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How do i prepare for Rn nursing?

I really want to do Rn but I really don't know what field is best for me. So I need advice on how to get to specialize in the right field of RN

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Tian’s Answer

All answers so far are right but I will venture on to say there will be areas of nursing you won’t hear about in school or do clinical in that you learn about as you go through the profession. There are forensic nurses, legal nurses, there is an increase in telephonic nurses, nurses that work with insurance companies and claims nurses that travel hospitals and educate on medical devices and the list goes on and on. At the very base of it all is going to nursing school (some programs will offer general education in addition to core classes or you can do the Gen Ed’s at a community college and then do the core classes (all the nursing stuff) at an actual nursing school). In nursing school you’ll have classes such as fundamentals, maternity, pediatrics, leadership etc where you’ll do the clinicals to match. Different nursing school will have different rules about transferring credits and where they will take credits from so if you’re not planning to do the entire program at one nursing school make sure you call them before hand and get all the information about their admission requirements before hand. Finally, MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE ACCREDITATION STATUS OF THE SCHOOL YOU ARE APPLYING TO. You can do this by checking the board of nursing website for your state. Attending a school that is not accredited can cause problems with sitting for your boards and in some cases prevent you from even getting a job if you do manager to take the boards which is NCLEX. Hope this was helpful.
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Karen’s Answer

Hello Amanda, I'm glad to hear that you are very interested in becoming an RN, there are several levels that are available now that weren't available 32 years ago when I started nursing in 1991. You can have a associate's degree which is 3 years, bachelor's degree 4 years, but a bridge program would be RN to MSN you skip the bachelor's degree in automatically with the same four years you get to be a master's degree nurse such as a nurse practitioner, Elderly Care Mental Health is a big one and in a lot of these jobs you can also work from home they are in high demand of nurse practitioners for remote positions just Google it on indeed.com. I excelled in chemistry class biology classes and I actually went to school and was majoring in biology in about 6 months into it changed my degree to nursing and the rest is history. I love nursing school it was putting everything I loved about medical career and seeing the patients look at you and tell you that you've changed their life with how you've explained something or the care that you've given, no amount of money could could a price on that connection. Let me know if you have any other questions about RN programs. But start focusing heavily on science programs biology and even some math you can also look into advanced accelerated programs where you get some college credit while you're still in high school you'll graduate with a big bump up to your career goals. Good luck let me know what you decide I can answer any questions you have about nursing I've done it all from ICU to home health and hospice. Karen
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Tonya’s Answer

Great question as you think of preparing yourself for nursing school.

There are many ways to help you consider the specialty that may be right for you, at any point in time.

You can start by asking yourself a few personal questions, then use the Johnson & Johnson website (see link below) to answer a few questions and browse various specialties. Please note, specialties that may not be listed now can be developed. For example, before computerized charting and the importance of technology in nursing, the specialty of informatics in nursing did not exist. And, you may be the person to develop a new specialty in nursing. So, keep your options open.

Ok let’s, get started with a few questions:
(I will include how your answer can relate to a specialty in nursing from my personal experience or my experience with others)
*Do you have a talent/hobby you are passionate about?
For example: A nurse with a previous degree in writing used her writing skills as an author on nursing topics.
*Do you have a passion for a population/community of people locally or worldwide?
For example: Two of my passions include women’s health and education. I was able to take those passions and study midwifery and education after undergraduate school. As I selected nursing positions, I applied for those that fit my passions. During undergraduate nursing school, I became involved in activities to support my interest, such as tutoring students.
Perhaps you enjoy kids, the elderly, community work, surgery (I enjoy the skill of suturing and my hobby of knitting and sewing helped with my suturing skills), or a mix of medical diagnosis.
*Do you like fast pace or slower controlled pace work?
For example, if you prefer a slower controlled environment, the emergency department may not be the place for you in a busy hospital. However, working in a setting such as selected ambulatory environments can provide a different pace than a hospital. Please note, a new graduate nurse does not have to start in the traditional medical-surgical hospital unit. You may be encouraged to start in such a setting because you see many different diagnoses, which is true. However, the opportunities have changed in nursing with nursing fellowship programs (who accept new graduates into specialties) and provide a foundation of knowledge, skills, professionalism, and critical thinking to elevate the practice of a new graduate nurse. I started in a specialty as a new graduate and studies quite a bit to support my practice. However, it was worth it because the perinatal/midwifery was my passion.

Ok, now visit the Johnson & Johnson website and answer their questions. Once you answer the questions, the site will give you a few types of specialties to consider. Enjoy. I filled in the questions one day as a nurse with experience to see if the answers fit what my role was at the time. And the answer was accurate. Pretty cool! But do not let the answers limit you.

