Let’s be honest: Every once in a while, people have resorted to googling What Education Is Needed To Become a Registered Nurse. Once you have a registered nursing degree, you will have many options. Learn why ADN and BSN are critical to a successful nursing career.
How Do I Become a Registered Nurse?
The first requirement to become a Registered Nurse is to receive a proper education. Many different routes can lead to an RN license. Interested RNs can get a diploma, get an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), or commit to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.
After getting the required education, you must clear a licensure test before becoming a Registered Nurse, and this was obtained by passing the National Council License Examination (NCLEX-RN). Administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the NCLEX-RN examines your knowledge, understanding, and abilities in exam nursing. This test is accepted in all 50 states and requires periodic renewal, for which RN must complete the continuing education course. Since the requirements vary by state, you should consult your state board for details.
|Qualify for healthcare position in clinical settings including clinics & hospitals||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Choose from a wide range of nursing specialization||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Qualify for healthcare positions that require an advanced college degree||✔️||✔️|
|Strengthen earning power with more in-depth training.||✔️||✔️|
|Differentiate from RN and BSN holders when applying for positions||✔️|
|Improve qualifications for executive and professional development positions.||✔️|
|Prepare for further education at the doctoral level.||✔️|
What registered nursing degrees are available?
Registered nurses (RNs) need to have at least an Associate’s Degree, but bachelor’s degrees in Nursing (BSN) are also available and may help improve the chances of a better RN.
What is the Differ Between RN and BSN?
Like bachelor programs in other fields, a BSN degree offered through a college or university and usually took four years to complete. Some nursing specialists consider ADN-trained RNs to be technical-level nurses and BSN-trained RNs at a professional level. RNs with BSNs often have job opportunities with diplomas or ADNs only.
Associate’s Degree Programs
Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) includes courses in Anatomy, Nursing, Nutrition, Chemistry, Microbiology. You will also need to take general liberal arts classes. Getting an ADN is the most popular option for registered nurses and opens the door to entry-level staff nurse positions that will provide you with experience in the medical field.
So, this is the fastest way to become a Registered Nurse as most associate’s degree programs last approximately two to three years.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Aspiring RNs can get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in four years at a college or university. If you are already an RN, you can enroll in an RN-to-BSN program designed specifically for RNs who have an Associate’s Degree or Nursing Diploma. This path usually takes about two to three years.
Even faster is the BSN option for candidates who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. Through a BSN accelerated program, students are allowed to apply for general education credit at BSN with their first degree. This route takes one to one and a half years.
As an example of the typical RN-to-BSN course load, Purdue University Global offers the following:
RN-to-BSN Core Courses
- Public health nursing
- Nursing research
- Nursing care of the older adult
- Fundamentals of microbiology
What certification will I need?
After completing your degree program, you will need to take the National Council License Exam (NCLEX).
To take the exam, you will need to apply for a nursing license on your nursing board. Since there are different eligibility criteria for each state, contact your state board to make sure you have met the requirements for taking the exam.
According to the National Council of State Board of Nursing, the NCLEX exam consists of four “types of requirements”:
- Safe, productive care environment: Management care and safety and infection control
- Psychological integrity: competition and adaptation and psychological adaptation
- Promoting and maintaining health: Growth and development through the life span and early detection of disease and disease.
- The integrity of physiology: primary care and relief, pharmaceuticals and parental treatment, risk reduction, and physical adaptation
NCLEX is a registered trademark and service mark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
What will I learn in my courses?
The Associate’s Degree in Nursing will provide students with the foundation they need to become a Registered Nurse. The classes will cover basic nursing needs, along with specific nursing topics. The BSN program will provide greater depth and detail on various aspects of the nursing field.
Common courses include:
- Nursing practice and theory
How long will it take?
Depending on your level of dedication, completing a nursing degree may take the following:
- Associate’s degree programs, which provide entry-level opportunities, typically take two years
- Bachelor’s degree programs take four years
- A bachelor’s degree with direct admission usually takes three years
- Master’s degree programs usually require two years
Most schools usually have an option to participate part-time, but the program will take longer to complete.
Are online programs available?
Become a Registered Nurse is a profession, but that does not mean that online programs are not available. There are many peers and bachelor’s degree programs to choose from online. Distance education usually requires students to complete their training online and conduct their medical experiments in their local community. If you are already an RN, online RN to BSN programs is also available. These programs are geared specifically toward working nurses, and using the online classroom can make it easier to obtain a nursing degree.
Sharp, or second-degree programs, can also be completed online and can usually help people starting a new career in nursing go faster (one or two years). Bachelor’s degree students in another field who wish to enter nursing must have a high GPA and health care experience.
Are there, prerequisites?
Practicing as an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Registered Nurse for Nursing Diploma is essential, but admission to the program base on a few things.
- Score at least SAT or ACT exams
- GPA is between 2.0 and 3.25 (check your specific school needs)
- Three years of mathematics, including geometry and algebra II
- Three years of science, including biology and chemistry
- Four years of English
- Two years of foreign language
If you are applying to a 4-year-old college or university to get a BSN, after completing the compulsory classes in college or university, you will usually consider nursing as your key.
What accreditation is there for my program?
Approval is a surefire way to ensure that a program meets nationally recognized nursing education standards. Independent accreditation organizations register schools once they go through a complicated application process. For students, accreditation is a gateway to gain funding potentially. Second, getting a degree in an accredited school allows the student to further study in other accredited schools.
The following are the relevant endorsements. When looking for accredited schools, you don’t have to dig too deep. TeachNets.com indicates which organizations are accredited with the NLNAC, using the easy-to-see logo with the name of the school/program.
A quick hint: Approval is not obtained and lasts forever. Approvals are usually granted for a specific period, generally between 5 and 10 years, and will vary for each school. It’s a good idea to test your potential program for how long acknowledged.
Main Accreditation Bodies
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), former NLNAC: Approves the full spectrum of nursing programs (Associate, Diploma, Bachelor and Masters)
- College of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): This institution recognizes Bachelors and Master Nursing programs.
Students should consider another factor when researching nursing schools. State boards of nursing approve schools so they can prepare students for the National Council License Exam (NCLEX). However, state board approval does not automatically equate to school approval from any of the national organizations. Although the State Board approves most accredited schools, it is always a good idea to check.
Unrecognized school: If you are thinking of studying in an unacknowledged, but state board-approved school, there may be errors.
If you can still get NCLEX, your nursing career may end if you are studying for additional education. Generally, learning from an unrecognized school does not enable students to enroll in an accredited school.