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How long do you have to attend college to become a nurse?

Hello! I am a high school student. I look forward to being a nurse afterward graduating. I have many questions about becoming a nurse.
#nursing career #nursing #opportunities


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John’s Answer

Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an associate’s degree in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses must be licensed.

Education
Nursing education programs usually include courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology psychology, and other social and behavioral sciences, as well as in liberal arts. Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree programs typically take 4 years to complete; associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), associate of science in nursing (ASN) degree, and diploma programs usually take 2 to 3 years to complete. Diploma programs are typically offered by hospitals or medical centers, and there are far fewer diploma programs than there are BSN, ADN, and ASN programs. All programs include supervised clinical experience.

Bachelor’s degree programs usually include additional education in physical and social sciences, communication, leadership, and critical thinking. A bachelor’s or higher degree is often necessary for administrative positions, research, consulting, and teaching.

Generally, licensed graduates of any of the three types of education programs (bachelor’s, associate’s, or diploma) qualify for entry-level positions as a staff nurse. However, employers—particularly those in hospitals—may require a bachelor’s degree.

Registered nurses with an ADN, ASN, or diploma may go back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree through an RN-to-BSN program. There are also master’s degree programs in nursing, combined bachelor’s and master’s programs, and accelerated programs for those who wish to enter the field of nursing and already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) must earn a master’s degree in nursing and typically already have 1 year or more of work experience as an RN or in a related field. CNSs who conduct research typically need a doctoral degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Registered nurses must have a nursing license issued by the state in which they work. To become licensed, nurses must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Other requirements for licensing, such as passing a criminal background check, vary by state. Each state’s board of nursing provides specific requirements. For more information on the NCLEX-RN and a list of state boards of nursing, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Nurses may become certified through professional associations in specific areas, such as ambulatory care, gerontology, or pediatrics. Although certification is usually voluntary, it demonstrates adherence to a specific level of competency, and some employers require it.

In addition, registered nursing positions may require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic life support (BLS), or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification.

CNSs must satisfy additional state licensing requirements, such as earning specialty certifications. Contact state boards of nursing for specific requirements.

John recommends the following next steps:

Contact a nurse and see if they'll take time to explain what they do and they may show you around.

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Sheila’s Answer

Hello Vakenya:

Thank you for your question. The first step to becoming a nurse is getting a solid education, whether you hope to be a licensed practical or vocational nurse (LPN/LVN), registered nurse (RN), or administrator. Every state require students to graduate from an accredited nursing program to become licensed.

• CNA (Diploma or Certificate) - Certified Nursing Assistant, 4 to 12 weeks
• LPN/LVN (Diploma or Certificate) - Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse, 12 to 18 months
• ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) - Registered Nurse, 2 years
• BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) - Registered Nurse, 4 years
• MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) - Nurse Educator, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), Nurse Practitioner (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), 2 years [post-graduate]
• DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) - Advanced Leadership & Research Roles, 2 years [post-graduate]

Best of luck to you!

~ Sheila

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

https://www.allnursingschools.com/how-to-get-into-nursing-school/degree-options/
Check with your local community hospital or clinic to see if you could ask questions directly with a nurse
Consider volunteering at your local community hospital or clinic to gain insights

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Breanna’s Answer

Hi there! I am a nursing student in Mississippi. To answer your question, it really depends on what route do you want to go. There’s Associate Degree Nursing, which is what I am currently in, and that can take roughly 2-3 years depending on you completing your pre-requisites. This can be completed at community colleges. Once you get the degree, you have to take the NCLEX-RN to get your license. Next if you wanted to become a nurse practitioner, for example, it requires more years at a 4-year university. Nursing is a great career with many options and you just choose what you feel is best for you!

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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Vakenya:

You've received some great comments, especially John. His comments has captured all of the particulars in this area. Navigate through the tabs below on Registered Nurse. Best of luck to you!

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

Registered Nurse • https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm#tab-4

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Karon’s Answer

You can approach nursing from different aspects. 4 year college, that has college of nursing. If you want to use another route. There is 2 year degree program when you graduate from either program you will have to take your boards. It is same board for both programs. Those that get the BA in nursing usually get into administration faster and 2 year deal with day to day patients. Also is the LpN still available in some areas of country in one year. Many start there and advance to 2 or 4 year program. But if one does this they can work as LON while furthering their nursing program. The LPN and 2 year programs are usually taught at Jr. college or a technical center. Again the name had to do with the area of country u live in.

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