How to become a registered nurse is the often asked question by most of the students who are interested in serving humanity. As you can probably understand, to become a registered nurse, you must undergo certain training before you can start your career. But now, how to become a registered nurse, many other questions arises like what are the requirements to become a nurse, what education is needed to become a registered nurse and what a registered nurse salary would be? Before that you can go and check medical school details for better understanding.

How can you map out your path to becoming the professional of your dream? In this article, we are about to answer all your career-related questions. So get ready to explore the steps to becoming a nurse after high school.

How to become a registered nurse
How to become a registered nurse

How to become a Registered Nurse?

It is significant that a registered nurse has increased educational and training requirements compared to a licensed practical or vocational nurse, but so is the bump in pay. A registered nurse tends to make around 40 percent more than a licensed practical or vocational nurse, according to Payscale.

Registered nurses’ compensation reflects a strong market, as well as the advanced rates of training and education required. For reasons other than financial, many people chose to become nurses, mainly because of the promising career prospects.

Everything about the American Healthcare Industry

The American healthcare system is rapidly growing, generating an unprecedented need for medical professionals. Registered nurses are in high demand for many reasons at the moment, including the development of new technology, an aging population, and the retirement of current nurses.

The benefits of being a registered nurse have never been greater when seeing all of these aspects alongside the happiness that comes from helping others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2.7 million registered nurses are working in the U.S. and about 60 percent of them work in hospitals. 

Apart from that, there are also massive opportunities for RNs coming up in clinics, home health care settings, doctors’ offices, critical care facilities, long-term care facilities, government organizations, schools, the military, as well as in the rehabilitation agencies.

What are the Requirements to become a Nurse?

Be ready for the grind

There can also be unpredictable overtime and emergency hours. Registered nurses are required to complete ongoing education in order to maintain licensure in addition to passing the NCLEX-RN. 

Returning to school to complete a bachelor’s or master ‘s level would enable those with a nursing diploma or associate degree to step into advanced nursing practice positions or health care administration.

Employment projections for Registered Nurses 

Registered nurses are expected to see tremendous job growth, with an expansion of 19 percent expected between 2012 and 2022. There are many reasons for this, including an aging population, broader availability of healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, and the fact that one-third of actively working registered nurses are nearing retirement.

It will take nurses to educate patients on chronic health issues, such as diabetes, obesity, and dementia. The increased demand for registered nurses is expected to come from facilities other than hospitals, such as outpatient and long-term care centers. As can be expected, employment growth is not necessarily even across the nation.

Below, we have provided a list of the top 10 states that will expectedly experience massive growth in terms of the upcoming job market for Registered Nurses all the way until 2022.

  • Utah: 31.4%
  • Texas: 28.2%
  • Puerto Rico: 27.4%
  • Idaho: 26.4%
  • Colorado: 26.2%
  • Arizoina: 25.6%
  • Guam: 24.9%
  • Florida: 22.6%
  • Virgin Islands: 21.8%
  • North Dakota: 21.1%

Demand for future Nurses

Now, as you know what are the requirements to become a nurse we will find how much nursing are in demand. Demand for enrolled nurses is expected to continue to develop rapidly. A registered nurse salary vary depending on where they operate but also include supplying patients with direct treatment, assisting doctors in medical procedures, providing advice to family members and heading public health awareness initiatives.

RNs may also operate medical surveillance equipment and administer medicines. RNs can focus on a medical specialty with concentrated training or certifications, such as pediatric, geriatric, surgical, neonatal, or emergency care. Registered nurses work long shifts that run around the clock, which often might be on a rotating or permanent timetable.

Registered Nurse Salary

Registered nurse salary
Registered nurse salary

A national average median salary of $66,640 in recorded 2014 makes registered nursing an enticing profession for those looking at the bottom line. Most of the generation choose nursing as their career because of the high paying salary.

Here we have mentioned the top geographical locations within the United States of America that pay the highest average wage for RNs:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Alaska
  • Oregon

Steps to becoming a Nurse after High School

Students must graduate from an accredited program, in order to become a registered nurse. There are many options, including nursing diplomas, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees.

Usually, it takes two years to complete an associate degree in nursing, but accelerated programs can shorten the period. You can also check how long does it take to become a nurse with education, certification everything.

Completing an Accredited Nursing Program

For those in an associate RN program, a bachelor’s degree in nursing takes about four years of full-time study or two years. Another option would be to attend schools that offer students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing a “second-degree” program.

At the beginning of their schooling, students can often opt to complete a four-year bachelor ‘s degree, allowing them to transition into management, advanced nursing, nursing training, teaching, or research positions. Bachelor’s degree courses, in addition to their nursing coursework, allow students to complete general education classes.

While a bachelor’s degree encompasses many of the same subjects taught at the associate level, a four-year curriculum can include a more in-depth range of knowledge and skills. When the nursing industry becomes more competitive, more employers expect newly named RNs to hold a degree in bachelors.

Here we have mentioned the most common nursing coursework that would likely be included in your curriculum:

  • Anatomy and Physiology Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Nutrition
  • Statistics
  • Patient care
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Health care law and ethics
  • Nursing Research
  • Health Care policy
  • Introduction to Professional Nursing

Pass NCLEX-RN Examination 

Registered nursing programs should also help prepare students for passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Upon graduation, the aspiring RNs will register for the exams with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Candidates will receive a notification of the Authorization to Test when it is time to sign up for the exam.

