Complete a high school diploma: Before beginning your journey to become an RN, you must first earn your high school diploma or equivalent.
Attend a nursing program: You can choose to pursue an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. ADN programs typically take two years to complete, while BSN programs take four years.
Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN): After graduating from a nursing program, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam in order to become licensed as a registered nurse.
Obtain a state nursing license: Once you pass the NCLEX-RN exam, you can apply for a state nursing license. The requirements for obtaining a nursing license vary by state, but typically include completing an application, paying a fee, and submitting proof of education and exam results.
Consider pursuing additional education or certifications: Registered nurses can choose to pursue additional education or certifications in a specialty area, such as pediatrics or oncology. These certifications can help nurses advance their careers and increase their earning potential.
It's important to note that the process for becoming a registered nurse may vary slightly depending on the state and the specific nursing program you choose to attend. It's always a good idea to research the requirements in your state and speak with an academic advisor or nursing program representative to learn more. I hope this helps. Good luck!
Most curriculums are similar for each program. 2 year programs are not as recommended as the 4 year program so even with a 2 year degree you may find your employment options restricted. You can always build on a 2 year program to be a 4 year graduate and many employers will help with tuition to complete the 4 year program.
Good luck in your endeavors.
Writing the licensure exam isn't difficult, you only need to prepare ahead. Good luck.
I would like to add to Sue and Jerel's posts and say that some people find having a career in fields like CNA or certified nursing assistant, phlebotomy, or other ancillary staff positions helpful to making the transition to being a registered nurse. I myself was a phlebotomist prior to nursing school and during it. Not only did it give me valuable experience with IVs and blood draws, but I began to feel out what parts of the hospital I found most interesting! At my hospital I worked in every department including, Pre-Op, ICU, Labor and Delivery, Outpatient labs, and the Emergency Department. Whichever way you decide to use in order to join the field, know that you are joining a group of people that will encourage you to do and be the best you can be! Good luck in your future schooling and know that we nurses are rooting for you!!