Prepare for a Career in Nursing



So you want to be a nurse? Think You Have What It Takes? There are many requirements to become a nurse. Of course the process can be very rigorous, yet at the same time, fun and exciting for all the promise it holds. When you become a nurse you step into a respected profession; one where you're sure everyday you'll make a difference for those you interact with. There's nothing more gratifying than knowing you've made a real difference and-in many cases-been the catalyst to save a person's life. Too, your training as a nurse benefits you individually as well. It's a fact nurses and medical professionals as a whole, use their academic training to take better care of themselves and their loved ones. What can you expect as a nurse? There are many positive aspects when you're a nurse: you'll make a difference everyday, you'll be a respected, professional role model: you'll win when you help others help themselves, and...you'll receive a generous salary. Salaries for nurses have never been higher. Should you still be interested, here are the requisite steps to getting your title of LPN or RN.


Pre Test


Some nursing schools require a 10 or 15 minute online, pre-test before taking the nursing school entrance exam. There is a nominal fee of $10-$40 dollars.


Nursing Entrance Test


This is called the NLN or the NET test. It is a predictor test to determine your success as a nurse. This is the actual test that will count towards your acceptance in a nursing program. This exam is considered along with your grades and a few other factors that vary by school. The school will let you know what they are looking for. The fee for this test is about $50.


Pre-Nursing Classes


For those who may not be quite up to par for subjects taken in high school or another college program, prep classes are available. Generally, extra curricula classes in math, biology and english are available through the school chosen. These are tuition based classes, so the costs vary per school.



Enrollment in Core Courses



After your acceptance in nursing school, a silobus (schedule) will be issued showing the recommended classes to take along with the order in which they should be challenged. Your program will range from about 1 year initially for (LPN) to four years depending on the certificate/diploma/degree program you are in. But you can be a RN in as little as two years. Anything above two years is just for higher degrees. Financial aid is available through many, many sources to help you pay for your nursing education.


Clinicals



Part of your course work will be on the job training, known as clinicals. For most students this is the fun part. Starting in your first semester at school clinicals will begin. They can be on-site, on campus or a combination of both. Most clinicals are held at actual medical facilities. You will learn how take blood pressure, heart rate, learn patient care and other necessary skills. After each section is completed, a test is given to make sure you know how to perform your newly learned skills properly. You must pass each section before moving on to the next group of skills. Remedial training is available at each step for those who may need extra help in certain areas. Nursing is about learning, but, it is also about being persistent.



Certified Nursing Assistant



After 9 months of training in your nursing program you can be certified as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). This will allow you to work in a medical facility on your own, outside of your clinical training. Many students who use financial aid opt for this choice. It allows them to make up to $14 an hour giving them extra funds for school expenses, living expenses and such. The fee for the Certified Nursing exam is $40



Temporary Practice Permit



After approximately 90% of your formal training is over you can apply for and receive a temporary practice permit. This will allow you to practice as a nurse under the supervision of a registered nurse while still in school. Your temporary practice permit is good until 6 months after graduation.



The fee for the temporary practice permit is $40



Graduation



After completion of your courses, graduation follows with acceptance of your diploma and title. However, one more step must be taken before practice as a full-fledged nurse will began. Graduation fees vary from school to school.


NCLEX


Now you will have to sit for your license exam. This is called the NCLEX. It is a 4-6 hour test that many states now administer on a computer terminal. The nurse's license test is best taken within 60 days after graduation to maximize your highest possible score. If you have one, your temporary practice permit will still be valid if you want to work pending receiving your permanent license. The fee for the NCLEX is $200 each time you take the test. Refunds are strictly forbidden. You've gone this far, study and prepare for the final step in your curriculum. And remember, the NCLEX is designed to test for a set standard of competency-you don't have to 100% ace the test. So study hard and know you're chances to pass are good when you sit for the NCLEX.



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