A nurse’s role is to care for patients, but this also extends to family members in need of emotional support. Nurses provide education and guidance to family members about how to care for their loved ones at home. While we think of the hospital as being the workplace of a nurse, this is not always the case. You will find nurses working in many different places, such as nursing homes, clinics, doctor’s offices, schools, and government facilities, including correctional institutions and the military.
The average annual salary of a nurse is about $65,000 according to the numbers reported in 2012 by the US Department of Labor. In order to be employed as a nurse and earn that amount of money, you must graduate from an accredited nursing program. An Associate’s degree is the minimum educational requirement, but with a Bachelor of Nursing (B.N.) or Master of Nursing (M.N.), you have a better chance of earning a higher salary. You will have more opportunities for different types of employment with a higher degree.
Choosing a Nursing School
Check out each school you are interested in attending to make sure its nursing program is accredited by the State Board of Nursing and the National League for Nursing Commission. Enrolling in and completing a nursing program that is not approved will result in licensing difficulties upon graduation. Nurses can only receive a license to practice if they graduate from one of the programs approved by the Board of Nursing in a specific state.
What You Need to Get Into Nursing School
Every Nursing School has a set of requirements that students must meet before they are accepted into the program. Some states, such as Arizona, require you to submit a background check and all students must be fingerprinted. For the most part; nursing schools have the authority to set their own requirements, such as Texas where there are no specific requirements by the state. However, regardless of the state, requirements for acceptance into a four-year degree program are more rigorous than those for a two-year Associate’s program. Make sure you meet the school’s requirements before you apply.
Eligibility Requirements Common to All Nursing Schools
You must have a high school diploma in order to be accepted into a Nursing program. In some schools, there are specific courses that you must pass at the high school level. Check with your school regarding any courses that you need to take. Science courses are beneficial, but one nursing school, the Covenant of Nursing School require students to have courses in Psychology, Microbiology and Government; in addition to the usual English, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Your grades in high school also play a role in whether or not you will be accepted into the Nursing program. The GPA (grade point average) varies from school to school. Standardized testing is also a part of the admission process for Nursing School. SAT and ACT scores are commonly used for enrollment in most post-secondary institutions, but there are some nursing schools that require applicants to take other specific standardized tests. For example, the University of Central Florida requires students to take the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) before applying for admission.
Several nursing schools require students to maintain and have Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification. In some cases, they are required to have this certification before they can begin taking their classes and in other schools, they can get the certification within the first semester. If you are planning on applying to the University of Washington – School of Nursing, you must have the certification in place before the first day of class.
There are several requirements that must be met before you are accepted into a nursing school; so make sure you have met those specific requirements before applying to the school.