how long does nursing school takes
The length of time it takes to become a nurse depends on the type of training you are pursuing.
There are a few different paths you can take to become a nurse. Depending on your career goals, you may choose to pursue one of the following:
- Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) complete programs that range from six months to two years in length. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). LPN/LVN programs often include a combination of classroom work and supervised clinical experiences.
- Registered nurses (RNs) complete associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs that typically require four years of full-time study to complete. They are also eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam upon graduation from an accredited program. RN programs include both classroom coursework and supervised clinical practice in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Many BSN graduates go on to pursue graduate education through master’s or doctoral degree programs in order to gain additional expertise in nursing specialties like family or pediatric care, or for higher-level management positions such as nurse practitioners or nurse anesthetists.
A number of factors determine how long it will take you to complete nursing school and become a nurse, including whether you go full- or part-time, what type of classes you take, and which degree you pursue.
How long does nursing school take? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including how many classes you take at one time, what kind of classes you’re taking, and which degree you’re pursuing.
If you attend school full-time (12-16 credits per semester) it may take 4 years to earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing. RN to BSN programs usually take about 2 years for registered nurses who are already working. Graduate school will add another 1-2 years to the process if you choose to pursue a master’s or doctorate degree in nursing.
In some cases, it may take longer than the average time frame to complete your program if you do not pass a course with adequate grades or have difficulty grasping the material that’s being taught. If this occurs, it is recommended that you seek tutoring assistance through your professor or your university’s academic support center. You may also opt to retake certain courses until you have a firm understanding of the material before moving on with your studies.
Those that want to become a registered nurse (RN) have several different educational paths.
If you want to become a registered nurse (RN), you have several different educational paths. A diploma from an approved nursing program, an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) are the typical routes. Each one will provide its challenges and rewards, but they all have one thing in common: they each prepare you to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.
Associate degree in nursing (ADN): This two-year program is offered by community colleges and technical schools. Once the ADN is completed, students can sit for national licensing exams to become an RN. BSN programs typically take four years to complete. Students who already possess a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field can enroll in a BSN completion program, which usually take about two years if students attend full-time.
There are three common nursing degrees, each with its own level of education and training requirements. BSN programs typically take four years to complete. Students who already possess a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field can enroll in a BSN completion program, which usually take about two years if students attend full-time. ADN programs usually take about two years to complete and can be as short as 18 months for fast-track students
RN programs are divided into six different categories:
- Diploma programs, usually offered by hospitals and last three years.
- Associate degree nursing (ADN) programs, offered by community colleges and technical schools and last 2–3 years depending on whether you attend part time or full time.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the first professional degree in nursing in the United States, typically obtained after 3 or 4 years at an accredited university or college. In addition to classroom and clinical study, this program incorporates liberal arts courses that are not directly related to health care but help build skills important for nursing practice such as critical thinking, leadership ability and communication skills.
- Master’s Degree (MSN), usually takes 1–2 years beyond the undergraduate BSN program for students who wish to specialize in advanced practice such as nurse practitioner or midwifery roles. Specialty nurses may also pursue doctoral education at the DNP or Phd level to practice autonomously or teach at universities
Registered Nurses with a BSN tend to earn more money than those who only have an ADN and more job opportunities tend to be available for nurses with BSNs because many employers will not even consider hiring nurses without one.
To become a Registered Nurse, you must first earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), then pass the NCLEX-RN exam (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse), and then apply for licensure in your state. Those who already have a bachelor’s degree may choose to obtain an associate’s degree in nursing and then take the NCLEX-RN exam. Once all of these steps are completed, you can work as a nurse.
Typically, the fastest way to become an RN is by completing a four year BSN program. These programs prepare students with the skills necessary to provide patient care and also teach them about common diseases and illnesses that affect people on a daily basis. However, most states require an RN license before one can begin practicing as an RN so taking time off between high school graduation and starting an RN program will not have much impact on when you start working as an RN unless you plan to move out of state after graduating from your nursing program or wait more than twelve months after passing your NCLEX-RN test before applying for licensure within your state of residence.