Health care-related jobs are increasing steadily – and that’s a good thing. It means that there are more opportunities for those wanting to be a part of the health care industry, and it’s also a chance to move up for those who are already working as health care providers, like nurses. Often, people who aspire to eventually become registered nurses start out as medical assistants, getting their MA graduation pins, and then continue to enroll in programs that can help them transition to being full-fledged nurses.
What is a Medical Assistant?
Medical assistants generally assist physicians. Their daily tasks may include vital signs taking, doing prescription refills, phlebotomy, and running the medical clinic or office as a whole. They can either work “back office” which mainly involve administrative tasks, or “front office” and directly work with patients that come into the clinic or hospital.
Becoming a Medical Assistant
It’s relatively easy to become a certified medical assistant, which is why many of those who are aiming for a career in health care start out this way. Usually, it would take around a year to earn a medical assistant diploma, but this depends on the state. There are even states that do not need certification, with students just needing to complete some form of education in order for them to start working as an MA.
MA, RN: What’s the Difference?
To put it simply, medical assistants work under the supervision of a licensed physician or sometimes even a registered nurse. Registered nurses, on the other hand, work under their own individual nursing licenses and have a wider range of tasks and opportunities compared to medical assistants.
Why Transition to a Registered Nurse and getting your RN Nursing Pin?
Becoming a nursing student and eventually an RN is not necessary for medical assistants, but it can be the next step towards qualifying for better positions up the health care career ladder. Registered nurses can also do a lot more in terms of patient care, and work under their own license which means they can generally work unsupervised by a medical physician within the scope of their practice. Registered nurses also have a higher base pay compared to medical assistants, so it can be rewarding on a financial aspect as well.
How Can an MA Become a Registered Nurse?
There are nursing schools and institutions offering programs that can help make the transition from an MA to an RN easily. Essentially, an MA would have to enroll in a nursing program or nursing school, which can normally take between 2 to 4 years to complete. After finishing the program and earning the nursing pin at your pinning ceremony graduation, the next step would be to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Passing this exam means earning the nursing license, which automatically makes the successful exam-taker a registered nurse.
With the increasing number of jobs available in the health care industry, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone wanting to work in the medical field. Whether your goal is to start out as a medical assistant and work your way up to becoming a registered nurse, or dive straight into a bachelor’s program get earn your BSN nursing pin, there’s plenty of nursing job and career opportunities for everyone!