There are quite a few steps involved in actually getting your nursing license and working as a nurse, and many people want to know how hard it is to become a nurse? So let’s outline some of the steps for you.
- Get Into a Nursing School
- The Nursing School Passing Requirement
- Nursing Coursework
- Clinical Coursework
- Med Quizzes
- Graduating From the Nursing School
- Pass the Boarding NCLEX Exam
- Conclusion on How Hard it is to Become a Nurse
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Get Into a Nursing School
The first step to becoming a nurse is to get into nursing school. Nursing school cannot be completed entirely online. There are many courses that require attendance as well as your clinicals. With this in mind, you want to make sure you are applying to local schools unless you are willing to move. I live in an area where we have a great nursing school, and it can take people a couple of years to get through the waitlist unless they’re exceptional candidates.
Getting into nursing school can be pretty competitive. The demand for nurses is increasing day by day. You have to have a good GPA and good test scores, and sometimes you have to retake courses to bump up your GPA just to get in. Part of how hard it is to become a nurse is just getting into school in the first place.
The Nursing School Passing Requirement
When you get into nursing school, it can be a bit different from a regular major. Most nursing schools have a different standard for passing. So in your typical college courses, you can get a C and still pass a course with 70%. The admissions requirements for every school differ. Some require you to get an 80% to be considered passing. And if you’re getting if you get a 75, for example, as a grade, you would have failed that class and would have to retake it. That adds a bit of a challenge for nursing students.
I remember when I was doing my nursing degree; many people were freaking out because they had to maintain such a high GPA. Something you really have to be aware of when you’re getting into nursing school is that the standards are a little bit higher. This is one of the most common challenges nursing students face.
Keep that in mind in terms of your complete coursework, the coursework is also pretty rigorous. You have to take various nursing prerequisites before you actually start working in the healthcare industry. So those include things:
- Various psychology courses
You have to get good grades in those challenging courses to get into the actual nursing school of a college. When you get into those nursing school courses, you start clinical coursework. So you’re actually in an environment working with patients.
You have to do clinical hours, and you have to do things like write care plans. So it’s not just going to school and sitting in lectures all day. You actually have to put what you’re learning into practice.
Clinical Coursework means that you’re doing hundreds of hours at hospitals and different clinical sites, and you have to pass all of those.
Often those are pass-fail where you go in, do your 8 hours at clinical, complete various paperwork, provide care to patients, and then the person who is your clinical instructor decides whether or not you passed.
It is a pretty intimidating environment, and it is a commitment because it’s not just going to class and doing assignments or maybe lab work. You’re physically going to a hospital and actually providing care to patients.
That’s an added responsibility. It is an aspect of nursing throughout nursing school. It’s not like regular college coursework where you have an exam every few weeks or at midterms and finals. You’re actually working with patients regularly, and you’re graded based on how well you do with those patients.
Many nursing schools are structured where you have a med quiz every week. You may have an exam in other courses every two weeks, and you will have math quizzes. Much of the work in nursing school entails passing the classroom portion and then a long time commitment in terms of clinical hours you have to complete. It is very involved, and you have quite a few classes you have to pass.
If you don’t pass them, you have to repeat them. You cannot graduate without getting a passing grade in every single nursing course. It’s a lot of work, with long hours. But if you’re passionate about it and you really want to be a nurse, it’s doable.
Don’t get too discouraged. Obviously, it is challenging but it is doable. If you’re passionate about it, that will help you get through because there will be days when you want to pull your hair out. Going in with a game plan on how to study can really help.
Graduating From the Nursing School
You graduate from nursing school, you got through all of those courses; you got your 80% or above, you pass all of your clinical and math exams, and you have passed everything and are ready to graduate. You’re not a nurse yet. You have to pass the board examination. The final step in becoming a nurse is to take the NCLEX examination for the advanced degree program.
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The NCLEX is a national nursing board examination, that allows you to obtain your RN or registered nurse license in the state you live in to work as a health care provider.
After you graduate from nursing school, you have to pass the NCLEX, and then you’re an RN.
Pass the Boarding NCLEX Exam
If you don’t pass the NCLEX, you’re just a nurse, but you’re not registered anywhere. So to be an R.N. or healthcare professional, you’ve got to do both of those steps. The NCLEX can be taken more than once and many nurses do need to sit for this exam multiple times before passing.
As you can tell, getting into school, getting through school, graduating, and then passing the NCLEX is challenging; you often have to have a GPA that’s pretty competitive to get into school in the first place. It was definitely challenging for me. I was not an A+ student, but I was not someone who was getting C’s either. Nursing school is a significant time commitment. You have to put a lot of effort into studying and writing and coursework.
Conclusion on How Hard it is to Become a Nurse
The field of nursing is not an easy feat, but it is definitely doable if you are passionate about the career. There are many steps involved in becoming a nurse, from completing an accredited nursing program to passing the NCLEX exam. Still, each step is necessary to begin your career in nursing.
Although it may seem daunting at first, remember that many people have successfully gone through the process and now work as nurses. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goal of becoming a nurse. But after that, you can also continue your advanced education and training. Good luck.
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How Hard Is It to Become a Nurse?
Becoming a nurse is not as difficult as many people think. While it does require completing an accredited nursing program and passing the NCLEX-RN exam, there are many different ways to become a nurse.
There are many different types of nursing programs, from two-year associate degree programs to four-year bachelor’s degree programs.
And there are many different types of nursing careers, from working in a hospital to working in a school clinic. So, whether you’re looking for a challenging career or a more relaxed job, there’s definitely a nursing career out there for you!
Is Becoming a Nurse Worth It?
Nursing can be very rewarding, both emotionally and financially. It’s a challenging field, but it can also be very satisfying to help others. The financial compensation for nurses is reasonable, and the job market is healthy. Nurses are in high demand, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of nursing jobs will grow faster than the average for all occupations over the next decade.
How Much Do Nurses Make?
The average nurse makes about $32 per hour. However, there is a lot of variation in the annual salary of nurses. For example, the competitive base salary of a registered nurse in California is an average of $51 per hour, while those in Texas earn an average of $28 per hour.
Some travel nursing agencies offer salaries well above the average, often starting at around $50 per hour. Meanwhile, certified nurse midwives can earn upwards of $120,000 per year. So there is a wide range in earnings for nurses depending on experience, specialty, and location.
How Long Does It Take To Become a Nurse?
Becoming a nurse, you can do it in as little as two years if you are full-time doing summer school and continuing school through breaks at a community college. With a two-year degree, you get an associate’s degree in nursing. You can also go the traditional route of the bachelor’s of science in nursing, which is a four-year degree and you will graduate with your Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
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