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Registered Nurses

Maybe you've always known you wanted to be a registered nurse, or maybe it's a recent development in your life goals. Either way, there is likely a registered nurse program (RN program) that can suit your needs. RNs work alongside physicians to provide medical care for patients with illnesses or injuries. They may also act in a supervisory role for nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses on their health care team.

Projected Job Growth and Salary Range for Registered Nurses

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the registered nurse career field is likely to grow by 15 percent between the years of 2016 and 2026, which is quite substantial. For comparison, the national growth average across all careers the BLS made projections for was 7 percent - less than half the growth predicted for RNs. The BLS also reports that the annual median pay for RNs in 2016 was $68,450.

Career Paths to Become a Registered Nurse

There are several paths that you may be able to follow to earn a position as a registered nurse.

  • Some aspiring RNs enroll in hospital-based diploma programs for their registered nurse training. This option is less common than it used to be, and hospital programs are mostly being phased out in favor of university programs.
  • Many aspiring RNs attend college and enroll in a registered nurse degree program, either an associate's or bachelor's program. A bachelor's degree program can usually be completed in about four years, and earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) generally opens many career options. These programs typically combine classroom work with laboratory and clinical experience. After you have completed your program, a national examination must be passed before you can be allowed to practice.
  • Another option is that of an online program. Online RN programs generally allow you to take your coursework online and complete clinical rotations at a hospital that is close to your location. As with an on-campus program, you must pass a national examination after completing your degree.

Sources:

1.Registered Nurses, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accessed March 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm


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