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what did you have to do to become an registered nurse

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Belinda’s Answer

Hi Jakeria- I received my Associates Degree in Nursing in 1990, so you can guess how long that's been. Of course, the first step is to apply to college and be accepted and then I had to apply to the nursing program with that college. There was a waiting list when I signed up, so it allowed me to take my pre-requisites first. By the time I finished those, I was accepted into the program. It took a lot of studying and dedication to your school work as mentioned above. You will have to apply for state board testing and pass the exam to get your final license to become an RN and you must renew them. Mine require paying a license fee every 2-3 years and you must keep up with the required CEU's to retain your license. Some are free and some you must pay for. I would check with the area hospitals and nursing facilities to see which type of degree they accept to practice as an RN. You made need to get your BSN and if you are planning to expand beyond just general nursing, I would encourage it. Hope this helps! Good luck.

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Melissa’s Answer

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.

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, masters, and doctorate 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 hospital.

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.

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 ;)


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Suzanne’s Answer

Hello Jakaria,
Becoming a registered nurse takes about 4-5 years depending on how many pre-requisite courses are required and the availability of openings in a nursing program.
Personally, I started by taking the pre-requisites (math, GE, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, biology, etc) in my local community college. Once those were completed, I applied for the nursing program and was lucky enough to be offered a spot.
I then completed the 2 year nursing program, took the state board, and passed. While waiting for the board results, I worked as an interim practitioner in various nursing roles.
I was also working part time throughout all of the above efforts.
Practically, what I did was to study; a lot. I volunteered with the Red Cross. I worked in a nursing home to gain hands on experience and to also find out if I was a good fit for the job.
I have worked over 30 years as a registered nurse. I went on to earn my BSN and MSN. I do recommend that people earn a BSN as this is the best way to be able to work in the hospital after earning your nursing license.
I hope this helps.

Suzanne, I agree with your pathway to RN and onto BSN and MSN. Congratulations. You are a shining example for others. I want to emphasize what you mentioned about volunteering and internships while you were studying. They are really important aspects to not only getting hands-on experience in a field but also it shows the ability to care about your field, share your time between study and work, and that displays the strength it takes to do it all at the same time. Employers applaud that. Brenn M. Simonen

Great advice. D.A. Boyd, RN, HCA, Hospital Operations Supervisor Level 1 Trauma center. David Boyd

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Estelle’s Answer

RN you can do either:
2 year Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN)
4 years for your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Either Degree you will have to take the NCLEX-RN exam (you take this exam after you graduate)
So what's the difference?
Some people get their ADN 1st then enter the work force earlier.
Also some companies offer tuition assistance to help pay for your BSN if you want to continue your education.
BSN opens more doors for you. The BSN often times can advance into management jobs, leadership positions, specialties and research.

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Aaron’s Answer

Hi Jakeria,
To become a registered nurse you have to first enroll in an accredited Nursing program that graduates students with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN). The Nursing programs take usually about 4 years to complete the degree. After graduating with the BSN you have to complete and pass the NCLEX in order to become certified to practice as a registered nurse. Hope this helps.

-Thank you,