To become a good nurse do i need to go to collage or can i take nursing school? Would i have the same benefits ?
As far as the programs, the previous responses are correct int he different types of nursing programs available, and technically a nursing program is equated with an A.S., BSN, MSN, DNP degree from a college, so it is not usually associated with going to college or nursing school, as you are still graduating from college when you graduate from a nursing program with a degree specializing in nursing. For example, I started out going to a local community college and received my A.S. degree in 2 years, then finished my next 2 years going to a specific nursing program, but still graduated with my BSN degree, the specialty is nursing. I then went back to my alma mater 15 years later and took classes to finish my MSN degree with a specialization in a Clinical Nurse Specialist track.
I would suggest deciding what kind of nurse you want to be before deciding on the type of college or program you want to attend, and I would look at the programs around the area of the country you live in. The reason I say this is because in some areas of the country LPNs/LVNs are no longer allowed to work in acute care facilities (hospitals), so there are limitations of where you are allowed to work afterward; most hospitals throughout the country are requiring a 4-year degree (BSN) for entry-level to follow the IOM report to have a BSN by 2020; if you wish to become a nurse practitioner or something more than an inpatient nurse, I would suggest starting with a 4-year degree as there are a lot of great bridge programs to MSN and DNP programs that shorten the time period of traditional pathways and to save money.
Last but not least, as you mentioned programs that do not take a lot of money, I started out at a local junior college for my first 2 years before the actual nursing program to save money, this may be an option for you. During this time you can take a local CNA class and get in with a local hospital working and see if they have tuition reimbursement as you start taking nursing classes. This is a great way to start working in the medical field, gain experience, and find some tuition relief. I would also check with local libraries to see how to get some grants and scholarships for tuition relief.
In order to be an registered nurse (RN), you typically need an associate or bachelor degree. The diploma programs are very few and far between anymore, but they will also give you the ability to take the NCLEX. Nurse schools are often for licensed practical or vocational nurses (LVN, LPN), so make sure that one you're looking does have an RN program. As a diploma nurse, you may have more trouble advancing into management positions, and likely could not work in community health, or school nursing. Since the diploma programs usually take a few years to complete anyway, you might as well get a degree, that way if you decide to increase your education, you already have a start.
I would add that it is possible to move up in steps! Lots of people complete their LPN first, then go back for their RN (associate or bachelors) while working as an LPN. Depending on where you live and the job climate, you may get great placement with an associate RN, but in many places BSN is preferred, though you might still be considered if the employer agrees to hire on the basis of completing your BSN within a given time frame.
Moving up in this way may save a lot of money, but it might come at the cost of some more time and energy.
There are a lot of options in this field!
LPN/LVN- can be done low cost at some community colleges or at a for-profit nursing program which could cost close to 30k
R.N.- can be done by earning an AAS at a local community college for less than $10,000 (in some states for residences) or you can pay 40k at a for profit institution
B.S.N- can be done at a 4 year public school or for-profit school for close to $70k
The choice you make depends on how soon you want to get into a program after prerequisites are complete
How much you are willing to invest in your future
*Start checking out various schools and talk to nurses and see which route they took