How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse? (2022 Facts)

How long does it take to become a nurse? If you're looking for an exciting career that allows you to help people in their time of need, becoming a nurse is a wonderful choice. There are several ways to get started, and you can easily become a nurse in the field of your choice within a short period of time.

The first step is to earn your BSN degree. Once you've finished your BSN, you can take the NCLEX-RN exam. Once you have your license, you'll be able to work as a registered nurse.

Earning a BSN degree

Obtaining a BSN degree will open up many new doors for you, from the increased earning potential to the increased opportunities to pursue specialized training in certain medical areas.

Additionally, a BSN will help you increase your confidence and computer literacy, and it can create a supportive network of like-minded individuals to push you forward.

Lastly, nursing is one of the most highly-regarded professions in the United States, with an average ethics rating of 85% and a prestigious career outlook.

How long does it take to become a nurse

Should I get a BSN degree?

When pursuing a nursing career, it is recommended to earn a BSN degree. The BSN degree will enhance your clinical abilities, improve patient safety, and prepare you for the challenges of the healthcare system. In addition to teaching essential nursing skills, BSN programs will introduce you to topics such as patient care technology, health promotion, and quality control in the healthcare system. Moreover, you can also work towards becoming a nurse manager.

Will a BSN degree be required to work in a hospital?

Many hospitals will require their new hires to hold a BSN degree. This will help them compete with more qualified candidates. Furthermore, BSN nurses will have broader career options. Some hospitals will require nurses with a BSN to receive their license.

Besides being better prepared for the workforce, BSN graduates can even pursue higher education by becoming Nurse Practitioners or Nurse Educators.

Will an associate's degree make earning a BSN degree quicker?

If you already have an associate's degree in nursing, you can pursue a BSN degree faster. Some programs allow you to finish the program in eleven to 18 months, which is ideal for working adults.

You may also qualify for an accelerated program if you already have a bachelor's degree in a different field. These accelerated programs skip general education classes and focus on nursing-specific courses.

How long does it take to complete nursing school

Passing the NCLEX-RN exam

To become a registered nurse, you must earn an associate's degree in nursing and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). This exam is an examination that tests your knowledge of nursing.

If you fail it, you must wait 45 days before trying again. After passing the NCLEX, you must apply for licensure in your state. The licensing process will take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

How long does it take to become a nurse?

While the process of becoming a nurse is lengthy, the benefits of earning a BSN degree are numerous. First, you can choose the shortest degree program that will allow you to earn your nursing license in a shorter time.

Earning a BSN degree will allow you to be a nurse faster, with fewer interruptions to your career. If you already have an associate's degree in nursing, you can earn your BSN degree faster by taking advantage of transfer credits.

By taking advantage of online programs, you can avoid commuting and other expenses. Also, you can complete assignments at times convenient to you.

How long does it take to become a nurse

Earning a BSN degree could take a little bit of time

Earning a BSN degree to become an RN may be the better option, but the choice is ultimately up to you. Earning a BSN will open many doors for you in the nursing industry, including the opportunity to advance your education and career.

And, as you can see, it's always beneficial to upgrade your education. With an RN, you'll start earning a higher salary, and your future career options may be even more lucrative.

Taking the NCLEX-RN exam

To become a nurse, you must first pass the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is offered by Pearson Vue. To register for the exam, you must submit an application to the nursing regulatory body.

The state board of nursing will then notify Pearson Vue that you are eligible to take the exam. Once you are authorized to take the exam, you must study for it.

What does the NCLEX-RN exam entail?

The NCLEX-RN exam measures a candidate's knowledge of the science and the human anatomy. Questions on this test are scored using a logit system, which evaluates how well the candidate performs in each of the different areas.

If you score poorly on one of these areas, you'll want to review the material again, since there's a good chance you'll need to retake the test again.

Is it a requirement to pass the NCLEX-RN exam?

After you've finished your schooling, the next step is to take the NCLEX-RN exam. The NCLEX-RN is designed to measure the competencies of newly graduated nursing students. If you've completed an accredited nursing program, you'll be expected to pass the exam.

However, you may not be able to register for the exam. Each state board has different requirements for taking the exam.

What types of questions are on the NCLEX-RN exam?

There are four different types of questions on the NCLEX-RN exam. The RN exam is for those who plan on managing patient care, while the PN exam tests those who are responsible for assisting RNs. Both tests cover eight areas of care. For more details, you can view the NCSBN's website.

While the exams are computerized and comprised primarily of multiple-choice questions, you should familiarize yourself with the format of the questions. Learn which response best reflects your knowledge of the nursing field.

Earning nursing credentials to become a registered nurse

After passing the NCLEX-RN exam, you must apply for the proper nursing credential. Each state sets its own requirements for licensure, so you should check the requirements before registering. In most cases, you have up to 365 days to complete the NCLEX-RN exam.

It's important to remember that if you've expired your authorization, you must retake the test and pay the fee again.

Which education paths are the fastest to earning a nursing degree?

There are many options for becoming a nurse. A graduate of a nursing program or a related health-related degree is qualified to take the NCLEX, which is required for many medical institutions.

