What Education is Needed to Become a Registered Nurse?

To become a registered nurse, you will need to complete an accredited nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

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Introduction

Earning your registered nurse credential is the first step to beginning your career as a nurse. To become a registered nurse (RN), you must complete an accredited nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

There are three educational paths to becoming an RN: a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), an associate degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from a nursing program. The type of program you choose will determine how long it takes to complete your education and how much you will pay for tuition.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
A BSN program typically takes four years to complete and is offered at many colleges and universities. A BSN will prepare you with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and lead teams of nurses.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
An ADN program usually takes two to three years to finish and is offered at community colleges and some four-year universities. An ADN will prepare you with the skills necessary to provide patient care, but may not provide the same leadership opportunities as a BSN.

Diploma from an accredited nursing program
Diploma programs are hospital-based and usually take two to three years to complete. A diploma program will prepare you with the skills necessary to provide patient care, but may not provide the same leadership opportunities as a BSN.

Once you have completed an accredited nursing program, you must pass the NCLEX exam to earn your RN license. The NCLEX is a standardized test that measures your knowledge and skills related to patient care. After passing the NCLEX, you will be able to practice as an RN in your state.

What is a registered nurse?

A registered nurse (RN) is a professional nurse who has completed a two- to four-year degree in nursing and has passed a state licensing exam. RNs work in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, home healthcare, and public health. They provide direct patient care and may also coordinate care with other health professionals.

The educational requirements of a registered nurse

To become a registered nurse, you need to have a minimum of an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) from an accredited nursing program. You can also choose to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which will take you four years to complete. After you have completed your nursing education, you will then need to obtain a nursing license.

An Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)

An Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) is the minimum educational requirement to become a registered nurse. To obtain an ADN, you must complete an accredited nursing program, which typically takes two to three years. After completing an ADN program, you must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), in order to obtain your RN license.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the minimum educational requirement for most registered nurse positions. In some cases, an associate degree in nursing (ADN) may be sufficient, but a BSN provides nurses with additional training and knowledge that can lead to better patient outcomes and career advancement opportunities.

A BSN program typically takes four years to complete, although some schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as three years. During a BSN program, students take coursework in nursing theory, clinical practice, and liberal arts. They also gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations in various healthcare settings.

After completing a BSN program, nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed registered nurses. Some employers may also require nurses to obtain certification in their specialty area of practice.

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

In order to become a registered nurse, you will need at least a two-year Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), although most nurses now have a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). If you want to advance your career and earn more money, you may want to consider getting a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

The benefits of becoming a registered nurse

There are many reasons to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their patients and their families. They also enjoy job satisfaction and a good salary. And, with the right education, nurses can enjoy job stability and job security.

The job outlook for registered nurses

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members. Many RNs also promote or sell products and services. RNs typically work in hospitals, but many also work in physicians’ offices, home healthcare services, and nursing homes. Most RNs work full time.

Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur for a number of reasons, including an increased emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for healthcare services from the baby-boom generation. As a result of this growth, about 405,400 new jobs are expected to open up by 2029.

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