moral knowledge in nursing.

What are 3 interesting facts of being a nurse? ›

Did You Know These Interesting Nurse Facts?
  • There are 4.2 million registered nurses and 950,000 LVN's in the United States.
  • Registered nurses make up about 2% of the total workforce in the United States.
  • There are 4x as many nurses in the United States than physicians.
  • Nurses walk—a lot!
Mar 31, 2022

Do you need good memory to be a nurse? ›

A good memory is key

It's important for nurses to have a strong memory. Nurses are expected to remember all the details of their patients. If your memory isn't as strong as you'd like, this is when organizational skills come into play. Remember to record the important details.

How hard is it to be a nurse? ›

Nursing is hard work and it requires a high level of dedication to helping people, excellent communication skills, and the right emotional temperament. On top of this, nursing requires extensive education and there is a steep learning curve for the clinical knowledge and skills needed to help patients.


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