The Education and Skill Requirements for Becoming a Nurse

In order to become a nurse, there are certain requirements that you must meet. One of those requirements is obtaining an associate’s degree in nursing, but the American Nurses Association has made some changes to the requirement which will permit graduates from certain colleges to enter the registered nurse (RN) program with only a bachelor’s degree and no experience caring for patients.


RNs are the most common type of nurses working in hospitals and other medical institutions. They provide treatments and rehabilitation care to patients suffering from both long and short-term health problems. Working as part of a team with doctors, registered nurses may administer medication or even perform surgery, depending on the nature of the condition.


They may also help patients recover in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private homes. 


In some states, they can legally assist with surgical procedures when they are under the direct supervision of a doctor or other qualified individual. However, most registered nurses work in hospitals and outpatient care centers, clinics, and physician offices.

The Road to Becoming an RN: What Are the Educational and Skill Requirements?


In order to become a nurse, you must first get an associate’s degree in nursing or equivalent.


The requirements for becoming an RN vary from state to state, but they all require you to have a degree in nursing, as well as either some years of work experience or a high school diploma or its equivalent. 


While most states accept the associate’s degree and the required clinical experience, some now accept certain college degrees as well, such as the ABSN online.

What Skills Do You Need?


Nurses need a varied skill set to do their jobs. They must be able to understand and apply medical terminology, practice proper hygiene in the workplace, and maintain records in a timely fashion without becoming distracted by other issues.


When it comes to the medical side of being a registered nurse, you need to be able to administer medicine, treat wounds, and help patients recover from serious illnesses. You must also be able to do clinical research and provide interventions, care for patients with chronic diseases, and perform surgeries on their behalf. You might even see yourself treating patients while they are in the hospital or working in a doctor’s office.


You will also need to be prepared to work in the operating room, so you should make sure that you are ready for this part of your career path if you decide that registered nursing is the right job for you.


While you may have to get some experience working as a nurse before starting your studies, there are graduate schools that offer accelerated programs that let you complete your degree faster than expected.

Soft Skills


When it comes to soft skills, nurses need to improve on a number of levels.

Communication Skills


It’s the role of a nurse to be a good communicator between both patients and medical professionals. 


When you are in the operating room, you must be able to speak clearly and concisely without making mistakes, and the same goes for when you are at a patient’s bedside.

Respect for Patients


You must always show patience and respect for patients, their families, the medical professionals you work with, and other staff members. You will also need to be considerate of the needs of your work environment as a whole. 


For example, if your section of the hospital is out of clean uniforms, you should point this out to whoever is responsible for supplying them so that they can get them soon.



You must be able to deal with a lot of stress in your work environment. Being a nurse can be both emotionally and physically stressful at times, especially when a patient you are working with is close to death. 


Since this is the case, you should be able to remain calm in even the most stressful situations and ensure that you keep your emotions out of your work so that they do not cause you to make mistakes while caring for patients.

Critical Thinking


While it may not seem like it, critical thinking skill is one of the most important skills that you can have as a nurse because you must be able to think about what you are doing and why you are doing it in order to perform your job effectively.


If your equipment isn’t working correctly, for example, you must be able to figure out what is wrong with it and how to fix the problem. 


Even after you fix the problem, however, you will still need to figure out a way to prevent it from happening again, which means coming up with solutions on your own and applying them immediately.

Creative Problem Solving


Creative problem solving is a skill that nurses can benefit from. You must be able to come up with ways to solve problems on your own, such as when you figure out how to deal with a patient who is having an allergic reaction.


You must also be able to think outside the box when you are trying to care for patients in the most effective way possible. For example, if you aren’t sure what else you can do but they still need assistance, try talking to them and find out if they have family members who can help them.

Administrative Skills


You will need administrative skills in order for your career as a nurse manager or registered nurse in a hospital setting.


You will be responsible for managing your own work in the workplace, where you are expected to do everything from logging in patient information to ordering supplies and equipment. 


You will also be the one who coordinates activities for your department, making sure that things run smoothly both before and after appointments. You might also need to perform administrative duties that are related to other jobs in the workplace, such as taking care of surgeries or scheduling employees. 


Along with management skills, you need computer skills. It is very likely that you will work with computers on a daily basis while managing your department, so it’s important that you know how they work and what they can do.

Cultural Awareness


Being a nurse means that you are working in a diverse environment. You must know how to work with different cultures and deal with people from all over the world. 


Communication is another key skill for nurses, especially if you’re going to be working on a team for more than one shift in a row.

Nurse Education Requirements in Different Countries


In order to become a registered nurse, you must first gain your diploma or degree in nursing. 


This can take two years of full-time study, with one year at the university and another year at a clinical school located close to the hospitals where you will be employed. 


This is not just for American nurses either; it’s also applicable to nurses from many other countries across the world who want to learn how to practice their profession in different nations.

Nurse Education Requirements in the United States


There are a number of nursing schools in the U.S. that offer nursing degrees both at the bachelor’s level and at the associate’s level. 


In order to be accepted onto a nursing program, you first have to make sure that you have your high school diploma or GED equivalent


If you do not have this, you will need to finish high school before enrolling in one of these programs.


You will also need to pass an entrance exam which will test your math skills, as well as make sure that you have a certain grasp of the English language. You will also need to take some science classes in high school, so it may be wise to take these classes while you are still in high school.


Once you start taking nursing classes at the college level, you will be required to complete two clinical rotations before obtaining a nursing degree. 


Many states require that you have a degree in nursing before becoming a registered nurse, but there are exceptions for students who have good grades and who can show that the extra education is necessary for their specific home state.

What Are the Jobs That RNs Can Do?


Registered Nurses work in hospitals and clinics, physician offices, and other health care facilities. They assist doctors with their duties, but they often take the lead in providing treatment to their patients. 


They may also be responsible for the medical records of their patients, as well as maintaining notes about visits to the doctor. Registered nurses also maintain records of their own and keep them in a secure place so that they can be accessed when needed.

Conclusion: The US Health Care System Is Changing and with It So Are Nurses Required Skills


You can see that becoming a registered nurse while requiring a good deal of skill and education, is also a very rewarding career path to follow. If you have a passion to help people, then this is a career that you will not regret. 


There are many exciting things you can do as part of this job, and all you need is dedication and determination to succeed.

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