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10 Steps to Becoming a Nurse

10 Steps to Becoming a Nurse

Beth Anderson, RN

Do you want to become a nurse but don’t know where to start out? This 10-step guide will help you find your way. You’ll learn about the nursing profession, find out about the educational requirements and certifications, and get tips on how to survive your first year as a nurse. This guide is meant for prospective, current, and second career nurses – everyone can use this valuable information!

Click on the links below to access a comprehensive description for each step.

Step 1: Learn Everything You Can About The Nursing Profession

Step 2: Find Your Path to The RN Title

Step 3: Choose the Nursing School That Fits You

Step 4: Get into the School of Your Choice

Step 5: Survive Nursing School

Step 6: Decide on a Nursing Specialty

Step 7: Pass the NCLEX

Step 8: Consider Possibilities for Your First Job

Step 9: Get Hired

Step 10: Get Prepared For Your First Year As A Nurse

Still have questions? Check in with the pros and compare notes with students in our Student Lounge forum.

Kick-Start Your Nursing Career:


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    sunshine1960

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I would to be a nurse because I love helping peoples

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    monsidecuba

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Please
    Could anybody tell me where to go and what to do to reevaluate my registered nurse certificate from Cuba. I came in July 4th this year, and i dont know anything about this. i live in Greenacres, Palm Beach. I graduated from RN in Havana City in 1997.
    My mail is rajegove@yahoo.es

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    sitihazwani

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Dear...i am now is a student nurse in one of colleage in malaysia, i'am not very sure with my nursing diagnosis,it diffuclt to do.... plz help me....
    siti.....email sitihazwanihazwani@yahoo.com

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    fanala1

    over 6 years ago

    6 comments

    Hi Margeaux,

    I think if you search this site you should find programs that allow you to do nursing online, as well as possible scholarships. You may also want to contact the CA Board of Nursing to find out if they have a list of approved online schools (they may not approve of all online programs). Once you find a program, that works with your schedule and budget, you should find out from them how the clinical portion is done. If they say you have to arrange the clinical portion with an area hospital, please make sure to contact the local hospitals to see which one will allow you to do the clinical portion of the course before you sign up with the online program. Before you look for an out-of-state school though, you may want to check http://www.cccco.edu/ which has a list of community colleges in CA with links to each college that you can check to see which one offers the nursing degree online. Good luck!

    fanala1

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    fanala1

    over 6 years ago

    6 comments

    Hi Taneiros,

    I took my exam in 1985 and am currently a non-practicing LPN in NJ (working on changing this though). Regarding not being allowed to graduate from Union County College (UCC) because you were missing an algebra class, you may want to consider contacting UCC to find out if they'll allow you to graduate once you take the algebra course. You should also contact the Nursing Department to find out if they'll allow you to graduate from the Nursing Program as you might need a separate approval from that department since it's been eight years since you were in the program. If the Nursing Program says no, but the school says yes, you can transfer what you took at UCC to FL and not have to retake everything. If you receive approval from the Nursing Program, then you should find out if NCLEX allows you to take the test for more than one state. If it does, then you may want to consider taking the test for both NJ and FL. If you prefer not to take the test for both states, you should find out if there's reciprocity between NJ and FL. In other words, if you pass your NCLEX in NJ, is it transferable to FL. If it's transferable then it's worth flying down here for the NCLEX rather than redoing the nursing program in FL. If it's not transferable it may just be a matter of taking one or two additional courses in FL. Again, it would be worth taking the trip so as not to redo the entire program in FL. The first step is though is to contact UCC to find out if they'll allow you to graduate from the nursing program if you take the one missing course, and if you'll be able to take the NCLEX once you take the one remaining course. If UCC gives you the green light on this, then you should contact the FL Board of Nursing to find out what you need to do to transfer. The thing is not to give up. You're currently working as a Medical Assistant, which has allowed you to remain in the field. You should still have your nursing books which you can use to start brushing up on terminology, pharmacology, etc while taking algebra online. There are also the resources found at the library and places that offer nursing refresher. You still have time to make the transition from Medical Assistant to RN, just don't let too much more time go by. So... 1-contact UCC Advisors and Nursing Program to confirm graduation approval once you take the algebra course; 2-find out if you can take NCLEX for both NJ and FL; 3-contact FL Board of Nursing to find out what needs to be done to do a transfer (if you can't take NCLEX for both states). I wish you the best of luck and hope you don't give up.

    fanala1

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    margeaux

    over 6 years ago

    18 comments

    Does anyone know if there are any colleges that offer online classes to becoming an LVN?

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    jevans

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I am 36 years old and have always wanted to become a nurse. Now that my daughter is 18 I am ready to move forward. I am a 2 yr breast cancer survivor. My nurse's are encouraging me to attend the community college nursing program. My fear is math was not a good subject for me in high school. Since I have been out of school for eighteen years. I am worried that I won't do well on the placement test. Any suggestions?

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    lovechezter

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Hi! I'm Gladys. I'm a graduate nursing student last October 2007. I'm not a registered nurse yet because i just took up the nursing board exam last June 2008. I hope i pass the exam because I really like to become a nurse. I want to become a DR nurse because I love to assist in delivering a baby and i love baby too but i dont where to start to or work to. so please help me.

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    taneiros

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I did my LPN program in 2000 in Union County College in New Jersey, The only reason I did not get my degree was because I was missing an Algebra class, so the college refuse to allow me to graduated without that class, then I moved to Florida I have tried to finish here but I was told I had to start all over my nursing, is that true? Can I finish on line. I have been working as a Medical Assistant for many years.So I have remained inj the field all this time. Please help.

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    YAMIRKAECHAVARRIA

    over 6 years ago

    4 comments

    HI my name is yamirka I am a doctor Iarrived at miami last year I want to study RN HOW can I GET IT .MY E MAILeyamirka@yahoo.com

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    YAMIRKAECHAVARRIA

    over 6 years ago

    4 comments

    yo soy medico de cuba al llegar a miami tome unos repasos para nursing assistant pero aun no he tomado el examen de talahasse y deseo hacer rn

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    Winandy

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Hi, am interested in becoming a nurse,am a Banking and finance student and have really wanted to be a nurse its been my desire from child hood please help me.
    Winnie from Zambia.winniemanyanshi@yahoo.com

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    amandamullins

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Hello. Im 17 and im currently in high school.I am wanting to be an RN for out Patient surgery.. I was wonder if anyone knew what classes i should take to know what to expect in Nursing school. Thanks! Email me at amandamullins@ymail.com

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    oreoswifey

    over 6 years ago

    12 comments

    I want to become a cna and i dont know how to get started does anyone know how to?

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    shaline1

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    ok i under stand it i want the job .

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