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How Long Does It Take To Become A Registered Nurse: 5 Key Steps To Become

Portrait of smiling nurse in hospital atrium

A healthcare worker who has received a license from a state board of nursing to provide patient care is known as a registered nurse (RN). To pursue licensure, RNs must complete either an accredited nursing program, an associate degree in nursing, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). From state to state, this varies. Passing the comprehensive national test is the next stage after completing the necessary schooling (NCLEX). A wide number of vocations are open to registered nurses, including but not limited to cardiovascular, medical-surgical, and addiction nursing. Depending on the kind of nursing program you choose to enroll in to prepare for the profession, the time it takes to become a registered nurse varies. ADNs can be earned in as little as two years, compared to the four years it can take to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

How long does it take?

About two to three years are needed to earn an RN nursing diploma. Previously, the main route to becoming a registered nurse was through diploma programs. While specifics differ from program to program, in general, each one introduces students to fundamental ideas in health care and gives them firsthand clinical experience through collaborations with hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Some medical organizations offer internships for everyone who has the relevant soft skills and the interest to become a registered nurse. When one gets the internship, they are able to apply for fake nursing certificates to be guaranteed themselves in the health industry. That’s why nursing diplomas are becoming less frequent, despite the fact that they prepare students for the NCLEX-RN, which they must pass to practice professionally. The bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree is currently the industry norm. However, there are specialized RN to BSN programs that can be completed in as little as 18 months and allow RNs who are currently in practice to obtain their BSNs.

Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree

It takes two to three years to earn an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree. ASN degrees are typically provided by community and city colleges and concentrate on preparing students to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam, which must be passed in order to become a licensed nurse. In addition to providing practical clinical practice, ASN programs prepare students by exposing them to fundamental healthcare topics like anatomy, health science, and pharmacology. Despite frequently requiring fewer clinical hours, Associate Degrees in Nursing (ADN) are comparable to ASN degrees.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree

The average time to earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree is four years. Depending on the program requirements and the amount of coursework they take, students may be able to complete a BSN in as little as three years. A bachelor’s degree in nursing typically educates students on fundamental nursing concepts, offers a predetermined number of clinical hours, and also necessitates that they complete additional courses in unrelated fields. A BSN program may take more time than an associate degree program, but it is typically necessary if you want to pursue more advanced educational programs, such as a master of science in nursing (MSN), which is necessary to become a nurse practitioner (NP).

Pass the NCLEX-RN exam

The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, also known as the NCLEX or NCLEX-RN, must be taken after you obtain your educational certification. To make sure you are ready for the rigors of the profession, the NCLEX is developed to test your knowledge in important areas of the nursing sector. You must pass the test in order to get your state license. The NCLEX-RN is an integrated exam that evaluates your ability to make nursing decisions in a variety of medical circumstances, in contrast to most other medical exams, which often concentrate only on information. The four key areas covered by the NCLEX-RN examinations are as follows:

  • establishing a setting for care that is safe and efficient
  • promotion and maintenance of health
  • Physiological soundness
  • mental and social stability

To pass the NCLEX-RN, you must have a firm understanding of each of these topics and how they are related to one another. You will need to wait 45 days before taking the NCLEX again if you don’t pass it the first time.

Get licensed

You are now qualified for state licensing if you have successfully completed the NCLEX-RN. Check with your state nursing board for clarification, as the precise requirements for getting an RN license differ from state to state. Additionally, state licenses only allow you to practice in the state in which they were granted, so if you want to practice in another state, you will need to apply for a different license.

Advanced training

You will become a registered nurse in full once you have obtained your state license. However, it does not follow that your adventure must come to an end. There are numerous options for you to progress in your profession. You can want to go down the route of obtaining a nursing certification, which attests to your expertise in a certain area. Popular choices include neonatal, pediatrics, oncology, gerontology, and more. By obtaining these qualifications, you may be able to boost your pay and gain the attention of more employers. In a similar vein, you can decide to seek an advanced degree in order to work as a clinical nurse leader or nurse practitioner. To accomplish these objectives, you will likely need to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing (MSN or DNP).


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