How long does it take to become an RN?
The world has been complaining about the lack of people in the medical field. Nursing, in particular, has become a very in demand college course path of study due to the lack of nurses in many countries. Because of this, different nursing schools have been set up in order to give graduating high school students, or people looking to change careers, varying options for their nursing college degree.
To know “how long does it take to become an RN,” one must first know what type of RN he or she is looking to be in the future. It is also very important to take into consideration the educational path, and learning speed or curve of a prospective student.
Associate Degree in Nursing
An Associate Degree in Nursing usually takes two years to complete, which makes it a cost-effective alternative to a bachelor’s degree. The first year is dedicated for per-requisite or foundation subjects, such as Literature, Language, Ethics and Values, Historical Studies, Culture, and more. The second year will be for medical subjects such as Microbiology, Chemistry, clinical, Biology, and more. This type of curriculum focuses on nurse’s technical skills to prepare them for the RN licensing exam. Once they pass that, associate degree holders can apply for entry-level jobs in hospitals and other medical or in-patient facilities.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
A bachelor’s degree in nursing takes about 4 years to complete, or two, if one is already an associate degree holder. The length of completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing is what usually answers the question “how long does it take to become an RN?” Because a bachelor’s degree offers a more comprehensive training ground for future nursing professionals, this is what most students aim for. Aside from bagging internships and handling clinical case studies on their own, BSN students also take advanced medical courses which, in turn, they can use to further their studies and earning potential in the field.
Nursing Licensure Exam
After earning a degree in nursing, graduates undergo the National Council Licensure Examination, or more commonly known as NCLEX, to officially become registered nurses. The exam takes only a day but the study time varies. Other students enroll in month-long review programs while others take longer in taking their exams. And even after the exam, passers are required to fulfill various state requirements to finally earn their licenses.
Registered Nurse Practitioner
To become an RNP (Registered Nurse Practitioner), RNs take an additional 2 year education. Once done, RNPs are allowed to prescribe medications, diagnose patients, or give examinations while working under licensed physicians.
So to answer the question “how long does it take to become an RN” : in as little as 2 years, one can become a registered nurse if he or she earns an associate degree and passes the licensure exam. And it can be a little over 4 years for those looking to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Although it may take longer for RNs to become an RNP or a clinical nurse specialist, we don’t really need to count that into equation because even before being allowed to pursue further studies in nursing, a RN license is required, and you can be on the job making money, and study at the same time in order to move up the ranks.