How can I become a nurse?
As a nurse, you will hold lives in your hands. Nursing is a responsible job and we need people who take academics seriously. Take college prep courses such as biology, chemistry, physics, and advanced math. And don't forget challenging English, social studies, and foreign language courses, because a key part of nursing is communicating effectively with a wide range of people, from powerful physicians to disadvantaged patients. Aim for top scores because many schools now are looking for a GPA of at least 3.6. Study hard!
Entry pathways to become a registered nurse include a 4-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree, a 3-year associates degree in nursing, and a 3-year diploma program at a hospital (this last way is not common today). Nursing leaders have long encouraged all nurses to attain at least a bachelor's degree. Research shows that the more education nurses have, the more lives they save. So consider just going straight for your BSN. You will have more education to rely upon when your patients are in crisis. Once you complete your BSN and have a few years experience, you can consider becoming a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist or nurse midwife.
Boot camps or training experiences for teenagers or prospective students can be a great way to learn about nursing. See the programs below. If you have one we don't have listed here, please click here to let us know so we can add it. Thank you!
Hospice of the Valley Teens in nursing program
Memorial Health System Teens experiencing nursing camp
JFK Muhlenberg Snyder School of Nursing (New Jersey) nursing boot-camp
University of St. Thomas (Houston) nursing boot camp
Texas Women's University pre-nursing boot camp
University of Wisconsin Manitowoc nursing boot camp
This site includes information on ten APRN specialties, including family nursing, certified nurse midwifery, psychiatric mental health nursing, pediatric primary care, and pediatric acute care, plus over 40 interviews with practicing APRNs across several fields and work settings.
A detailed breakdown of clinical and administrative specialties available at the MSN level.
A thorough guide to DNP programs that also includes information on BSN to DNP, MSN to DNP, and RN to DNP programs.
First published October 7, 2014