What do you have to study to become a nurse?
Before you study to become a nurse, you must first decide whether or not you are studying to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN). Each of these pathways will result in your having to take an exam with the Board of Nursing in your state and will allow you practice in many different healthcare fields.
In order to become an LPN, Most states will require you to obtain training through a 2-year college, technical school, or some other training program that is accredited by the state. In most LPN programs, you will receive practical training in the areas of pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing, Obstetrics, and Pediatrics, etc. (https://www.nursinglicensure.org/articles/how-to-become-an-lpn.html). At the end of your training, you will receive a certificate as well as the ability to sit for an exam through your state board of nursing using a third party testing site.
For those interested in becoming an RN, the education options are: Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN), Diploma Program, and Bachelor's of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN). You are usually required to take college level courses in English, Sciences, Math, and Social Sciences prior to applying to the program. Program length for RN is anywhere from 2-4 years. Expect to study life sciences such as biology, microbiology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, maternity, psychiatric nursing, etc. (https://www.nursinglicensure.org/articles/how-to-become-an-rn.html)
I received my RN training from a hospital-based Diploma program. This took me 2 years. I then applied to a University to complete my BSN in a fast track RN-BSN program that only took 3 semesters giving me a total of 3.5 years to receive my RN training with a BSN. I am happy that I received my education in that order because I was able to enter the workforce immediately with my Diploma while my employer provided tuition reimbursement as I pursued my BSN.
Tasha recommends the following next steps:
In order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), you must earn, at a minimum, an associate's degree but bachelors of science degrees in nursing (BSNs) are also available. Both associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees include coursework in sciences such as anatomy, nutrition, chemistry, microbiology, and nutrition. Associate's degrees, which typically set you up to work in entry-level nursing positions, require 2 - 3 years while a bachelor's degree typically takes four years but can offer opportunities for better compensation.
After completing your degree program, you’ll need to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). That exam requires applying for a nursing license from your home state.
Although pursuing a career in nursing requires considerable academic effort and work, it is a very rewarding career! If you're interested in learning more, you can find additional information on these sites:
Walt recommends the following next steps: