Being in the healthcare field can be very rewarding and give your work purpose and meaning. However, it can also be very stressful. An entry-level job like a CNA often deals with the challenging aspects of medical care, so those in this position might lose sight of the big picture. If you enjoy the medical field but want to take a step to the next level and become an RN, this post is for you.
Being a CNA limits your options for advancement in your career. When you are an RN, there are a lot of opportunities to move up in your field. Education is extremely important in advancing your career, so with each degree or certificate you earn in nursing, you have more opportunities. More opportunities means a better chance at finding a job that is a perfect fit.
The title of Registered Nurse is just below the title Physician, an esteemed title in the medical field. Registered nurses need more education and have more responsibility than CNAs, leading to an increase in salary. CNAs average around $6-$12 per hour, where RNs earn $20-$40 per hour depending on location, experience, and field of practice. In a specialty area like cardiology, surgery, or dialysis, RNs could make even more money. The 2015 median pay for RNs was $67,490 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
With more responsibility comes more job satisfaction and reward. Registered Nurses can do any task a CNA can do, but CNAs cannot do everything a RN can do. RNs are responsible for managing the nursing staff, reporting findings to the physician, starting IVs and PICC lines, and administering medications and injections. RNs work under loose supervision and are responsible for developing a care plan to offer the best treatment for each patient.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs for registered nurses to increase by 16 percent in the next 10 years, much faster than average for all occupations. This growth is due to an increased emphasis on preventive care, growing rates of chronic conditions, and a high demand for healthcare services from the baby boom generation, all of which have been and will continue to steadily rise. If you’re looking for a job that won’t be phased out by computers, outtargetd overseas, and will continue to need employees, consider going back to school to become a Registered Nurse.
The RN program takes about two years to complete. The first year focuses on theory, including reading, testing, and learning about RN paperwork. The second year is clinical training, where students act as RNs under faculty supervision. Upon completion of the program, students then take the licensure test NCLEX-RN. After completing all this, RNs continue to take periodic on-the-job training courses to stay up to date on current procedures, equipment, and medications. Progressing from a CNA to an RN can be challenging, but the benefits outweigh the struggles, making it a good career advancement.