Qualifications to be a Nurse-Are you wondering, “What qualifications do I need to become a nurse”? You first need to decide what kind of nurse you wish to be, as requirements may vary greatly from one specialty to another.
When a person chooses nursing for a career, she must meet certain mandated qualifications before she can legally begin her career. She must obtain educational qualifications and work experience, get licensed and pass legal scrutiny before any medical facilities will hire her. She must also reflect inwardly to make sure she possesses the caring and empathetic nature of a person dedicated to helping others.
Entry requirements for nursing degree courses vary because each university sets its own entry criteria, but you are likely to need at least two (usually three) A-levels or equivalent qualifications at level 3, plus supporting GCSEs including English, maths and a science (usually biology or human biology). Contact universities directly to find out whether qualifications equivalent to A-levels or GCSEs are acceptable.
Regardless what type of nursing occupation you seek, you’ll need a nursing degree.
1. LPN or LVN Degree
If you wish to be a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or a LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) then you need to successfully complete a one-year course. This degree can be obtained through a college or vocational school.
Once you complete the coursework, you’ll need to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to obtain your license. You can then work either for a physician in private practice such as in an office environment or in a hospital or clinic environment. Many people opt for the LPN or LVN so they can be gainfully employed while continuing with their nursing education.
2. RN Degree
An RN (Registered Nurse) is required to obtain either an ASN (Associate of Science in Nursing) or a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree. You have the option of specializing in a specific area of treatment such as pediatrics, critical care, ambulatory care, surgery or hospice care. You may prefer to specialize in specific conditions or even medicine and treatment for a specific body organ such as the liver or heart. Just like the LPN option, you’ll need to take a licensing exam, the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
The ASN is a two-year degree program. Because of the high demand for nurses, many people opt for this degree since it it the fastest route to becoming a Registered Nurse. You can obtain an ASN through various nursing schools as well as from community and career college programs. Once you graduate from an accredited program, you will need to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). When you pass, and complete any other state requirements, you’ll receive your RN license.
The BSN degree has been the subject of debate for decades. Many medical professionals feel that a BSN should be required of all nurses instead of allowing either an ASN or BSN. One of the biggest issues between going for a BSN instead of an ASN is the pay level each receives. Understandably, you’ll earn more if you hold a BSN. In addition, the career advantages to holding a BSN degree over an ASN degree are the opportunities for advancement. If you wish to go into other areas of medicine such as administrative, managerial, research, and clinical, but hold an ASN, then you’ll be required to go back to college to obtain a BSN.
All nurses must take an exam to get a license or certification.CNAs must take and pass a competency exam. RNs and LPNs must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX. Some states require nurses to pass a criminal background check and drug test before beginning work. Most states insist that nurses must meet current guidelines for immunizations.
Other Qualifications You Need
There are other qualifications you need in order to be a nurse that aren’t related to education and degrees. These qualifications are personal attributes and characteristics.
- you should be;
- Capable of reasoning with others
- Concerned about the welfare of others
- Easy to talk to
- Able to keep emotions in check
- Logical thinker
- Positive in your outlook on life
- Able to remain calm and keep others calm during crisis
- Assertive when necessary
- Authoritative if needed.
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