how many years study nursing
Nursing is a broad field with room for advancement.
Nursing is a broad field with room for advancement. Nursing is a wide field, with a variety of specialties. Consider your interests and strengths to plan your path as you consider how many years of school will be needed to reach your goals.
- Number of years depends on the chosen specialty and level of education earned.
- Specialty areas include geriatrics, pediatrics, midwifery and neonatal nursing.
- ADN programs can be completed in two years, with bachelor’s degrees taking four years to earn.
However, each nursing field has its own educational requirements.
However, each nursing field has its own educational requirements. You will need to complete the appropriate level of education before applying for a license or certification. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of nurses and their educational requirements:
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): An LPN receives on-the-job training that takes about 1 year to complete and is offered by vocational schools, technical institutes, community colleges and hospitals. Then LPNs can pursue national certification from the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). LPNs typically earn about $40K per year.
Registered Nurse (RN): RN programs are available at community colleges, vocational schools and hospitals, as well as through online RN programs. They take approximately 2 years to complete and prepare students for the NCLEX exam in their state and specialty area (e.g., licensed registered nurse [LRN], licensed vocational nurse [LVN]). After passing this exam, you can apply for licensure with your state’s licensing board of nursing. The average salary for an RN is $73K per year.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN): APRNs typically have at least a master’s degree in nursing or health care related field such as public health or health administration; some APRNs also have doctoral degrees in fields like clinical research or public policy, which can take up to 6 years beyond the bachelor’s degree to finish. Aside from earning more than traditional RNs—an average of more than $98K annually—APRN roles allow nurses to engage directly with patients throughout their lives in primary care settings rather than just treating one condition or disease at a time.*
- According to BLS data, Nursing instructors and teachers make an average salary of around $75K annually.
Your path to any nursing career begins with becoming an RN.
Nursing is a broad field that offers numerous career paths. However, each nursing specialty has its own educational requirements. Your path to any nursing career begins with becoming an RN, but you can then choose to specialize in areas such as geriatrics, pediatrics or oncology. The following sections describe the different types of nursing careers and their educational requirements.
Your path to any nursing career begins with becoming an RN. To become an RN, you need at least a 2-year associate degree in nursing (ADN), though many employers prefer candidates who have completed a bachelor’s program in nursing (BSN). To become an LPN or LVN, you can complete a diploma program in about one year.
To become an LPN or LVN, you can complete a diploma program in one year.
You can complete a certificate program in one year, but an associate degree program takes two years. If you want to become an RN, you will need to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree program.
RNs and BSNs will have the most job opportunities. The requirements for other nursing positions vary by state. In order to become a registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse (LVN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN), you must graduate from an accredited program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
For example, you can become a registered nurse (RN) in about two years, provided you choose an associate degree program.
- For example, you can become a registered nurse (RN) in about two years, provided you choose an associate degree program.
- These programs are offered by community colleges, technical schools and some universities. Full-time students typically spend at least three hours studying per week for each lecture hour spent in class.
This means a typical full-time student will spend between 12 and 18 hours per week in class or laboratory sessions and be expected to study outside of class another 36 to 54 hours each week.
Once done with the program, graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam so they can become licensed as RNs.
The other option is to get a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN). This takes about four years — two years for general education requirements and two to complete the nursing portion of the degree.
If you already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or higher, then there are accelerated BSN programs that can be completed in as little as one year. Typically these are full-time programs that require at least 40 hours a week spent on schoolwork during the fall and spring semesters plus an eight to 12 week summer course between your first and second years.
After completing their BSN degrees, graduates must also pass their licensing exam before they can practice as RNs
It takes anywhere from two to four years to become a BSN, depending on whether you attend school full- or part-time.
All nursing students must spend a certain amount of time in a clinical setting, as well. This varies from school to school, but most programs require 600 hours of supervised clinical practice by the end of the program. For full-time students, this typically takes two to three semesters; part-time students may take up to five semesters.
In total, it takes anywhere from two to four years to become a BSN, depending on whether you attend school full- or part-time. Students with an associate degree may be able to complete their BSN in one year.
Students who want to study nursing should consider their career goals before deciding which degree program best suits their needs.
You can complete your coursework in as little as one year of full-time study if you already have a BSN.
- Full-Time Study
If you choose full-time study, you can usually complete your coursework in two years.
- Part-Time Study
If you have to maintain employment while completing your degree or prefer to increase the time spent studying each topic in order to fully understand it, part-time study may be best for you. You would need to spend four years on your studies if working toward a master’s through part-time study.
- If You Already Have a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Another Field
You can complete your coursework in as little as one year of full-time study if you already have a BSN. For those who do not have an academic background in nursing but simply wish to advance their careers with graduate education, it may take two years of full-time study.
In order to practice as an APRN in most states, you’ll first need to earn your RN and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
In order to practice as an APRN in most states, you’ll first need to earn your RN and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Some states allow direct entry into MSN programs, but most require that you have some experience working as a nurse before you can apply to a master’s program.
After completing your RN education, the next step is to complete an MSN degree. During this time, you’ll study the advanced nursing practices of your chosen specialty and take part in clinical rotations in order to gain hands-on experience.
Upon completion of your MSN degree, you will also need to pass a certification exam administered by a national certifying body specific to your state and specialty. Once these requirements are met, you’re ready to pursue licensure as an APRN and start practicing in your chosen field!
You’ll then need to complete a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree with a specialty in your chosen APRN track and take the certification exam for that field.
The amount of time it takes to complete your education depends on the goals you have set for yourself. If your goal is to be an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or a nurse practitioner, then you must first earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and become a registered nurse (RN). You will then need to complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a specialty in your chosen APRN track and take the certification exam for that field. This process can take anywhere from one to three years depending on whether
you are enrolled in classes as a full-time or part-time student.
The time it takes to complete these programs varies by state and by field
Taking time to finish your education is an important part of ensuring that you are prepared for the field. The amount of time it takes will depend on several factors, however. The first being the specific field or specialty that you are going into. For example, an RN program typically takes 2-4 years to complete in most states if you have no prior college experience and if you attend full time. A BSN can take 2-6 years depending on whether you hold a bachelor’s degree in another field and elect to continue your education or if you are a high school graduate entering this new field with no experience.
Another major factor that determines how long it will take to complete your degree is whether or not your state requires additional education beyond a standard degree in order to be licensed as a nurse practitioner. Some require post-graduate training while others only require an associate’s degree for these types of licenses which makes them faster and easier to obtain than other states where licensure requirements may differ. One last factor when considering how much time it will take before finishing from nursing school has nothing at all with one’s ability level: whether he/she attends school fulltime or part-time each semester can make all the difference between graduating earlier rather than later because students who enroll more credits each term end up taking less total hours overall since they do not need as many semesters!