You will need a license or certification to perform hands-on patient care in the medical field. You will have to meet requirements of your state licensing boards. The requirements include things like:
Depending on the path in healthcare you choose there may be more or less requirements for certification or licensing.
Licensing Boards: Requirements For Licensing
Here is a description of some of the licensing boards requirements:
Attend an accredited college, trade or vocational school and complete all courses that are required for graduation from the class. Many adult schools and community colleges have basic nursing, nursing aide and home health aide courses available. Radiology, physical therapy and classes for other disciplines are usually held at larger schools. Classes range from a few months to a few years depending on the career path you are following. Nurses aide and home health aide courses only take a few months, but Registered Nursing may take two to four years depending on your degree program.
After you complete the classwork in your program, you will be required to do a certain amount of student hours on the floor caring for patients. Some schools rotate days of classwork with clinical rotations and coordinate them with the unit you may be studying. For example; a student working in a unit on labor and delivery might be placed on the labor and delivery floor for a clinical rotation. This will help with hands-on practice of skills learned in the classroom. These clinical sessions are supervised by the clinical instructor and another nurse working with the patients.
After all coursework and clinical hours are complete the instructor will have the students fill out applications for background checks by the licensing boards. Once the background check has been completed and fingerprints registered, graduates will receive an invitation for testing from the state licensing boards. Testing is usually done at a professional testing center. This way the environment can be monitored and test scores professionally compiled and sent to the state board.
Once you receive your license your state licensing boards will require you to complete a certain amount of continuing healthcare education to keep up your license. When your license is about to expire, you will receive a form to pay your fees and document any continuing education you have completed. See my blog post on where to find free continuing education units.
Meeting the licensing boards requirements for licensing will take dedication and commitment. Once you have completed your healthcare education you will find a rewarding career waiting for you.