How to Become a Registered Nurse Online

Many people look for online registered nurse programs, but the truth is – you can’t earn the designation of a registered nurse simply by earning a degree. To become a registered nurse online, you first need to earn a nursing diploma or degree, but that’s not where it ends either. After getting your degree, you need to pass the licensing examination, called the NCLEX-RN. Once you’ve passed this exam, you’ll have a registered nurse license.

The registered nurse designation is a professional license that allows people to get a job as a nurse, rather than a specific degree that you get after graduation. Statistically speaking, if you’re thinking of becoming a registered nurse online, there is no time better than right now. The global medical system is in shambles because of COVID-19, and there’s a high need rather than a demand for medical professionals. But why should you consider becoming a registered nurse online?

The reason is quite simple – flexibility. Online nursing programs that are accredited offer you the flexibility to obtain your nursing degree while still working full-time. You can study at your own pace, from anywhere, all you’ll need will be an internet connection. Nursing jobs have consistently been given high importance all around the world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing profession will see a 19% growth in the coming years, with an average salary of $65,000. But before you decide to become a registered nurse online, you need to understand what a registered nurse does.

What Is a Registered Nurse?

A registered nurse is a medical professional who has graduated from a nursing school. Their program could’ve been online, and they also need to pass the national licensing exam. A registered nurse treats patients and helps educate people about public health and how they should take care of themselves. They are front-line workers who refuse to go home in times of chaos, and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has been a marvelous display of that.

Registered nurses monitor a patient’s medical symptoms, and they are also responsible for running diagnostic tests. They can also, at times, help by following-up with a patient and helping them through rehabilitation. Registered nurses can provide direct patient care, and if they have enough experience and education, they can also take on the following roles:

  • administration
  • case management
  • clinical research
  • develop patient care procedures
  • teach in nursing programs

The primary responsibilities of a registered nurse are to care for patients and provide educational resources for their families. Registered nurses usually work in teams with other health care professionals. They can work in various healthcare settings; it could be a hospital, a home, a school or different non-medical environments. They often supervise other nursing professionals like nursing students, unlicensed assistive personnel and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). According to many people, being a registered nurse is an immensely stressful job. A registered nurse is directly associated with high-pressure situations that involve life and death, and if you have a weak heart – this profession isn’t for you.

The only person who is not allowed to have a panic attack during a life and death situation is a health care professional, and apart from composing themselves, they also have to give comfort to the people around them. Despite the harsh nature of the job, the nursing profession is still growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the future for nursing jobs in the United States is excellent. Many states have a surplus of nurses, while some have a shortage.

How Do You Become a Registered Nurse Online?

To put it simply, there are three steps you need to complete to become a registered nurse online; those three steps are:

  1. Complete the required nursing education. This can usually mean you need to get a certificate or a diploma.
  2. Work in a healthcare facility under an experienced registered nurse to gain clinical experience.
  3. Finally, pass the national licensing exam (NCLEX-RN).

Online Registered Nursing Programs

There are many online nursing programs which can help you become a registered nurse. These degrees will help you prepare for the national licensing exam while also giving you helpful information that you can use in a clinic. A registered nurse can follow these three educational paths:

  • Get a diploma or certificate from a nursing program that has been approved
  • Get an associate degree in nursing (ADN)
  • You can also get a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree (BSN)

Many registered nurses start their careers by getting a nursing diploma, certificates or by becoming an LPN (licensed practical nurse). Once an LPN starts working, they can complete the coursework for an associate degree. Some students also opt for an online associate nursing program before they decide to take the nursing exam and begin to work professionally as a nurse.

Rewarding Career

During your training and the program, you will understand what it takes to be compassionate, hardworking and useful in any healthcare setting. A typical registered nurse class includes legal and ethical healthcare, nursing technology, nutrition, microbiology, medicine, psychology, anatomy, patient care and the knowledge of diseases and illnesses. A registered nurse also learns other skills like research and practice that is evidence-based. They also need to learn business principles, written communication, mathematics and IT.

Some programs also allow you to focus on your area of specialty. These specialties can be emergency care, gerontology, and pediatrics. A registered nurse has to work in several different areas apart from hospitals and primary places for healthcare. They can also be assigned to outpatient facilities, home healthcare, rehab centers or anywhere that requires a nurse to help with healthcare and perform the needed procedures.

Throughout their career, experienced nurses can gain enough knowledge to become a nurse-midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner and several other designations that require experienced and seasoned nurses. If you continue your education and qualify for higher designations, you’re going to remain competitive and your career will pay you dividends for years to come. Whether you want to help the elderly or children, becoming a registered nurse can prove to be a rewarding career.