How to Become a Registered Nurse 54

How to Become a Registered Nurse

The following article is a guest post.

If you have no idea what you want to do, but are pretty sure you want to be in the medical field, becoming a registered nurse (RN) might be the right path for you.

With the healthcare industry constantly in flux, there is always a need for qualified registered nurses. You will be offering care directly to patients, while working alongside nurse practitioners and doctors.

Though it may seem like a daunting career to get started in, don’t worry, there is actually a step-by-step process that you can follow to get you through.

However, make sure after reading this to check with the state you live in, as the state requirements may vary slightly.

1. Get an Education.

Obviously, the first step to becoming a registered nurse is to go through nursing school, which oftentimes you can apply for right out of high school.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can look into accelerated programs that shoot straight into being a nurse practitioner (which is like the middleman between being a registered nurse and a doctor).

Check out the RN school at GMercyU for a good idea of what you can expect and how to achieve your goals.

 the first step to becoming a registered nurse is to go through nursing school

2. Choose Your Path.

Once you decide that this is the career path you want, you have to decide how far you actually want to go in terms of schooling.

You can go for an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), both of which offer fantastic career opportunities despite their difference.

If you choose to get an Associate Degree in Nursing, you can expect to be in school for two years, which means that you can jump into a job much quicker than if you go after a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

That said, if you ever plan on advancing in your career, you will probably eventually have to go back for a BSN, which takes an additional two years, so you almost may as well get everything done at once.

3. Become a Graduate.

Easier said than done, we know. Nursing school can be incredibly difficult and life as a student is stressful.

While in school, you will essentially be walking through exactly what it will be like once you are in the workforce, so you can expect to be practicing everything from collecting a patient’s medical history to using syringes (don’t worry, you start out on silicon bags and rubber dolls before moving onto actual people).

You will be moving seamlessly from classroom settings with written tests to working in labs to eventually getting to clinical internships.

By the time to you get to the internship phase, you will be fully prepared for real on-the-job work.

But you’re not done yet! All of the schooling and on-the-job learning is meant to prepare you for the next step.

you have to ace the NCLEX-RN exam, which is the last hoop that everyone has to jump through in order to actually get a job as a registered nurse.

4. Ace the NCLEX-RN Exam.

Okay, so you passed your classes with flying colors, nailed your internship hours and walked away with either an Associate Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

All done, right? Nope.

Hate to break it to you, but now you have to ace the NCLEX-RN exam, which is the last hoop that everyone has to jump through in order to actually get a job as a registered nurse.

Before you can take it, you have to apply to your state board for permission. Once they give the thumbs up, you can schedule it yourself.

State rules differ, but some allow you to apply to take it before you even graduate, but you still won’t be able to take it until you’ve finished school. Some states may let you start working with a temporary permit while you are waiting to take the test.

As daunting as the actual exam is (there may be 250 questions, ranging from detailed nursing questions to exercises meant to gauge your critical thinking skills), there are plenty of tools to help you get through it.

A quick search on the internet will reveal plenty of practice tests and study tools, so you can prepare yourself.

Just make sure to give yourself plenty of time prior to testing day to fully prepare, because although last minute study sessions may have pulled you through a few tests in nursing school, they won’t help you with the NCLEX-RN exam.

After all, this is the last hurdle, so why take the risk of blowing it?

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 6

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.