Registered Nurses – How and Why to Become One

Becoming a registered nurse is not as easy as some people may think, and it is certainly a career choice that should be taken lightly. These nurses are often the first and last person that a patient sees, but how do they become RNs?

There are a few different ways that someone becomes a RN, and they all involve an education as well as practical experience. Students striving to become nurses can become licensed in as little as two years, or it can take as long as four or five years to complete their education and licensing. The amount of education that a student nurse receives often determines how far a nurse can progress within their career, and this is what makes it a choice requiring a lot of thought as well as dedication.

Students that complete a two year associate’s degree can begin working as a registered nurse as soon as they pass a state licensing exam, but they are limited in how far they can advance without further education. Those students who go as far as to pursue a four year bachelor’s degree in nursing have far more opportunities to advance to a case manager or supervisor level.

It is also possible for a practicing nurse to advance their education to a Master’s of Doctorate level that further increases their earning and advancement opportunities. As well, some nurses go as far as to pick a field of medicine in which they wish to specialize. Yet, while all of this gives a general idea of how students become registered nurses, it doesn’t really say why people choose to enter this career.

There are generally two key reasons why people choose to enter the field of medicine as a nurse. The first of these is a financial reason. Nursing is a growing field and is expected to continue to grow. Nurses are also paid rather well by most hospitals which makes it an attractive career and good compensation for all the long hours and hard work that is a daily part of nursing.

The second, and perhaps most important, reason that people go into nursing is a sense of compassion. On some level, people who become nurses possess a genuine desire to help people and to see them get better. The reasons for a nurse’s hard work and dedication in becoming a registered nurse vary with the individual, but they often share a common thread. They care.

Nurses are in many ways the heartbeat of medicine, and without them, patients would lack that human touch.

Federal Nursing Scholarships – Getting Funding For Your College Education to Cover Expenses

There is a common myth that only students with extremely high GPAs can obtain grants or awards for college. Nursing is a growing career that many students are trying to get into. Getting a degree in nursing can be very expensive, but there are ways for nursing students to get some awards that will eliminate much of the financial burden. Federal nursing scholarships are available and can take thousand of hard earned dollars from your tuition. You need to know how to find and receive these endowments so that you can attend a nursing program.

If you are currently in high school or a junior college, get advice from a guidance or transfer counselor to help you search for awards for your city and state. Special practice degrees like nursing have a lot of funding for students. You can search online and find websites of trusted scholarship services, or the National Student Nurses Association to find the best awards for you. Make sure that you are aware of the deadlines to apply as some past awards may still be posted. Also go to your desired college’s financial aide department to find out if they have any in-house grants for the nursing program.

The majority of healthcare programs will require an essay to be submitted. This essay should be a personal representation of yourself and why you want to reach this particular goal. Focus on any obstacles that you have overcome in your life as well as what good things you wish to achieve once you get your degree. You can even write about the experiences of a loved one and the struggles that they face, which has inspired you to enter the nursing field in order to help others that deal with the same issues. Let the grant department see the passion you have for the goal you have set. Express any practical experience you may have received, like volunteer work to show that you are very serious about completing the program. Be completely honest about your experiences and reasons, and give yourself plenty of time to write the essay so that all of your feelings can be conveyed properly.

Federal nursing scholarships aren’t just given away, you have to make an effort to find and obtain them. Apply for as many of them as you can, it will increase your chances of receiving at least one. Unlike loans, these grants do not need to be repaid, so you don’t have to worry about receiving multiple awards.

Nursing Scholarship Types

Are you considering a nursing school scholarship? Great! Then, this is your first step to achieving your goal. Find out what types of scholarships are out there. The internet is a good place to start. The information highway is certainly a cornucopia of information. But be careful to review where certain websites get their information. Not everything you read on the internet is a fact. However, it is still a good place to begin to get a feeling for what types of scholarships are out there. Many people that are going into the nursing field are older than those who attended nursing school twenty or thirty years ago. With the older group of students, many feel that they just don’t qualify for scholarships. Actually the reverse is true. There are many scholarships out there for people that are older. Some scholarships are even bestowed on some just because of their age. This is indeed a wonderful country that we live in. The careful planner can certainly plan their finances for nursing school without having to pay anything back when they graduate, or very little if that. Before we look at some of the nursing scholarships that are out there, let us first look at the professional nursing organizations that participate in many of the scholarships offered, and serve as excellent reliable resources for the pre-student nurse, the student nurse, and the graduate nurse. Here is a list of the following nursing organizations, you may want to take some time later and look into the background of each of these organizations. You will find it very enlightening and encouraging.

You may not consider yourself eligible, but you will be surprised to find that there are nursing scholarships out there that are just for you. When considering a career in nursing, most of seek out financial aid only to find the resulting funds are usually never sufficient. This is the reason that scholarships were created. You have a specific ethnicity that predisposes you to a number of scholarships. Many people wonder if you get a nursing scholarship, can you apply for another. The answer is yes, you can apply for as many scholarships as you want. Whether or not you will get them depends on a number of factors. Some of which are, have you filled out the proper forms, submitted the correct documents, and have the necessary qualifications. These are all factors which must be looked at carefully when applying for a nursing scholarship. If you follow to the letter all of the requirements then you should have no trouble obtaining a scholarship for nursing school.

