There is more than one answer as it depends on the type of program you are interested in, and where you go.
Here is one path to be an RN (registered nurse):
The minimum education is an associates degree in nursing (ADN), offered in some community colleges.
Each program will have different prerequisite courses (courses you must take prior to being accepted into the program in this case). Making an A will increase your chances of being accepted into the nursing program.
The ADN RN programs are varying lengths depending on the school. Usually 4 semesters.
After completing the associates degree in nursing you are eligible to take the state board. When you pass, you will be a registered nurse and can work anywhere as an RN.
You can go back to school to get a bachelors (how long it takes depends on the college and how many college credits you can transfer- the information will be on the website), masters (lengths of programs vary), and doctorate (varying lengths) if you wish.
This is the cheapest way to do it.
I received my ADN at a community college and started working as an RN in a hosptital.
Most hospitals have tuition reimbursement. I was able to work and complete my BSN online, and the cost was totally reimbursed... free.
Then I received my MSN FNP in which I also received tuition reimbursement. Those classes are more expensive so I had some expenses.
Some people graduate from high school and go to a 4 year university and get a BSN and RN (after passing the state board) when they graduate. This is a lot more expensive. Plus, you aren’t making money until the end ... and then you typically have a LOT of student debt to pay off.
A lot of high school students dwell on the amount of time it takes to get a degree, but in the end it matters very little.
The time will come and go. Ask yourself if you want a degree when you get to the end of that time period, or will you get there and regret never starting.
Anyway- good luck to all of you who are thinking about this wonderful and challenging career. It’s worth it, and if you have a passion for this type of work, your future patients need you to get started!
You are worth the time and energy to achieve your own goals ;)
Depending on what type of degree you are going to and what you want to do with your degree once you obtain it would be a determining factor in how long you are going to be in school. For example, if you are just going into LPN, then you would need about 2 1/2 years, RN you would need about 4 and if you are looking at other possibilities such as Nurse Practitioner, then you will be adding a few years to that just depending on where you are looking to go careerwise with the degree and what line of work you are looking into.
I think that there are different answers if you want to specialize, but typically an undergraduate degree is 4 years.
Scott recommends the following next steps:
You can obtain your LPN in under two years typically, Your Associates of nursing in around two years, bachelors of nursing takes a total of four years at a college/university with an accredited nursing program