Once you have your official results, you can begin working as a nurse. Before you can begin working, you'll need to fill out an application for the NCLEX-RN exam.

The application may take several hours and may require several letters of recommendation, as many as five in total. Gathering this information should be done during your nursing program.

Before taking the NCLEX-RN exam, prepare in advance

Before attempting the NCLEX-RN exam, it's important to remember that it's a demanding exam. Although you can try your best to study well and become confident in your abilities, it's also wise to consider taking the NCLEX-RN test as a practice.

Choosing a career path to become a nurse

There are several different career paths to consider when choosing a nursing career. The job title and responsibilities you'll be doing will determine the type of education you'll need. Licensed nurses must complete nursing education to practice in the United States.

This is a highly sought-after field that is expected to grow over the next several years. This career field offers a high degree of job stability and is fairly well-paid.

Earning an associate of science degree

An Associate of Science degree in nursing can lead to employment in a variety of fields. Nurses with this degree typically earn a salary of around $71,000 per year. Many people decide to enter nursing as a career change. But if you're not quite ready to give up your current career, there are many other options available.

There are accelerated degree programs, online RN-to-BSN programs, and four-year BSN programs available. Those with a doctorate in nursing practice or master's degree are more qualified for more advanced positions.

Why should I become a registered nurse?

Nursing is a great career choice that offers a high level of job satisfaction, good pay, and plenty of job opportunities. Before beginning your training, you need to familiarize yourself with the different career paths and their unique requirements.

Which of the following options best fits your interests and expectations? How long will you be in the field? What salary will you earn? Which career path will help you reach your goals?

Why registered nurses have many career options

After completing your degree, you can focus on specializations. If you have a natural passion for nursing, you may decide to pursue this field. Among other opportunities, nurse leaders can manage entire departments of nursing, facilities, and even budgets.

However, this is not for everyone. The best career path for you may be to combine your love of caring for people with your professional skills. So, start today by deciding on your career path and move forward from there.

Working conditions for nurses

When choosing a career path to become a nurse, you may want to consider the type of shifts you prefer. While night shifts are more common, most nurses prefer working day shifts. Consider whether you'd prefer long shifts or an evening or weekend schedule.

While nurses may have long working hours, they also have the potential to improve communities through their volunteer work.

Approximately 74% of nurses reported that they participate in health-related activities outside their work, such as health fairs and community volunteer work. Many nurses mentioned traveling and raising money for their organizations.

What type of nursing job and nursing programs should I pursue?

The type of nursing job you want to pursue will depend on your personality and interests. Some nurses have a more sensitive nature and are better suited to pediatric, missionary, or family practice nursing.

Others are high-energy and are better suited to working in an emergency room, critical care unit, or trauma center. If your personality and work style fits these requirements, you can pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist in an operating room or as a poison information specialist.

There are numerous other opportunities in nursing as well, including government agencies and large corporations.

How long does it take to get an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) and work as a nurse?

A two-year junior college nursing program that qualifies you to pass the NCLEX-RN test is known as an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN). ADN RNs can work in any medical environment that needs an RN certification after earning this degree.

(Students pursuing an ADN or BSN must enroll in a program approved by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) (CCNE). The student will not be qualified to take the NCLEX-RN exam or become a registered nurse unless they have completed an approved program.)

How long does a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree take to become a nurse?

A four-year undergraduate education in nursing is known as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) RN. It prepares students to take the NCLEX-RN and become registered nurses, just as the ADN. However, because a BSN involves at least two extra years of study, there are additional advantages to earning one.

Choosing Between ADN and BSN Programs

For most recruiting managers, a BSN is becoming the preferred RN educational track, particularly at big medical institutions and teaching institutes. Many ADN graduates elect to pursue a BSN in order to remain competitive in the industry, retain a higher level of education, and, in certain situations, earn a greater salary.

If you want to be a nurse educator or another type of nursing leader, a BSN may be a better option.

The Magnet Recognition Program was designed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to reward medical institutions that meet the highest nursing quality requirements. However, 75% of the organization's nurse managers must have a BSN or above to qualify. (To be considered for a managerial position at several major medical institutes, a nurse must have an MSN.)

Bridge Programs from ADN to BSN

Nurses with an ADN who desire to get their BSN can do so by enrolling in an ADN to BSN bridging program. These courses typically last two years.

Many people may continue their schooling while working as an RN, which is a huge advantage.

However, some students who finished an ADN had more trouble securing an RN position after passing the NCLEX exam than those who earned a BSN. As a result, you may have to wait months or even years for a job as a new grad nurse.

As a result, even though a BSN is more expensive and time-consuming, you may decide that it is better to pursue a BSN degree from the outset.

Favorite Resources

Our favorite resources are included below.

Job interview resources

Resume and cover letter resources

Job search resources

free interview question and answer full guide

Interview Question and Answer Guide (PDF)

Download our full interview preparation guide. Complete with common interview questions and example answers. Free download. No email required.

Download PDF
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

Fact checked: Our small and dedicated team rigorously evaluates every article, guide, and reference to ensure the information is accurate and factual. Learn more.

Share

Help us by spreading the word