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The Dos and Don’ts of Becoming an RN

Published: August 27, 2014 | Updated: June 8, 2020

Starting a new career is a very exciting prospect, and it can be tempting to jump into things right away! But when you’re considering becoming a registered nurse (RN) in Alaska, you should first make sure you’ve got the following dos and don’t checked off:

DO Research RN Programs to Find the Best Match

Have you always wanted to find a career that can really make a difference in people’s lives? Well, becoming a registered nurse can do just that. But make sure that you do your homework! Find out all you can about the profession and read about a RN career to decide if it’s the right choice for you. Does the RN program offer the flexibility of online classes? Are there networking opportunities through a career services department? Answer all these questions before you settle on a program.

DO Obtain At Least an Associate's Degree in Nursing

To prepare for an RN career, you want to obtain at least an associate’s degree from an accredited program that will prepare you for your eventual exam. An Associate of Applied Science degree is a great option. This program will give you a solid background in all the basic sciences and teach you the fundamentals of nursing, while giving you practical training at the same time.

DO Prepare and Take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)

The NCLEX-RN exam is required to become an RN in the United States, and you’ll be quizzed on everything that you will have learned at that point, from safe and effective patient care to infection control, and more.

DON'T Forget the Fundamentals of Nursing

If you want to be a nurse, you’ll need a strong background in science. It’s also a good idea to brush up on your math skills. You may need to learn how to calculate changes in patient vital signs and understand the chemistry involved with potential drug interactions before you start any nursing job.

DON'T Overlook Interpersonal Skills to Become an RN

A nursing career can be extremely rewarding because you’ll be helping people who will really appreciate your medical care and attention. But nursing requires professional skills that go beyond just taking a patient’s temperature or blood pressure. Successful nurses possess strong interpersonal and communication skills. You’ll be working closely with people – patients, their families, and doctors – and will consistently need to be patient, kind and empathetic. You’ll also need to perform well under stress, as the job can be fast-paced and demanding.


Now that you know some dos and don’ts about becoming an RN, are you ready to take a step into your future? At Charter College, we can show you the way. Learn more about Charter College’s Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program in Anchorage today!