A Guide to Completing Your RN Degree

Posted On February 7,2017

Registered nurses (RNs) play a vital role in the health sector. They educate patients on health matters and provide patient care as well as emotional support. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field’s job pool is set to expand by up to 16 percent by 2024. Growth is driven by an increase in the aging population.

In May 2015, the annual median salary for nursing staff was $67,490. The highest paid professionals earned up to $101,630. Nurses employed in government facilities earned the highest salaries. 

How to Become a Registered Nurse

As an aspiring nurse, you have a number of education pathways from which to choose. The options include the LPN-RN, Associate’s Degree and the Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing (BSN). These pathways lead to the NCLEX-RN licensing exam.

The programs offered by various schools typically offer courses, such as microbiology, anatomy and more. BSN programs take up to four years to complete while undergraduate programs normally take between two to three years.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Studying the associate’s degree allows you to gain an in-depth knowledge of nutrition, pharmacology and other subjects. This qualification opens doors in entry-level nursing roles. To enroll, you must meet minimum grade point requirements and have a GED or high school diploma. In some cases, schools require students to have experience as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Certification in CPR is another common requirement.


Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Earning a BSN degree is a sure-fire way to improve career prospects. It is available in two options: traditional programs that run for four years or the accelerated BSN, which takes between two and three years. The programs also incorporate clinical experiences as part of the coursework.

Some of the requirements for enrollment include a high school diploma and relevant training. An associate’s degree in nursing is a good example of suitable qualifications.  

The Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers the following:

  • Focus on various specialized subjects, such as human growth, organic chemistry and more. The coursework covers these subjects in the first two years.
  • Nursing theory
  • A practical way to prepare for your career through hands-on experience in various clinical settings.
  • The final four years concentrate on specific subjects. These include maternity, mental health pediatrics, adult care, community health and more.

LPN to RN Programs

Specially designed programs make it easy to progress from being a licensed practical nurse to a registered nurse. They provide access to an in-depth curriculum. The program enables you to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. LPN to RN programs are available in two forms: LPN to BSN and the LPN to ADN.


Nursing schools provide varying learning experiences. This allows you to choose a school that suits your needs or preferences. Instructor-led and online classes are available to students.

Previously, online nursing career education was not possible. However, it is now feasible to study online and participate in clinical experiences at hospitals. Internet-based classes are ideal for working professionals.

Meanwhile, many leading universities offer comprehensive four-year degree programs. They have varying faculty to student ratios. Some institutions boasts ratios as low as 6 to 1. As a student, you can take advantage of world-class facilities to improve nursing career education outcomes. It is common for top universities to offer both campus-based and online classes. Get started today by sitting down with our admission counselors at Athena Career Academy.

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