Skip to main content
4 answers
Asked 245 views

What are the pathways to becoming a registered nurse (RN)?

How do ADN and BSN programs differ?
What specializations can nurses pursue?
How does the role of a nurse practitioner (NP) differ from an RN?
What does a typical day look like for a hospital nurse?
How do nurses manage job demands?
How do nurses advocate for their patients?
What ethical dilemmas do nurses often encounter?
How is the nursing profession expected to change in the next decade?
What skills are essential for a successful nursing career?

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


4 answers

Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Erin Lee’s Answer

How do ADN and BSN programs differ? - it looks like you received great answer from the other responders. My recommendation would always to strive for a bachelor's degree in nursing. You may take different routes to get there, but the best basic education is a bachelor's degree because of the increased theoretical knowledge base, research and leadership development that is included in a bachelor's education. I know a lot of nurses that got their ADN first and then BSN due to it being less costly. However, that may or may not be true depending on the school you go to and the scholarships/financial aid you may receive.

What specializations can nurses pursue? - there are many specializations but the basic skills are used across all settings and specialties.

How does the role of a nurse practitioner (NP) differ from an RN? - The nurse practitioner (NP) scope of practice is much broader and there is much more responsibility. NPs are responsible for assessing, diagnosing, and prescribing treatments (medications, therapies, etc). RNs focus more on helping the patient follow through with the treatment plan and teaching patients important skills about how to take care of themselves and their health.

What does a typical day look like for a hospital nurse? - I worked in the hospital (medical/surgical) for many years. A typical day is filled with helping many patients achieve their treatment plan goals. For instance, you give medications, teach patients about their health condition and how to take care of themselves, you may also teach them how to care for wounds/incisions or perform other skills at home for when they leave the hospital; you may provide basic cares to patients who need assistance with bathing, eating, walking; you often help prepare patients for tests, scans, and procedures.

How do nurses manage job demands? - you must develop good organizational skills and critical thinking to manage the priorities of your day and your the patients you are caring for that day. This will come with time, coaching from your coworkers, and being able and willing to ask for help.

How do nurses advocate for their patients? - I have found it is helpful to encourage the patient to speak their voice - let the doctors and other health care team members know what their wishes are. At times you as the nurse may have to help the patient speak up for themselves.

What ethical dilemmas do nurses often encounter? - One of the more common ethical dilemmas I encounter is when a patient's wishes are different from that of their family members. As someone's nurse, it is important that we help the patient navigate their experience in accordance with THEIR values versus their family members or even our own values.

How is the nursing profession expected to change in the next decade? There are many nurses retiring (baby boomers) and a declining work force. This will require nurses to work to the very fullest extent of their scope of practice and learn to work more efficiently as a team. We will also need to recruit younger people to the profession.

What skills are essential for a successful nursing career? Compassion and empathy; intelligence - to learn and execute skills/care safely; time management and organization; flexibility/adaptability - things are always changing - during your day and throughout your career.
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Doc’s Answer

Both a ADN & BSN degree prepares you to become a Registered Nurse or a RN and meets the requirements for RN license. An ADN degree is an associate degree, typically a two-year program, that you can earn in order to pursue a RN designation and work in healthcare. ADN programs provide you with the basic skills needed as a nurse, such as administering patient care. Supervised by Doctor. A BSN degree is a bachelor’s degree, typically a four-year program, that is a step higher than an ADN degree. Registered nurses with this degree not only go to school longer, but they also gain a more in-depth education compared to those with an ADN degree. This often can lead to better work situations and advancement opportunities throughout your nursing career.

• NURSE PRACTITIONER (NP): This specialty prepares nurses for duties that are similar to those of a doctor. They can diagnose and treat patients. Most states allow them to order tests, perform physical exams, prescribe medication and counsel patients on their conditions.
• CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST (CNS): A CNS specializes in a certain area, which might include a certain patient population, treatment type, disease or treatment setting. Just like an NP, they can diagnose and treat patients, much like a doctor.
• CERTIFIED NURSE MIDWIFE (CNM): Considered a primary provider in all 50 states,
a CNM provides care for women who are pregnant or have recently given birth. They can also provide wellness care and gynecological exams for all women, and they offer family planning services.
NURSE ANESTHESIOLOGIST (CRNA): This type of APRN helps administer anesthesia while working closely with physicians. They’re also responsible for watching the patient during recovery and helping with pain management after the procedure. Starting in 2025, all new CRNAs will require a doctoral degree.
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Amiyah,

Pathways to Becoming a Registered Nurse (RN)

Becoming a registered nurse (RN) involves completing a formal education program and obtaining a license. Here are the typical steps to become an RN:

Education: The most common paths to becoming an RN are through earning either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

Licensure: After completing the educational requirements, individuals must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to obtain their nursing license.

Specialization: Once licensed, nurses can pursue various specializations and certifications to focus on specific areas of healthcare.

ADN vs. BSN Programs

ADN: ADN programs typically take about two to three years to complete and focus more on clinical skills and basic nursing knowledge.

BSN: BSN programs usually take four years and provide a more comprehensive education, including leadership, critical thinking, and research skills.

Specializations for Nurses

Nurses can pursue various specializations based on their interests and career goals, such as:

Pediatric Nursing
Critical Care Nursing
Oncology Nursing
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing
Nurse Anesthetist
Nurse Midwife

Role of Nurse Practitioner (NP) vs. RN

RN: RNs provide direct patient care, administer medications, collaborate with healthcare teams, and educate patients.

NP: NPs have advanced training and can diagnose illnesses, prescribe medications, and manage overall patient care independently in many states.

Typical Day for a Hospital Nurse

A hospital nurse’s day may include:

Assessing patients
Administering medications
Collaborating with doctors and other healthcare professionals
Educating patients and families
Documenting patient care

Managing Job Demands

Nurses manage job demands by:

Prioritizing tasks
Communicating effectively with colleagues
Practicing self-care and stress management techniques

Advocacy for Patients

Nurses advocate for their patients by:

Ensuring patients’ rights are respected
Communicating patient needs to the healthcare team
Providing emotional support

Ethical Dilemmas for Nurses

Common ethical dilemmas for nurses include:

End-of-life care decisions
Patient confidentiality issues
Balancing patient autonomy with beneficence

Future of Nursing Profession

The nursing profession is expected to evolve in the next decade by:

Increasing emphasis on technology in healthcare delivery
Growing demand for specialized nursing roles
Focus on preventive care and population health management

Essential Skills for Successful Nursing Career

Key skills for a successful nursing career include:

Critical thinking
Time management

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

American Nurses Association (ANA): The ANA is a professional organization that sets standards for nursing practice in the United States.
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN): The NCSBN develops the NCLEX-RN exam and provides regulatory resources for nursing licensure.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN): The AACN represents BSN and higher degree nursing education programs and provides valuable insights into nursing education trends.

These sources were instrumental in providing accurate information on nursing education, practice, specialties, and future trends in the profession.

God Bless You,
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Godfrey’s Answer

There are many pathways
Some people start as Medical assistants or LPN then later they can proceed to do RN course in respective medical colleges.
Some do RN course after high school and after doing the RN prerequisite course that enables one to enrole to RN.
Some can do the option of accelerated Nursing course at degree level but it's very expensive and requires one to have a bachelor degree in science courses,it also takes only one year to complete the accelerated Bachelor in nursing degree