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Becoming a Nurse

Maybe you like to bring chicken soup to your friends when they get the flu, or you always have a band-aid on hand for someone who gets a scrape on the playground swings. If you've ever thought about becoming a nurse when you grow up, read on to find out what it takes.

Born to Care

Like your mom, nurses take care of you when you're sick or injured. They help you recover and feel better after the doctor has stitched up the gash on your forehead, or put your broken leg into a cast. They're the ones who take your temperature, take blood tests and bring you medicine and some apple juice when you're in the hospital. Because of these duties, you can't be squeamish about blood, needles or bodily fluids like urine, poop and vomit cuz you'll be seeing a lot of it! To get a feel for what it's like to be around sick people, get as much volunteer experience as you can by working in hospitals, clinics and senior homes.

Different Types of Nurses

There are lots of places where nurses can work - hospitals, walk-in clinics, schools, nursing homes, care facilities and rehab centers. But before you begin a career in nursing, you first have to figure out what kind of nurse you want to be.

  • Licensed Practical Nurses - LPNs perform medical procedures, but only under the supervision of a doctor or Registered Nurse. Training takes about a year.
  • Registered Nurses - RNs are professional nurses who supervise LPNs and plan out how to care for patients. RNs need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, which takes about four years to complete.
  • Advanced Practice Nurses - APNs are RNs with advanced education and skills. APNs have a master's or doctoral degree in nursing and perform primary health care, diagnose patients and prescribe medication.

Did You Know?

  • National Nurses Week runs from May 6-12 every year.
  • Florence Nightingale, whose birthday falls on May 12, was a pioneer of modern nursing.
  • There are around 2.3 million RNs in the US.
  • Registered nurses make about $60,000 US on average a year.

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