How to Become a Nurse in Pennsylvania

Understanding how to become a nurse in Pennsylvania is very similar to most states in the US. As the health care industry continues to grow, the demand for nurses in Pennsylvania will also increase.

Of course, before pursuing any type of nursing career, you must have either a high school diploma or GED. Also, depending on what level of nurse you are wanting to become, you might need to pass a college entrance exam like the SAT's or ACT's.

If you've checked those prerequisites off your list, then let's move forward and discuss exactly what it takes to become a nurse in Pennsylvania.

Step #1 - Choose The Right Nursing School In Pennsylvania

Your first step to becoming a nurse in PA will revolve around selecting a nursing school. With over 100 accredited nursing schools in PA to choose from, you should have no problem finding a school that will fit within your budget and geographic area.

How To Become A Nurse In PADepending on your career goals, choosing a nursing school will also depend on if you want to become a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). LPN's usually require 1-2 years of education and must pass the NCLEX-PN exam. RN's usually require between 2-4 years of education and must pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

Whatever you decide, pick a nursing school or college matches your career goals.  

Step #2 - Maintain A Passing GPA While In School

Maintaining a good GPA while attending nursing school is also important. While becoming an RN may only require a two-year Associates in Nursing Degree, having the four-year or Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) opens up far more job opportunities.

If you choose to pursue a bachelor's degree, then your first two years of school will require basic courses with an emphasis on biology and science. The final two years will be made up of nursing specific courses and possibly some elective courses that can contribute to a particular field in nursing you wish to specialize in, such as pediatrics.

Step #3 - Pass Your Final Exam

All nursing students who want to become an LPN or RN must take a final exam which is known as the NCLEX. LPN's must pass the NCLEX-PN and RN's must pass the NCLEX-RN before they officially earn their title and can start practicing nursing.

Step #4 - Search Out Compatible Nursing Job Opportunities

Once you become a qualified LPN or RN you should have no problem finding work in either a rural or urban location like Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. Students who attended some of the more successful nursing schools in PA will want to check in with their college placement office. This office should help your find work immediately out of college.

Step #5 - Continue Your Education To Advance

The best way to grow your salary and further your career is to continue the education process after you've started working. So if you are an LPN, look to become an RN. If you are an RN with an Associates degree then look to pursue your bachelors. And if you have your bachelors, think about getting your masters in nursing online. While the base salary for any nurse in PA is good, specialized nurses with masters or doctorate degrees have the ability to earn over 6 figures a year.

In conclusion, becoming a nurse in Pennsylvania is a rewarding career path for both personal and financial reasons. As the need for nurses continues to grow, there has never been a better time to consider this worthy profession.

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Nursing Schools In PA
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LPN Programs In PA
Nursing Jobs In PA: Tips For Landing A Pennsylvania Nursing Job
Nursing Salary In PA: Pennsylvania Nurses Salaries Revealed
Nursing Scholarships In PA: Tips For Finding & Landing Scholarships
How To Become A Nurse In PA: The Step By Step Process