Tips and tricks to getting a job as a Registered Nurse
Nurses are an essential part of the healthcare system. They are responsible for coordinating patient care and providing education and support to patients and families who need it. Their job is incredibly complex, therefore becoming a registered nurse takes significant education.
If you are hoping to learn how to become a registered nurse, you are in the right place. We will be discussing questions like, how to become a registered nurse, how long does it take to become a registered nurse, and what are the requirements to become a registered nurse.
Registered nurses are responsible for many complex tasks, but the variety of their work assignments typically depends on where they work and their exact role in the organization. In general, registered nurses act as the initial point of care for patients who enter a healthcare facility. These are some other tasks registered nurses are typically responsible for:
They assess their patients’ conditions to determine what is wrong with them before they see the doctor. This saves time, as the doctor can focus solely on developing their diagnosis and treatment plan instead of asking questions about the patients’ condition.
Registered nurses also document their patients’ medical histories and any other pertinent information that is shared during a medical visit. These medical records are used to inform future healthcare efforts, so it is essential that registered nurses have strong organization skills and good attention to detail. With these skills, they can better observe their patients’ medical records to find methods of improving the quality of care offered by their organization.
Nurses ensure that patients’ don’t harm themselves by taking their medications improperly. Patients often don’t know exactly how to take new medications upon receiving them. It is up to the nurse, or in some cases another healthcare professional, to explain the proper way to take a medication. If a drug is best taken with food or water, a registered nurse would be the one to tell a patient that.
Nurses help other healthcare professionals strategize the appropriate measures to treat patients’ health conditions. While they may not be as knowledgeable as physicians or nurse practitioners, registered nurses still have enough foundational knowledge to be useful in the treatment planning process. For example, even if they don’t have specific knowledge of how to treat a patient, they can still do research and engage with patients to help contribute information to the plan.
Operate Medical Equipment
Hospitals are equipped with many pieces of large-scale medical equipment. Each piece of equipment requires specific knowledge to operate, therefore only certain people are allowed to operate them. Even the small pieces of medical equipment require training to use in most cases, so nurses are often members of the small group of people who can use these tools.
Learning how to become a registered nurse often involves learning how to monitor this medical equipment too. The types of equipment you will be exposed to depends on which specialization you choose in your career path, but people who are capable of using many different types of medical equipment often have greater career opportunities.
Engaging With Patients and Families
Nurses have more time to spend with patients than doctors, therefore they are often the main point of contact between the patients and the medical facility. Nurses are responsible for teaching their patients and their families how to manage their illnesses or injuries. They also interpret diagnostic tests and analyze results to make the information digestible to the average patient. When learning how to become a registered nurse, its best to focus on developing strong communication skills, as this will make it easier to excel at this aspect of your job.
Registered nurses need a suite of sharpened professional skills to be effective at their jobs. Unlike many jobs, this profession requires frequent interaction with people at a personal level. To excel in such a role, you must have extremely strong communication skills, and a highly trained sense of empathy.
By learning how to be compassionate, you can bridge the gap between you and your patients, allowing you to more quickly find the information you need to help heal their minds or bodies. Though, this job can become mentally taxing, as building emotional connections with people so often may burn through your energy quickly. Likewise, seeing pain and sadness on a daily basis may trouble someone without a strong constitution.
With this in mind, we suggest that registered nurses focus on training their emotional stability. If you are able to regulate your emotions properly, you can avoid getting burned out by too many interactions.
Here are all of the skills prospective registered nurses can benefit from learning:
Emotional stability - Emotional resilience can help nurses cope with the high level of suffering that must be experienced in this field.
Critical thinking - Nurses are often required to think on the fly. Critical thinking skills can help them come up with fast solutions to complex problems.
Organizational skills - Nurses have to manage many different processes all at once, so it helps to be well organized.
Communication skills - Nurses are the first point of contact between the hospital and its patients. To ensure efficiency and patient satisfaction, nurses must be skilled communicators who can actively listen and articulate themselves.
Physical stamina - Nurses spend the entire day on their feet. To be successful in an active registered nurse role, you must be physically capable of walking for at least eight hours.
Attention to detail - If you miss one small detail, it may impact your patients’ health negatively. Being able to catch minor details can help you deliver the best care possible.
To become a registered nurse, you must undergo significant higher education and acquire a nursing license from the state you wish to work in. You can take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) if you have an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a nursing diploma.
Receiving a bachelor’s degree in a nursing education program will typically take 4 years to complete. An associate’s degree would take around 2 or 3 years to finish, and nursing diplomas fall into a similar range. If you are prepared for the NCLEX-RN, you could take the exam immediately after graduation. Though, it may make sense for you to gain some relevant work experience before taking the exam.
Registered nurses typically work for several years, then pursue higher education to advance their careers. There are many paths that a registered nurse could take, but you should focus on one that fits you best. The most common path forward for nurses is to become a Nurse Practitioner, which is a specialized nurse that has studied and been certified in a specific area of medicine.
There are many nurse practitioner specializations, such as Mental Health Nurse Practitioners, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Geriatric Nurse Practitioners, and more.
Being a nurse practitioner allows you to begin developing extremely advanced professional skills that may evolve into much more valuable competencies. As nurses become more skilled at communicating, their work environment may also encourage them to develop leadership skills.
Those leadership skills can be applied to management positions and the like, making career advancement more attainable. Similarly, nurses will expand their knowledge of medicine just through exposure. As their awareness of how the body functions expands, they will be able to come up with effective solutions to complex healthcare problems much faster than before. This may improve their chances of advancing their careers as well.