Now that you may have an idea of a specialty, you can search the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing for accredited nursing programs. Then you can see if the schools of your interest are listed in U.S. News and World report.
Please note as you select schools, the Bachelor of Science degree in nursing will provide you more opportunities. However, if you need to start with an Associated Degree in Nursing, I encourage you to return for your Bachelor’s degree to provide you greater professional opportunities (and enter graduate degree programs, as interested).

Finally, once in nursing school, you will rotate through a few basic specialties such as perinatal/maternity, medical-surgical, pediatrics, nursing home/long term care (perhaps 1 – 2 additional specialties). However, when you are expected to register for your senior/practicum/capstone rotation (ask if the schools you apply to include this type of experience), select the specialty you have an interest. Then you can see, “do I really like this specialty?
Also, some healthcare organizations offer summer nurse extern programs. If hired for such a position (while you are in nursing school), they may permit you to work with nurses in various specialties. It was a pleasure for me to work with a nursing student who thought she wanted to enter the specialty of critical care nursing but after her experience was interested in the emergency department. So, you never know.

I know my answer is long, however, I hope it helps you see that you have a choice, and you can set yourself and your path to head in a direction of a specialty. And you can change your mind if you find your passion in an area you did not consider.

Enjoy the journey.

Resources for further information:
* Nurses Change Lives (Historical video of the differences nurses have made for patients and healthcare)
Johnson & Johnson’s Video (2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTMuh6AF3A0

* Johnson & Johnson (2022) Nursing Specialties
Website: https://nursing.jnj.com/specialty

* American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2023). CCNE Accredited Programs.
http://www.acenursing.com/accreditedprograms/programsearch.htm

* Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (2020). Search ACEN Accredited Nursing Programs.
https://www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE-Accreditation/CCNE-Accredited-Programs

* U.S. News and World Report (2023). Find the best nursing schools.
https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-nursing-schools

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Teresa’s Answer

Nursing is a fantastic career and there are many different options of specialization. The best way to Decide is to get into Nursing school. Once you're enrolled you will go through many clinical rotations that will help you decide what best fits you. Choose what your is passion during those hands experiences and you will know what to choose.
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Amanda’s Answer

Nursing school will give you a base knowledge to become a RN and then you will specialize after you graduate. All RNs get the same basic education and then you learn a specialty on the job and you will have clinical in school that will give you a glimpse of what different specialties are like. One of the greatest things about becoming a nurse is that you have so many options, if you get your first job and you find you don't love that specialty, you can change anytime you want without having to go back to school.
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Klaus’s Answer

In addition to Amanda's answer, Google is a great tool when you are in doubt but don't know where to start. Here's one result I found on Google by searching "How to become registered nurse" (https://nursejournal.org/registered-nursing/how-to-become-a-rn/).

Secondly, every state usually has its own board of nursing, for Texas it's https://www.bon.texas.gov/. You can find a lot more detail information regarding what you need and need to do to become a rn.

Lastly, focus on your grade and getting into a good nursing program. You will slowly figure out what you want to specialize eventually.
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Barbara’s Answer

Hello, Jennifer. You have received a lot of great advice, so I hope my advice is also helpful. Nursing can be a very rewarding profession and there are many different directions you can go in once you've completed your initial schooling. As you advance your education to BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD, more and more doors will open for you. My best advice is to apply to your chosen college. It won't always be an easy road, but you will gain valuable knowledge and experience. Not everyone is "made" for nursing, but if you are, you will be joining the most trusted profession in the country.
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Kay’s Answer

If you obtain your RN degree you will find the right field for you. I studied science, the math credits I needed and chemistry in high school. I was surprised at the many choices of specialized fields they are once you obtain an RN degree. I encourage RN's to seek higher degrees also and the choices will expand even more.
The RN field is exciting with many avenues to explore. I began my career in the newborn nursery, surgical floor nursing, operating room, which is still my favorite, utilization review nurse, and finally pain management. As you can see all of these can lead to many more opportunities. It eventually all adds up to many varieties of nursing which may land you in the field of your dreams. I challenge you to get that RN degree first, sign up for a hospital and HR should help you find your first RN position. I hope I have been of some help.
Good luck to you.
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Ann’s Answer

Amanda’s answer is spot on. I had no idea what type of nursing I wanted to do before entering school. In school you get experience in many areas that help you figure out what you might want to do after graduation. And, in my case, I still didn’t know what type of nursing I wanted to do so started on a med-surg floor. Gained a lot of experience. Then you have a great foundation to go on to do anything. The great thing about nursing is if you find you don’t like a particular type of nursing, you can find something that sounds more suitable to you and do that. The possibilities are endless.
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