What Education is Required to Become a Registered Nurse?

Posted On December 22,2016


The need for Registered Nurses (RNs) is expected to increase much faster than all other occupations. Aspiring nurses can choose to earn: an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN), or a diploma from an accredited teaching hospital. RNs care for patients and educate them on health issues. While technical skills are necessary for this position, you also need good people skills in order to work closely with patients, their families, and medical staff.


Associates Degree in Nursing

Vocational and community colleges offer ADN programs that last for about two to three years. They combine clinical training in various settings, such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, and clinics with classroom instruction. By earning an ADN, you can get your foot in the door, with the opportunity to continue your education in the future via tuition reimbursement programs.

ADNs work in long-term care facilities as medication, treatment nurses, and charge nurses. They also work in hospitals as staff nurses. Duties include making assessments, monitoring IV’s, measuring vital statistics, and providing hands-on care. Private doctor’s offices and clinics also hire ADNs.

An ADN is the minimum requirement to become a licensed registered nurse. Programs are available at nursing schools and community colleges. There are also online programs that are perfect for working mothers or those who are only available at night.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

BSN training is more comprehensive and takes about four years to complete. Students who are already licensed may qualify for accelerated programs. These programs are beneficial to both students who want to pursue administrative careers as well as clinical ones. BSN programs focus more on advanced clinical and nursing methodology than other programs. Critical thinking and administrative skills are also taught to prepare you for more advanced positions. They can work as staff nurses, charge nurses, and directors of nursing in doctor’s offices, clinics, long-term care facilities, and hospitals.

They receive their education in nursing schools, community colleges, and universities. Night and weekend programs are uncommon, so effective time management is key.

LPN to RN Programs

Nurses who already have their LPN license should register for this program. Programs offer general education and nursing classes. They are available in two forums: LPN-to-ADN and LPN-to-BSN. The ADN program prepares you to work as an entry-level RN, while some positions allow you to supervise LPNs. Community colleges, vocational schools, and some universities offer this program.

An LPN-to-BSN program prepares you to work in nurse management positions and earn higher pay. As a BSN, you are more likely to receive autonomy and promotions. This education is available at four-year colleges and universities. BSNs can work anywhere in the medical field: home health care management, acute care in hospitals, and administrative positions.

License Requirements

All RN’s must be licensed to practice in their state of residence. While the requirements vary from state to state, they usually include passing of a state-approved training program and the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses). The exam covers information on infection control, health promotion, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. You may be required to meet additional requirements depending on your state of residence.

Statistics show that between 2012 and 2022, 525,000 replacement nurses will be needed since many currently employed will be retiring soon. Online education is also increasing due to these statistics. Many colleges now blend online educational programs with clinical experiences. Given these reports, now is a great time to consider continuing your education to become an RN.Start Your Journey Now