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HOW TO BE A RN?

HOW MANY YEARS DOSE IT TAKE TO A RN?

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Michael’s Answer

Hi Jynia,

While in high school, one will need to focus on science and math classes to prepare for a nursing career. Physics, chemistry and biology will be the core science courses. For math, algebra, geometry and statistics will be needed. Both concentrations will enable you to focus and refine your analytical skills for research; complex problem solving; investigative and innovative critical thinking; attention to detail; etc.

Other skills that will need to be built upon center around team building, team work and communication. In any work culture, collaboration among team members, staff and partner departments occur on a daily basis. As a nurse, communication is essential and critical when dealing with patients, medical personnel and other hospital staff. A college course in public speaking, communications and English will help with one's communication and writing skills. While in high school, the debate team will provide the opportunity to sharpen communication skills which are backed with research and factual data and information.

There are different types of Nurses - RN (Registered Nurse), LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse), CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), etc. There are different avenues for Nurses to serve - Emergency Room (ER), Pediatric, Floor, etc. My Mother retired as a Registered Nurse (RN). She was a head RN who looked after patients on the regular floors of the hospital.

RN designation is earned by attending and graduating from a 4 year college program with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. LPN and CNA designations can be earned by attending a 2 year college or vocational program. RNs administer patient medications, treatments and medical and educational advice and information to the patients. Whereas, LPNs and CNAs provide basic nursing care and comfortability to the patient. CNAs work under the supervision of the RNs and LPNs. Travel Nurses will go to different cities and different states to serve in hospitals and medical facilities.

According to Johnson and Johnson, here is a link for Nursing Specialties:

https://nursing.jnj.com/specialty

A Bachelor of Science (BSN) in Nursing will concentrate more on math and science courses. This will be earned at a college or university for a duration of four years. Clinical experience is gained while in nursing school at a college or university. Physiology, psychology and anatomy are some additional college courses that are required for one to take to become a Registered Nurse (RN).

Here are the Top 10 Best Nursing Schools of 2023 per www.nurse.org:

https://nurse.org/education/top-10-best-nursing-schools/

- Duke University
- Georgetown University
- Johns Hopkins University
- New York University
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Michigan
- University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)
- University of Washington
- Emory University
- University of Maryland

U.S. News & World Report has additional college listings for the best schools for a Master Degree in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice:

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-nursing-schools

When reviewing colleges and universities, it is best to check the following:

- In-State vs Out of State Tuition
- Internships
- Scholarships
- Career Placement upon graduation
- Course work and offered classes
- Post-Graduate Degrees - Master and Doctoral

Scholarship applications can start to be submitted during your Junior year and will continue throughout your Senior year in high school. It is best to ask your Academic Advisor/School Counselor on the timeline process as well. Scholarship applications will have specific deadlines and requirements to meet in order to be submitted for review and consideration.

You may want to start to compile your resume/portfolio since a majority of scholarship applications will require academic grade point average (GPA), academic accomplishments, school activities (clubs, sports, etc.), community involvement (volunteer, church, etc.), academic and personal recommendations, etc. There may be essay requirements on why you are a qualified candidate to receive the scholarship, what your future goals are academically and professionally and other questions centering around who you are, your beliefs, etc.

Here are a couple of links for College Scholarships:

https://www.mometrix.com/blog/scholarships-for-college/

https://www.nchchonors.org/students/awards-scholarships/national-scholarships

Also, it will be best to check with the colleges and universities that you will be applying to. You can check with the School/Department of your desired major, the Campus Career Center and the Register's Office for additional information for college scholarships and grants and specific requirements for qualifications.

Best wishes for your education and career path in Nursing!
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Laura’s Answer

In general it takes 4 years to become an RN at a community college because even though the actual RN program is only 2 years, they often require that you take prerequisite courses before they allow you to apply to the program. The prerequisite courses usually take about 2 years to complete. Therefore, you almost are better served going the 4 year University route which also takes 4 years but you come out with at BSN degree. The downside is ofcourse that 4 year Universities are more expensive to attend than community college. The quickest way to get into a 2 year RN program is to try to take some of the college level RN prerequisite courses while you are in High School. Then you can apply to the nursing program sooner if you have most of your prerequisites already taken care of or maybe only need 1 or 2 more. You can get an LPN degree at the community college level in 2 years.
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