What to Expect as a Registered Nurse

Choosing a career path isn’t always easy for people. Not everyone has a dream of a particular job or profession and instead, they can be confused about which path is best. If you’ve had even a passing interest in pursuing a career as a registered nurse (RN), then it’s a good idea to learn all you can about what to expect. This helps you to figure out if it’s a career you’d feel excited about, passionate about, and satisfied with.

So here’s a look at what life as an RN could look like.

How to Become an RN

Becoming an RN can be done in a few different ways. You can opt for a bachelor’s degree in nursing, gain a diploma, or choose an associate’s degree in nursing. No matter which path you choose, education and training will be necessary. Depending on which route you choose, it can take up to four years to complete your education.

Upon completion of your education, you will need to become licensed.

What Can You Expect Salary Wise?

Salary can be a huge factor in helping you pick the ideal career path. You want to know you’ll be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle and you won’t need supplemental income. The median wage for RNs in 2021 was $77,600. It’s worth noting that you can make more or less depending on the state and where you work. Generally speaking, RNs in government positions are paid above average, and hospitals tend to fit with the median wage.

Where Can You Work?

For many people who are looking into becoming registered nurses, the expectation is that it allows you to work in a hospital or clinic setting. While that is true, it’s far from the only place RNs can work. Flexibility and choices are what help make it such an attractive career path for people, as you can choose from different work environments and work full or part-time.

Take a look at the many senior living jobs at assisted and independent living facilities and you’ll see RNs are often in demand. This is far from a hospital setting and can feel more relaxing in the sense you get to know your co-workers and the residents. A bond can be formed since you aren’t seeing new patients daily.

Some other places where an RN can work include:

  • Schools
  • Private businesses
  • Home healthcare
  • Physician’s office
  • Government

If you choose to work in a nursing care facility or a hospital, you’ll need to be prepared for shift work including overnight, weekends, and even holidays.

What About On-the-Job Stress?

Finally, it’s important to recognize that nursing can be a very stressful career. It’s not only stressful emotionally but it can take a toll on your body, thanks to the long hours spent on your feet. You must find ways to combat and cope with stress such as eating a healthy diet, talking about your feelings, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.

Exploring a career as an RN can be the ideal path for the right person.

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