How You Can Become a Registered Nurse

Registered Nurses are the most sought out professionals in the medical profession, and according to most experts, the demand for them will continue to rise. One reason is that so much of today’s healthcare depends on prevention, which is an RNs specialty. For example, a diabetic will rely on information and guidance from an RN to learn how to manage and best control their disease. In addition, the advances in medical care and procedures have required that RNs take on more and more responsibilities. Because of this increased workload, hospitals and other employers are desperately in need of more qualified RNs to handle them all.

In order to become an RN, you must first complete your high school education, and although schools vary in their requirements, you should have at least a 2.0 grade average. If you are still in school, you should concentrate on science classes, and take any electives in that area that you can. Next, you’ll be able to get your degree in one of three ways, which are considered different RN levels in the medical field.

  • Associate’s Degree: Your first option to becoming an RN is to get a two year associate’s degree. This is the most basic entry level for RN’s, and is often used as a stepping stone for someone who wants to enter the field, and then later go back to school and increase their education. This type of degree is best suited for those who want to enter the field quickly and start earning an income.
  • RN Diploma: Your next option is to get an RN Diploma, which usually takes two to three years to obtain. If you decide to go down this career path, you should know that most RN’s with this type of degree work in hospitals or other facilities where the patients are in-house, so your career options would likely be limited to those types of positions.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree: This third option is the most popular for many reasons. Although it requires that you go to school for a longer period of time, this type of degree will give you a wide range of knowledge and practical experience. In fact, many employers make this a minimum requirement when searching for an RN to fill an open position. Many people who have begun their nursing careers by getting a diploma or an associate’s degree have gone on to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN). This third option requires about four years to graduate unless you already have a diploma or associates degree, and then it will take approximately two to three years.

Many people find that it’s simply too difficult to attend nursing school full time because of family or other financial or job commitments. Because of that, many schools have begun to offer accelerated programs that allow busy students to attend during nights or weekends. If you’re serious about starting a nursing career, you should be able to find a school that will work around your schedule.

Your final step in becoming a registered nurse is to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse exam (NCLEX-RN). Everyone who has obtained either a diploma or a degree will be required to pass this exam, as it is required by all boards of nursing. Once you have passed it, you will have your licensure as a registered nurse, and will legally be able to work in the field.


Learn More: Certified Registered Nurse Jobs