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Where to get started in regard to becoming a Registered Nurse

I want to become a registered nurse but i’m not sure where to get started as a High school student in the 9th grade going on to 10th grade

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Subject: Career question for you

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Bailey’s Answer

Meet with an adviser (in high school and possibly a college adviser as well) and see what basic classes you can study for and CLEP out of. Start researching colleges in your area to see what their requirements are. See if there are any dual classes you can take for high school that will transfer to college. Just know that the classes can be harder and the grade will follow you forever. You will have a list of prerequisites prior to applying for nursing school. Good luck! We need you!
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Ann’s Answer

Great question! There are 3 paths to becoming an RN and each have their own pros and cons.

1. The best path to start out with a higher income is to go straight into a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) this will be a longer path but not the longest. It will take about 4 years as a full-time student and you will need to pass the test called NCLEX to become an RN. Make sure you look for school the program is ACEN or CCNE accredited. This will be important if you decide to go on for further education down the road. Hospitals pay nurses with a BSN more and you will be able to move up the ladder. This is the best option if you want to start your career at a higher salary and move up quickly. It's also the best path if you want to specialize in an area.

2. The shortest path is to get an Associates of Science in Nursing (ASN). This will only take about two years to complete and many community colleges offer ASNs. This means you will spend a whole lot less. On the flip side there are less growth opportunities and the pay will likely be less than a BSN. You will still have to pass the NCLEX to become an RN and it can be harder for an ASN than a BSN. You also want to make sure the program has ACEN or CCNE accreditation. If you decide to get further education it will take a little longer, and you will need to take additional courses before beginning a Master's program. In my opinion this is the best route if you plan to get in the workforce and continue your education while working.

3. You can start with a License in Practical Nursing (LPN). LPNs aren't as qualified as RNs and aren't able to do everything an RN can do. For example, and LPN won't be applying suters or drawing blood. They are often the ones taking vitals, and this means the pay is significantly less. On the up side an LPN usually takes less than a year and many community colleges offer LPNs so they are relatively inexpensive. This is also the longest path in terms of advancing your career. Because this is more of a technical education the the credits often don't transfer well into a BSN and there is no direct path to the Master's unlike an ASN or BSN. I honestly don't recommend an LPN unless a student is really struggling with the advanced science courses needed for a degree but really want to be in the field. This is the best backup plan in the event that you won't be able to complete a nursing degree.

I know this is a lot of information to digest. I recommend doing some research on different schools that offer nursing programs to find the right fit for you. Start with the websites nursing schools.com and niche.com. They are great sites for ranking colleges and providing reviews. I hope this helps! Good luck!
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Chris’s Answer

Check out your local Vocational and Technical High School. Most have a Health Occupation Program that offers students an opportunity to learn about and experience the many opportunities in the field of health care. Upon graduation students may be employed as certified nursing assistants or may use the strong foundation the program provides to seek additional post-secondary education or professional certifications.
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Filoude’s Answer

Hi Oluwafarati,

Very exciting that you want to pursue a career in the medical field. Like all other degrees, you will first need to graduate high school. Since you’re just starting high school, it’s important that you pass your science classes (biology, chemistry, physics) with A’s and B’s.

Look into colleges in your area and see what are the requirements needed to major in Nursing. As mentioned, it’s still early in your educational career so focus on maintaining good grades—anything above a 3.0 GPA is ideal.
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Jaclyn’s Answer

My suggestions:
1. As soon as you are able, get your CNA.
Most nursing programs require it now. The more exposure you have to the medical field, the easier nursing school will be. I got a part time job in a nursing home as a CNA when I was in high school. The experience was so helpful

2. If available take Anatomy and Physiology classes in high school.
Even if you don't get the college credit for it, when you do retake it in college, it will help you so much!

3. Volunteer at a hospital, SNF, or LTACH
The medical field can be intimidating and many people don't know what to expect or what they are getting into. Exposure and experience will be so helpful! Plus the volunteer hours look really good on applications and resumes.

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Michaela’s Answer

Hi!

You are off to a great start! I would highly recommend shadowing a nurse at a local hospital, rehab facility, or nursing home so that you can see a day in the life of a nurse. I would also take classes focused in science and maybe take some college courses if your school offers them. Start researching schools and maybe visit a few of them! You can do so much with a nursing degree. I am so excited for you :)
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