How to Become a Clinic Staff Nurse?

Are you thinking of becoming a Clinic Staff Nurse or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Clinic Staff Nurse, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Clinic Staff Nurse job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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Steps to Become a Registered Nurse

A career caring for patients as a registered nurse can be very rewarding. If you are solutions-oriented and enjoy working with people, a career as a registered nurse may be right for you. In this article, we discuss the steps required to become a registered nurse.

Fulfill Prerequisites for a BScN or BN Degree

To pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) or a Bachelor of Nursing (BN), you must complete prerequisite courses in human anatomy, biology, psychology, physiology, and math. Many nursing schools require students to earn a C or better in these courses.


Earn a BScN or BN Degree

You can become a registered nurse by earning a BScN or BN Degree.

  • College Diploma in Practical Nursing: A college diploma program takes approximately two years to complete. This is the fastest way to enter nursing, but you will need to get a BScN or BN Degree to become a registered nurse.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) or Bachelor of Nursing (BN): In addition to advanced nursing classes, BScN/BN students must complete a required number of clinical hours. Requirements vary from program to program, but many BScN/BN programs require three clinical hours for every one hour of class time. A BScN/BN program usually takes four years to complete. Students with a diploma who have been certified as practical nurses may complete a BScN/BN program in two or three years.
  • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABScN): An ABScN Degree program allows those with a Bachelor's Degree to earn an accelerated nursing degree in between 21 to 42 months. ABScN students do not need to have a degree in a medical field, just a degree from an accredited institution.

Become Licensed

To become licensed as a nurse in most provinces/territories, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination Registered Nurse exam (NCLEX-RN). In Québec, you must pass the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec (OIIQ) exam, which is also an option in New Brunswick. Test questions cover nursing fundamentals, behavioural interventions, pharmacological therapies, and more.

Those who do not pass the exam can retake it after 45 days. Most provinces/territories require RNs to either pass a jurisprudence exam or study online jurisprudence learning modules. RNs are also required to take out liability insurance. Registered nurses must renew their licences annually. You need to have worked a minimum of 1125 hours over the preceding five years.


Find Entry-Level Employment

Many registered nurses find employment through their colleges or on job boards. Some professional nursing organizations may offer assistance in finding a registered nurse job as well.


Become Certified in a Specialty

Although not necessary to work as a registered nurse, becoming certified in a specialty can help you advance in your career. Registered nurse certification options include:

  • Pediatric: Specialized care for children.
  • Neonatal: Care for newborn infants, often in intensive care units.
  • Gerontology: Provide medical care for elderly patients, often in nursing or rehabilitation centres.
  • Ambulatory Care: Perform tests and educate patients at urgent care and outpatient centres.
  • Oncology: Care for patients with cancer, usually in hospitals or cancer treatment centres.
  • Critical Care: Work with critically ill patients in emergency departments or intensive care units.

Earn Advanced Degrees

A Master's Degree is often required to work in high-level medical specialties, including the following positions:

Clinic Staff Nurse Career Path

Staff Registered Nurse

5 - 7Years of Experience
$78K - $108K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Registered Nurse V

8+Years of Experience
$77K - $108K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Director of Nursing

8+Years of Experience
$115K - $183K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Salary Trajectory

Clinic Staff Nurse Career Path

New Grad Registered Nurse
Associate Manager of Nursing
Registered Nurse II
Registered Nurse Manager
Registered Nurse Supervisor
Staff Registered Nurse
Registered Nurse V
Assistant Director of Nursing
Director of Nursing
Senior Director of Nursing
Chief Registered Nurse
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Related careers in the Healthcare Industry

Interested in other Healthcare careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Clinic Staff Nurse skills. Discover some of the most common Clinic Staff Nurse career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Registered Nurse Case Manager
25% skills overlap
14% transitioned to Registered Nurse Case Manager