This computerized assessment has 119 questions on average and must be finished within 6 hours. Those that do not pass must wait a minimum of 45 days to take the exam again. The average national passage rate for NCLEX-RN is about 70-75 percent.

Obtain a license valid in your State   

Every state and territory in the US, as well as the District of Columbia, requires proper licensing of employed registered nurses. Mandates vary by state, so students can contact their nursing board to see if there are any more steps, such as a background check.

Seek Employment  

While searching for how to become a nurse there must be curiosity arising related to the employment and job responsibility. Registered nurses are always in high demand, so that means, recent RN graduates often have numerous choices when it comes to choosing where they want to work. Students should remember that with actual experience, much of what is required to be a registered nurse or any other medical professional is learned.

Further Schooling 

If a registered nurse wants to become a registered nurse with advanced experience and specialize in their expertise, a Master’s degree is required. Graduates can apply for roles as licensed nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives after completing this education. Those who want to go further can opt for a doctoral program.

The DNP or Ph.D. programs refer to those aspiring to careers in nursing sciences as medical researchers or university professors. Further certifications may also be undertaken by RNs in areas such as critical care, acute care, or nursing management.


Students must receive a degree or nursing diploma in order to become a registered nurse, with associate or bachelor ‘s programs being the most common paths. A nursing diploma is generally less common as it still takes two years to complete but doesn’t offer a degree after completion.

Furthermore, many nursing organizations and associations call for a complete phase-out of the diploma, encouraging aspiring nurses to opt for a bachelor’s degree.

There is also a master’s degree in nursing and is usually obtained by registered nurses who wish to specialize in their knowledge or take the first step in obtaining a nursing degree at the doctorate level.

All about Nursing Diplomas

If you want to know how to become a registered nurse, make sure that you thoroughly understand the prospects of pursuing a nursing diploma. Nursing Diplomas are mainly hospital-based programs that provide intensive hands-on training in addition to nursing training. 

In a traditional educational institution, students are also required to take several co-requisite classes in areas such as anatomy, biology, and psychology. This experiential learning style provides students with basic nursing knowledge; in math and science topics, they will also receive supplementary education. 

Steps to becoming a Nurse after High School
Steps to becoming a Nurse after High School

Associate Degree of Nursing

Although an associate degree curriculum in nursing shares parallels with vocational nursing and nursing diploma programs, the scope and nature of the covered content are substantially different.

An associate degree’s general education requirements provide a more holistic educational experience, while advanced nursing classes and additional clinical experience provide a nuanced field understanding for graduates.

Subjects to Learn

In the steps to becoming a nurse after high school the most important one is education and what are subjects to take. Here, we have provided a list of the common subjects that are covered in any associate nursing degree program:

Microbiology and Immunology

This particular course includes the detailed study of microorganisms and the understanding of their effects on human health. It also involved the awareness of certain infection and several immunity principles

Taking care of patients with complexity

In this subject, students mainly learn about the nursing care process and how to treat patients who need complex care. In this subject, a special emphasis is placed on the increasingly complex medical issues that are noticed in patients, namely heart diseases, obesity, and diabetes.  

Management of Patient Care

This particular subject emphasizes patient management techniques, such as preparing effective serving of the patients who suffer from a wide range of medical problems. The topic also instills in the students the understanding of collaboration with other health professionals in an attempt to provide holistic care to the patient.

Professional Issues

In this training module, pupils will be exposed to the recurring nursing issues, including but not limited to the healthcare leadership conflicts, legal and ethical dilemmas, and healthcare policies. The aim of this module is to help students develop certain leadership strategies under pressure.

Also, it provides students with the practical ability to resolve ethical and legal issues that might arise during a patient’s care within an institution.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

A bachelor’s degree in science with nursing as a major can be added to the associate program to enhance your employability. In this particular program, students are being introduced to an even broader range of topics and ideas related to nursing and healthcare.

The focus of this particular program is generally put on science and related scientific principles, along with providing a wider theoretical framework for the students. Students already holding a non-nursing undergraduate degree can pursue an accelerated program to earn a nursing bachelor’s degree.

Another common choice allows professionals who are already in a nursing position to earn their bachelor’s degree in less time, taking current experience and education into account.

How to Become a Nurse : Conclusion

So, by now, we believe that you have received a detailed insight how to become a nurse after school and how to become a registered nurse after college. As you can see, all you need to do is choose the perfect education program that will enhance your nursing skills and will prepare you to take on the daily challenges that you may come up against, in your everyday working life.

How to become a nurse
How to become a nurse

The career of a nurse is sometimes a grueling one. But at the end of the day, it provides a lot of satisfaction. This is especially true when you understand that being a part of this profession would ultimately mean that you would be saving the lives of a lot of people almost every day of your life. Indeed, it is one of the noblest jobs one can pursue. We have tried to answer all your queries on becoming a registered nurse. In case, you have any further questions on how to become a registered nurse, make sure that you let us know in the comment section or you can visit online schools near me.