If you are interested in an associate's degree, it takes about 2 years total to complete the prerequisite (pre-nursing) classes, as well as the actual nursing courses. A bachelor's degree takes about 4 years to complete the necessary courses. However, to finish in the times listed, students have to attend full-time throughout the year (each college/university may vary a little bit). It's also important to note that the timeframes listed are also based on the idea that all of the required courses have available seats when the student tries to enroll (if not, the student may have to wait a semester or more for required courses to become available). Some students may choose to start in an associate degree program and then return for a bachelor's degree later in life. I recommend getting the bachelor's degree right away if this fits your lifestyle and personal situation. The reason I make this recommendation is because, in some areas of the country, hospitals prefer a bachelor's degree. The bachelor's degree also offers more opportunities for professional advancement.