What Education is Needed to Become a Registered Nurse

Registered nurses are an extremely important part of the healthcare system and they make up the majority of the workers in this industry. They assist physicians in examining and treating patients with ailments and injuries. They provide direct patient care by assisting patients in bathing, dressing and grooming and they administer medication as well. They also take and record patients’ vitals.

Job Scope:

Typical duties of a registered nurse actually depend on the work setting and patient population that they are catering to. Registered nurses may specialize in specific health conditions such as oncology, pediatrics, diabetes management and cardiovascular diseases depending on their individual interests and available opportunities.

Not everyone has the capacity to live up to the demands of working as a registered nurse. Apart from being compassionate by nature and possess the patience to handle difficult patients, registered nurses need to be properly qualified. There are specific educational requirements that employers look into before they hire registered nurses. Since nurses provide one-on-one care to patients, it is important for them to understand the nature of their work completely; after all there is patients’ health and wellbeing on the stake here, something which cannot be taken non-seriously.


A registered nurse must possess an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) to begin working at an entry level position. People who possess nursing diplomas are also eligible for entry level positions. Many nurses who possess nursing diplomas or associate’s degrees in nursing end up entering a bachelor degree program so that they can undertake a broader range of duties.

An associate’s degree in nursing prepares nurses to work at hospitals, clinics and other healthcare settings. Some common courses that an associate’s program includes are adult and family health, pharmacology, human development, psychiatric nursing and anatomy. These courses prepare new nurses to work in real time healthcare environments.


Nurses can opt for a degree in nursing (bachelor’s of science in nursing or BSN) can provide much benefit to new nurses as they focus on advanced nursing methodologies and clinical training. This is especially important as this type of education instills nursing students with both administrative and critical thinking skills. A BSN course will focus on nursing research, community health, leadership in nursing, health assessment and healthcare management.

In order to practice this profession, registered nurses must become licensed. Different states have separate licensure requirements but typically they include a state approved program – NCLEX-RN – National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses – which every aspiring nurse must go through.

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