Why Become a Nurse?

Nurses are vital members of a patient’s health care team, often having the most patient interaction. Nursing is an emotionally-fulfilling and rewarding career that blends science and technology with the art of caring and compassion. Individuals who excel in nursing may have many of the following interests and skills:

Nursing careers have many advantages, including:


  1. On Your Own: Like physicians and pharmacists, nurses are required to say an oath (pledge) upon graduation. Named after Florence Nightingale, who is credited with laying the foundation for modern nursing, the pledge states:
    “… I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to work closely with the health team, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.”
    What else do you think should be included in the nursing oath?


  2. Internet Research: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in what type of work environment can a registered nurse expect to work?


  3. Internet Research: What is the job outlook for registered nurses?


The Journey to Becoming a Nurse

After deciding to become a nurse, you need to determine which educational path to pursue:

Nursing education programs include the following classes:

To become a registered nurse, after completing an ADN or BSN degree, you must pass the national licensing examination (NCLEX-RN), which requires competency in:

After passing the NCLEX-RN certification your state may also require continuing education units (CEUs) over the years to maintain your license.


  1. Internet Research: Research a local college/university/school with a medical program to become a registered nurse. Provide the following information:
    • Entrance requirements (GPA, PCAT score, essays)
    • Tuition costs (per credit hour or per semester)
    • School location
    • Length of program/degree
    • Courses/classes required to graduate

  2. Internet Research: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, what is the current median pay of a registered nurse?



The Responsibilities of a Nurse

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Registered nurses typically do the following:

Registered nurses’ duties and titles often depend on where they work and the patients with whom they work.


  1. On Your Own: Using the list above, identify which responsibilities benefit the patient and which responsibilities benefit other members of the health care team.