1. American Nurses Association or (ANA),

is the nationally known professional organization for nurses in America. The functions of the American Nurses Association are many. Their goals are to foster high standards of practice, engage in lobbying in Congress and the House of Representatives on behalf of Nurses, to help pass laws that sustain and promote the respect, pay, retirement, benefits, responsibilities, and proper treatment of nurses in America. This is no small task. Which is why all nurses are encouraged to join the American Nurses Association. By doing so, each nurse is helping not only their own futures but futures of other nurses to come. The American Nurses Association also gives scholarships You may find them on the internet at their web address: You can find much up to date and reliable information on the nursing scholarships that are offered, as well as a lot of other pertinent information that will be useful in deciding on a career in nursing.

2. National Student Nurses Association, (NSNA)

This particular organization represents all nursing students from those in the Associate Degreed Nurse Program all the way to those Nurses who are obtaining their Doctorate in Philosophy. This is the type of nursing organization that is the grass roots of nursing organizations. What that means is, that the National Student Nurses Association is a integral part of the student nurses journey through nursing school. At every nursing school there will be flyers and on campus activities sponsored by the National Student Nurses Association. Be sure to look closely at all of the paper work on the desk for students in the nursing office, so you won’t miss the scholarships that this organization offers. The smell of fresh baked cookies and brownies are usually always a sight for sore eyes when walking into the nursing division. You can’t help but not see the large banner, entitled “National Student Nurses Associations Bake Sale”. It is these same bake sales that raise money for scholarships for those in need. Way to go NSNA. They also have a web site. Their web address is: Check it out to find out about scholarships.

Here are a couple of other organizations that you might want to check out as well:

3. National League for Nursing

4. American Association of Colleges of Nursing

5. International Council of Nurses

6. Sigma Theta Tau International

7. Specialty Nursing Organizations

Claiming a Tax Refund As a Student Or Recent Graduate

There’s a popular misconception here in Britain that nursing students are exempt from paying income tax. In this article, we uncover the fact and the fiction behind student nurse taxes, and take a look at how to claim back any overpaid tax that you’ve already paid.

We have a popular misconception here in Britain that nursing students do not have to pay Income Tax – and whilst we hate to be the bearer of bad news, we’re not going to lie. You students are just as liable to pay Income Tax as anyone else in Britain.

The confusion is most likely down to the fact that a great many nursing students earn less than the annual tax-free allowance – the threshold which determines whether you earn enough to have to pay tax in the first place. It’s currently set at a little over £8,000 per year, and with most students earning far less than this figure, the fact that you’re a student nurse is completely irrelevant.

And yet, despite the overwhelming majority of nursing students earning less than £8,000 per year, a ridiculous number of you end up paying too much tax each year.

Nursing students applying to our service have generally paid too much tax for one of three reasons;

– They’ve paid tax on the wrong tax code

– They’ve left a job prior to the tax year end

– They’ve failed to claim the correct nurse tax relief allowances

We’ll cover the issue of tax on savings income in a later article. For now, let us consider the first two scenarios – how they arise, how they can be avoided, and what to do if you’ve already overpaid.

Paying tax on the wrong tax code

This situation often arises where nursing students are holding down multiple jobs. Complications arise because your annual tax-free allowance is not split up and shared across all of your jobs. HM Revenue & Customs generally allocates your tax-free allowance to the first job in full – so the first £8,000 or so that you earn with this employer will be tax-free. But by doing this, none of your tax-free allowance is set against the income on your second job. Any income earned here will therefore be taxed at the full basic rate, and you’ll need to claim it back manually.

If this sounds familiar, it’ll be worth checking the tax codes you’ve been given for each job – whether that’s with the NHS or down your local pub – they should be printed on your pay slip. A ‘810L’ tax code indicates that you are receiving the tax free allowance, and a ‘BR’ tax code indicates that you’re not. If you have two jobs, you’ll probably have one of each.

If your combined income for both jobs does not exceed the tax-free allowance, this situation will almost certainly lead to an Income Tax overpayment and you’ll need to apply for tax relief at the end of the tax year.

If you’re just about to take on a second job, it might be worth speaking to the tax office about splitting your personal allowance between the two of them. If you have an estimate of how much you’ll earn in each job, this arrangement will generally avoid the need to pay any income tax at all.

Leaving your job prior to the tax year end

The second scenario is just as common, and tends to occur when nursing students have taken on full time work over the summer (such as bar work). HMRC rather primitively calculates your tax on the assumption that you’ll be in that same job for the rest of the tax year (i.e. through to 5th April), so when you finish at the end of summer you’ve not earned as much as the tax office had anticipated – and have therefore almost certainly overpaid. Again, you’ll need to claim for nurse tax relief yourself if you want to obtain a rebate sooner than later.

This situation is particularly common for nursing students who take part in summer work placements, where pay tends to be higher than with most temporary summer jobs.


Lets suppose your 12-week nursing placements starts on 1st June, paying 1,500 a month. Throughout the placement, HMRC will tax you on the assumption that you’ll earn 15,000 by the tax year end (1st June – 5th April). When you finish the placement in late August, and have only earned 4,500, it’s almost certain that any tax paid will have been taken in error because your 4,500 income is far less than the annual tax-free allowance.

How to avoid paying tax as a student nurse

If you’re applying for a nursing placement or internship for Summer 2013, or if you’re looking at taking on some part-time work during term time, be sure to provide your employer with a P38(S) form before your first payday.

This is a student nurse tax relief concession, allowing your employer to pay you without tax provided your annual income does not exceed the personal allowance. (Just bear in mind that employers are not obliged to play ball – some are not prepared to process students’ pay separately).

How to get your tax back as a student nurse or recent graduate nurse

If you are studying nursing at university or have graduated as a nurse since April 2007, and have been given the wrong tax code, not worked for the full tax year, or earned less than the tax free allowance (currently around £8000) whilst at nursing college, you can almost certainly claim nurse tax relief from HMRC – right back to April 2009.