What Schooling is actually required to become a nurse? Nursing is one of the most coveted careers all over the world because of the lots of opportunities available in this field.
Sometimes it is very necessary to know what you are getting into even before you get in. therefore, we have put together this article to let you know your educational track if you have decided to take the path of a registered nurse.
What Education Is Needed to Become a Registered Nurse
While all RNs must go through the same process to obtain their license, the specific requirements vary by state. Certain states, such as New York, require registered nurses to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The following list outlines the steps required to become a registered nurse.
Get the Pre-Requisites for an AND or a BSN
Nursing students must complete liberal arts, math, and science prerequisites regardless of whether they pursue an ADN or BSN degree. Basic anatomy, physiology, biology, psychology, and anatomy are common prerequisites for nursing school. Nursing schools frequently require incoming students to earn at least a “C” in these courses.
Earn a BSN or an ADN Degree
A four-year BSN degree provides extensive education and training in areas such as leadership, interpersonal communication, and clinical nursing. A two-year ADN degree covers the fundamentals of nursing and provides the quickest path to becoming a registered nurse.
Those with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field can complete an accelerated BSN program in as little as one year.
Pass the NCLEX Exam
Six weeks before graduation, students can apply for licensure and register for the NCLEX-RN. This computerized test requires test takers to answer at least 75 questions. They will have up to six hours to complete the examination.
Be proactive in your job search, regardless of your educational path. That means reaching out to your college network and gathering job opportunities before graduating.
While the nursing profession expands, graduates must make an impression during clinical rotations with potential healthcare employers.
Earn a Certification from a Board
Registered Nurses who want to advance in their careers (and earn more money) pursue board certification. RNs typically need two or more years of clinical experience in a specialty focus and must pass an exam to qualify.
What Degree Do You Need to Become a Nurse?
A minimum of an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is required for registered nurses (RNs), but a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) may help you secure a job with more responsibility and higher pay.
While the RN designation is frequently referred to as a “degree,” this is incorrect. To become an RN, one must first obtain an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree with a nursing emphasis.
Once you have one of these degrees, you are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam and become a registered nurse.
How Long Is Nursing School?
The length of nursing education is determined by the degree pursued. For example, programs for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) can last 12-18 months. BSN programs typically last four years. ADNs are in the middle, taking about two years to complete.
These programs have distinct curricula that prepare students for various nursing positions. Both AND (Associate Degree Nursing) and BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degrees prepare you for a position as an RN (Registered Nurse), which supervises positions such as LPNs (Licensed practicing Nurses).
Degree Options to Opt For
Although these degrees have been mentioned in this article. this part of the article will give a very detailed explanation;
First Option – Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
Earning an ADN is a popular choice because it is the quickest way to become a registered nurse without prior nursing education. An ADN allows you to apply for entry-level nurse positions that will give you hands-on experience in the medical field.
Admission requirements of an ADN
Most ADN programs require you to complete general education courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, English, and other subjects before applying to the program. Some schools also require you to take an entrance exam and/or work in a healthcare setting for a certain number of paid or volunteer hours.
ADN programs include classes in general nursing practice, healthcare policy, maternal and pediatric nursing, mental health nursing, surgical nursing, ethics, skills labs, and on-site clinical courses.
Students gain direct, tactile experience practicing patient care in skills labs, and on-site clinical courses allow them to apply those skills in real-world patient settings.
Students in ADN programs are prepared to take the NCLEX-RN exam, which is required to obtain an RN license.
An ADN program will take about two years to complete.
Second Option – Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Earning a BSN is another excellent option if you want a more comprehensive education that will open more doors in your nursing career. These programs take longer to complete but provide a more comprehensive nursing education than an ADN. As a result, nurses with a BSN are more likely to be qualified for nursing positions above the entry level, which may also result in a higher salary.
BSN programs, like ADN programs, require prospective students to take specific prerequisite courses in relevant subjects. They may also require you to pass an entrance exam and/or work in a healthcare setting for a certain number of paid or volunteer hours.
Curriculum and Learned Skills
BSN programs cover the same topics as ADN programs and then build on that knowledge and skill. A BSN may teach you more advanced topics such as population health and nursing research. Some BSN programs include specializations as part of the curriculum. BSN graduates are ready to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.
This program will take about four years to complete.
Third Option – Accelerated Nursing Program
There are several programs available that will provide you with nursing education in less time than a traditional ADN or BSN. These programs are intended for people who already have some level of nursing education or who have a background in another field.
LPN-to-RN bridge programs are designed for current LPNs who want to advance their careers and become registered nurses. LPNs assist RNs and doctors with a variety of patient care duties; they have already completed an LPN educational program that teaches them basic nursing skills and topics and typically lasts about a year.
LPN-to-RN bridge programs build on this foundational knowledge and lead to an ADN or BSN degree, depending on the program type.
Although paramedics are not nurses, they have prior experience treating patients in emergencies and providing basic patient care. Bridge programs for paramedics to RNs prepare paramedics for a career in nursing while taking into account their prior medical knowledge.
A Paramedic-to-ADN or Paramedic-to-BSN program, similar to LPN-to-RN bridge programs, is available. Bridge programs for ADNs typically last 12-18 months, while bridge programs for BSNs typically last two to three years.
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)
ABSN degrees are designed for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field but wish to pursue a career in nursing.
They have a rigorous, fast-paced curriculum that allows you to complete your BSN in a fraction of the time, usually 1-2 years. Part of the reason for this is that you have most likely already completed most general education requirements through your other degree.
Prerequisites Needed to Practice as A Registered Nurse
Now, before going into the journey of nursing, you must have the following prerequisites;
- Minimum SAT/ACT test scores
- GPAs should be between 2.0 and 3.25 (check the requirements of your specific school).
- Math for three years, including geometry and algebra II
- Science courses for three years, including biology and chemistry
- English classes for four years
- Two years of foreign language study
- Nursing entrance examinations
What Kind of Nurses Get Paid Most?
The highest-paid nurses right now are;
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- Nursing Administrator
- Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse
- General Nurse Practitioner
- Critical Care Nurse
- Certified Nurse Midwife
- Informatics Nurse
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
Can You Become an RN In 2 Years?
Yes, if you complete a two-year ADN program, you can become an RN in two years. Those with another degree can enroll in an accelerated BSN program, which takes 1-2 years depending on the number of credits transferred. Both programs prepare you to take the NCLEX-RN and obtain your nursing license.
Where Do I Start to Become An RN?
To become an RN, you must first meet the admission requirements for the ADN or BSN program you wish to pursue. A GPA of at least 3.0 and a C in prerequisites such as microbiology, anatomy and physiology, psychology, and statistics may be required.