If you have chosen a nursing career, it can be a little more complicated than others. Your responsibilities will change depending on what you specialized in or what unit you are in. The common things a nurse will learn are: teaching your patients and parents about health conditions, monitor patients care, provide medications and treatments and give support to family when it is needed.
Upon graduating from nursing school you should apply to:
- National Council Licensee Examination
- Jobs and interviews
- Orientation (3 to 6 months)
- ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)
- Medical Surgical Nursing floor if graduate is undecided on specialty
After graduating from nursing school the following action would be applying for the NCLEX exam. The National Council Licensable Examination is aimed to confirm knowledge, abilities and skills that are necessary for the safety and guidelines of entry level nursing practice. It is recommended to apply six to eight weeks before the scheduled exam date, to allow enough time to gather all the necessary documentation. There are a few prerequisites that are required in order to take the exam.
- Passport with picture
- Pay a fee, which is not reimbursable. The fees range depending on the licensable and it ranges anywhere from $150 to $300.
- Pay a fee for fingerprints. ($50) You are given two options: a live scan or a completed fingerprint card.
- Certified transcripts
- A few recommendations prior to the NCLEX exam:
- Do not wait to schedule an appointment to take the exam (the sooner the better).
- Rent some books from barnesandnoble.com
- Take some prep tests from NCLEX
- This is also a good prep website (https://learningext.com/)
- Look for some apps in iTunes
After passing the NCLEX testing, start looking for jobs and scheduling interviews. Make sure the resume looks professional and include all of the experience gained at school and on the floor (volunteer work, certifications, awards, etc.) The resume outlining is not as important as the grammar, spelling, punctuation and the type of paper used to print the resume. Nursing is one of the most competitive and demanding fields there are. Mock interviews are a great way to prepare yourself before the interview. Practice with a family member, friend or clinical instructor. (role play, attire, hand shake, ask and answer questions, research the company that will be conducting the interview). There is a variety of settings to choose from (e.g. working mainly with infants, safe and health preventive care program settings, teach, administer and research.
Certified nurses are obligated by law to continue their education and renew their license every two years. The Board of Registered Nursing has to approve the educational courses. The general courses are; Physical, behavioral, social science and patient care. There are also other courses such as, death, dying and the grieving process of patients, therapeutic interactive relationships with patients, unfamiliar languages and pharmacology, just to name a few.
An Associates Degree in Nursing takes two to three years and can be taken in a community college and gets you ready to assist in a nurse care environment. A BSN – also referred to as a Baccalaureate degree – takes up to four years. A bachelor’s degree gives a broader variety of specialties to choose from. More and more hospitals have recently started requiring nurses to have their bachelor’s in order to work at a hospital setting. Having a certificate or degree is knowing the basics, but having you BSN degree reassures the doctor of the knowledge and education that is required to take on any hospital floor setting.