Registered nurses (RNs) work alongside physicians to form the nucleus of most health care teams. Registered nurses help provide medical care for patients needing treatment, and they often supervise a nursing staff consisting of nursing assistants and licensed practical and vocational nurses. An RN may work in a hospital or health care clinic, or they could perform home health care for patients unable to travel.
The Career Path to Becoming an RN
There are several routes to become a registered nurse. You can start as a nursing assistant, and after completing a licensed practical nursing program you can enter an LPN to RN nursing school that can take two to three years to complete. You can also become a registered nurse by attending a RN nursing school and earning a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). The bachelor's degree program is offered at colleges and universities, and normally takes about four years to complete. Just about all RN nurse education programs involve classroom learning combined with laboratory and clinical work. After completing a RN nursing school or program, you must pass a national examination prior to working as a registered nurse, and some states may require additional certifications.