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Video:How to Become a Nurse

with Joyce Griffin–Sobel

Learning about how to become a nurse can help to show you whether or not this type of profession is right for you. Here, learn how to become a nurse.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Become a Nurse

Hi. I'm Dr. Joyce Griffin – Sobel, I'm the acting dean here at the Hunter Bellevue School of Nursing and I'm here for About.com. Today I am going to explain to you how to become a nurse.

Before Deciding to Become a Nurse

I think the first thing that I would recommend to someone who's interested in nursing is for them to do some volunteer work with sick people. Sick people require a lot of patience. They can be irritable and it's very rewarding. But, you have to be able to work with people at all levels of distress.

Things to Consider Before You Become a Nurse

You need to look at how much time you want to spend in school. The job opportunities for nurses are the greatest for RN's with Baccalaureate degrees. We know that the BSN contributes to better patient outcomes.

How to Become a Nurse

That's a four year college degree and it involves pre-requisites in the sciences, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology. And then, depending on the program, two or three years as a full time nursing student. In those programs the nursing student goes to clinical about one to two days a week. And is in classes one or two other days a week.

So, it's avery intense program. There's a lot of hands on experience. And there's a lot of classroom experience. And it's a tough and rigorous academic program. And, of course it needs to be because your responsibility is the caring for sick people. In most programs the first year is usually all science. And some of the liberal Arts degrees. Liberal Arts courses, English, history.

The second year would be more anatomy and physiology. The third year would probably be when you would start the nursing courses. You'd start off learning how to take vital signs, give a bed bath, assess a patient. Determine the psycho – social state of that patient. And then they move into pediatrics and some initial med surge and all kinds of courses where you learn to take care of young adults.

During the year – between your junior and senior year, most students take an internship where they go and they get practical experience in the hospitals. The hospitals higher them and pay them to work as assistants to the nurse in the hospital.

In their senior year they learn how to take care of patients with psychiatric disorders. They do more medical and surgical types of nursing, take care of more complex medical cases, such as heart attack or someone who is the intensive care unit. They get some community health experience. And then in their last semester they work side by side with a staff nurse. They work the schedule with that staff nurse. And they learn how to take responsibility for a group of patients. Most registered nurses take care of anywhere from five to seven patients on a typ[ical twelve hour day shift.

After graduation, they must pass the licensing exam and that's a very tough and comprehensive exam.

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