What is the Best Way to Become a Nurse?


Deciding to become a nurse is a choice that you will thank yourself for throughout your career, which could span several decades.

Working within the exciting world of healthcare is a great way to have a job that you love and to know that you are doing something valuable every day. 

A healthcare career is also generally one that offers a comforting level of job security. With close to four million nurses in the US already, it is estimated that at least a million more will be needed to avert a nursing shortage over the coming years. 

In fact, the need for nurses is so great that the American Nurses Association has estimated that more jobs will be available in nursing next year than in any other profession. This means that now is the perfect time to consider your options for becoming a nurse!

Becoming a Nurse

There are several different routes into nursing, and each of these options has various advantages. The route you choose will likely depend on your personal situation and your existing responsibilities, such as your children or current job.

Regardless of how you plan to enter and progress through the profession, obtaining a degree will usually be the first step for everyone. 

Baylor University family nurse practitioner programs in Texas are a brilliant option for entering the industry. Baylor University has much to offer students when it comes to gaining a nursing qualification, with the Family Nurse Practitioner track proving to be a popular choice.

Clinical Placement

During your nursing degree, you will be required to complete a range of clinical placements. This allows you to enter healthcare settings as a trusted professional. You will collaborate with other healthcare workers and deal directly with patients, although this will largely happen under close supervision at first.

Your clinical placements will serve as a great way to encourage your interests in different areas of the industry. This will also be a brilliant opportunity to meet other people who work in these environments, and to develop professional relationships. You will likely find that the people that you work with on your clinical placements are very happy to share their experiences and advice with you. This can be invaluable to your decision-making process regarding the role you would eventually like to work within. 

Get Your License

At the end of your nursing degree course, you will be allowed to get your nursing license. You will need to be successful in getting your license if you are to go on to work as a nurse. 

This will involve completing one or more exams depending on the specific route that you are taking. It is also worth keeping in mind that the process of getting your license can vary from state to state, so be sure to do your research thoroughly.

Once you have passed your exams and been given your license, then you have successfully qualified as a nurse!

Find a Job

The next step in your exciting journey is to start looking for a job. You may already have a work placement as a part of your degree course, but you now have the freedom to choose other roles if you desire.

You can of course also move to another part of the country to work if that is your preference. Just be sure to check that your nursing license will be valid and find out if there are any additional steps that you need to take to do this if you want to work in a different state. 

When considering which career path you are going to pursue as a nurse, it can of course be helpful to have as much information as possible about your options. The more information you have, the better equipped you will be to make the very best choice.

Common roles for new nurses include:

  • Medical-Surgical Nursing
  • Intensive Care Nursing
  • Operating Room Nursing
  • Emergency Room Nursing
  • Labor and Delivery Nursing

If any of these positions sound appealing to you, then you will want to read on to find out more about each of them!

Medical-Surgical Nursing

This is a very popular area for new registered nurses to work within. It provides a fantastic opportunity to gain a great deal of on-the-job experience and to learn a wide range of new skills. 

Duties will relate to tasks in and out of the operating room, and a high level of patient care and interaction may be required, depending on the day.

The average annual salary for a medical-surgical nurse is over $60,000.

Intensive Care Nursing

Nurses working on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) will be responsible for some of the most seriously ill patients in the hospital. This means you will soon adapt to high-pressure situations and learn how best to intervene when the condition of a patient is deteriorating.

The average annual salary for an ICU nurse is over $64,000.

Operating Room Nursing

Operating room nurses are an essential component of the surgical team. 

Within this role, nurses are responsible for sterilizing surgical equipment and giving it to the surgeon at the appropriate times. Maintaining the hygiene of the operating theater is also an essential task.

The average annual salary for an operating room nurse is over $66,000.

Emergency Room Nursing

Nurses working in the Emergency Room (ER) will be a part of the team handling emergency cases. 

Many patients who present in the ER will have life-threatening injuries and illnesses, meaning this is a high-pressure job. The challenges of ER nursing will vary from day to day and will require a wide range of knowledge and skills. 

The average annual salary for an ER nurse is over $65,000.

Labor and Delivery Nursing

Labor and delivery nurses will work alongside the obstetricians to deliver babies and provide additional support.

Helping to bring babies into the world can be a very rewarding role, with many labor and delivery nurses reporting a high level of job satisfaction. 

The average annual salary for a labor and delivery nurse is over $55,000.