From Caregiver to RN: How to Make the Step Up


If you’re a caregiver for a family member or friend and think that you’re pretty good at it, why not become a professional registered nurse (RN)? No matter who you are, what gender you are, or how old you are, there are always opportunities out there for you to make this kind of step up in your life and career.

You should know, however, that caring for one or two people that you know is a completely different ballgame to nursing hundreds of strangers back to health day in, day out. You should also know that, no matter how experienced you may be when it comes to caregiving, you won’t just be able to step into the profession of nursing. Copious amounts of training and education will need to be undertaken before you can call yourself a full-fledged health provider.

To see what you need to do to become a registered nurse, check out the information listed below.

Complete an accredited program

In order to become a registered nurse, first and foremost, you need to complete an accredited nursing program. Accredited in this sense means either a nursing diploma, a bachelor’s degree, or an associate degree. By taking an undergraduate Associate’s Degree in Nursing, you will learn the ins and outs of good practice with regards to bedside manner and treatment, and you will be educated all about proper healthcare regulation, law, ethics, and policy.

If, after taking your accredited program for two years, you are still hungry to learn more about the world of nursing before you actually step into it in a professional sense, you should enroll in an advanced degree course. By taking a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science, for instance, you will receive a far more thorough education in relation to the demands of being a nurse — for the most part, you will be taught all about critical thinking and how it can help to improve patient intervention. Fear not, as the taking of such a course can be balanced alongside a full-time career in nursing. There are plenty of opportunities for you to take an RNBSN online course, meaning you can study and earn your degree in your own time and at your own pace.

Throughout your journey in education, from your first undergraduate degree right through to your final postgraduate one, you will be faced with these kinds of topics:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Statistics
  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology

As you can see, then, it might be advantageous for you to brush up on your science knowledge!

Pass the NCLEX-RN exam

While studying for your undergraduate degree, your educators should prepare you for the ensuing NCLEX-RN examination. This exam is an essential milestone in your quest to become a registered nurse — you can’t be deemed a professional nurse until you pass it.

Upon graduation from your undergraduate degree, you should register with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing right away, as doing so will speed up the process of you being able to sit the exam. When your time to take the test comes, you will receive an Authorisation of Test notification, either via phone or email.

With over 119 questions to complete in only six hours, the NCLEX-RN exam isn’t going to be a walk in the. You will, then, have to give up the summer following your graduation and devote it to even more revision! If you happen to fail on your first attempt, fear not, as you will have the opportunity to retake the exam once the 45-day waiting period is finished.

Obtain state licensure

With your NCLEX-RN pass confirmation in hand, you then need to set about the task of obtaining state licensure — this is a requirement for you to be able to practice as a nurse in your place of residence. In this instance, you should know that each state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to licensing. Some places will require you to sit yet another test in order to prove your worth as a nurse, while other places will just ask you to sign a number of documents. In order to see what your state board mandates with regards to licensure, you need to get in touch with them right away.

The step up from caregiver to registered nurse is not an easy one. If you truly believe that caring for others is your God-given talent, though, you shouldn’t let the trials and tribulations listed above stand in your way. If you want to become a nurse, you go out there and you do it.

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