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How many years will it take for me to be an RN and what are the best programs and nursing schools to attend career-counseling career higher-education

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Tonya’s Answer

To become a Registered Nurse (RN), you can complete a program in 2 – 4 years depending on the type of program you would like. There are diploma, Associate’s degree, and Bachelor’s degree programs. There is also an opportunity to enter a combination program where you flow from one degree into another such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and then right into a Master of Science in Nursing degree. And, there are programs that lead into a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) after achieving a Master of Science in Nursing degree. The Bachelor degree is going to provide you more career opportunities. And, the additional degrees will also provide you even more opportunities.

The best programs can be identified by:
1. Looking for nursing schools that have national accreditation at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing websites (see links below). There are colleges with nursing schools that do not have national nursing accreditation. However, please note, some states require that to obtain a RN license, the student must graduate from an accredited program (in addition to passing the national exam). Florida is one of those states (look at website below for National Council of State Boards of Nursing)

2. U.S. News and World Report provides college rankings specifically for undergraduate nursing programs (in addition to other fields of study). You can look at various colleges at the website (see link below).

3. Ask the school what is their NCLEX pass rate. The NCLEX test is the required test to pass as a step towards becoming a nurse. You can also look at states websites where nursing program information can be found. For example, in Florida, I included the link below where you can look up schools and pass rates.

4. The best school is also where you feel supported, where you can do your best work and study hard, perhaps you need to look at what scholarships are offered, cost, distance from home, and other degrees offered.


*American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2021). Find Accredited Programs. https://www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE-Accreditation/Overview-of-Accreditation/Find-Accredited-Programs

*Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (2021). Search ACEN Accredited Nursing Programs.
http://www.acenursing.com/accreditedprograms/programsearch.htm

*Florida Department of Health (2021). Florida Board of Nursing Education and Training Program.
https://floridasnursing.gov/education-and-training-programs/

*National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. (2021). Approval of Nursing Education Programs https://www.ncsbn.org/665.htm

*U S News and World Report. Searcj U.S. News Education (best nursing schools) 2021
https://www.usnews.com/search/education?q=best%20nursing%20schools%20#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=best%20nursing%20schools%20&gsc.page=1
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