Registered Nursing Education Requirements

Registered nurses (RNs) are the primary medical providers in hospitals, clinics and other medical settings. These professionals provide patient care, administer medications and make recommendations on treatments to doctors. Becoming a registered nurse usually requires earning a degree, either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. BSN programs are designed for students with no prior education or training in nursing. BSN coursework includes general education topics, such as history, science and psychology. Additional training is provided by clinical rotations conducted at medical facilities. After graduation, students must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to secure licensure.

Registered Nursing Education Requirements

1 Registered nurses are required to complete an accredited program to practice as nurses.

Registered nurses are required to complete an accredited program to practice as nurses. The degree is called a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and it is the most common undergraduate nursing degree.

  • BSN programs provide more job security, as they’re preferred by many employers.
  • A bachelor’s degree takes longer than an associate’s degree program—typically two to four years versus one year for most associate’s degrees.
  • Some schools offer accelerated BSN programs that allow you to earn your bachelor’s degree in two years or less by taking summer courses or online classes during the winter break period between semesters.
  • The cost of one year’s education at a public university can range from $20,000-$50,000 depending on whether you live on campus or commute from home each day; private universities charge even more than that!

2 Becoming a registered nurse usually requires earning a degree, either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The degree you need is dependent on the location and employer you choose to work with. Some hospitals require that all nurses have a bachelor’s degree, while others are okay with a high school diploma. The same goes for nursing schools: some will only accept applicants who have completed an associate’s or bachelor’s program, while others will accept those who have taken courses from community colleges or online institutions.

Some entry-level positions require only a certificate of completion for their programs, which can be obtained in about two years by attending classes full-time at a community college; however, it may take longer if you are working as well as taking classes.

3 BSN programs are designed for students with no prior education or training in nursing.

BSN programs are designed for students with no prior education or training in nursing.

  • Students who have already earned an associate’s degree may apply to a BSN program as well, but they must meet certain prerequisites that include completing eight semesters of general education courses and passing the NCLEX-RN exam.
  • Students who have already completed a diploma program may also apply for a BSN program, but must take additional required courses in order to earn their bachelor’s degree.

4 BSN coursework includes general education topics, such as history, science and psychology.

BSN programs are designed to prepare students for the NCLEX-RN exam. In addition to nursing courses, most BSN programs include general education topics, such as history, science and psychology. Students may also study nutrition and health promotion during their coursework.

  • Approximately one year of general education courses (usually taken in college) is required before students can enroll in an academic program leading to a BSN degree.

5 Additional training is provided by clinical rotations conducted at medical facilities.

Clinical rotations are required, but you can choose which facilities to rotate through. For example, you might work at a large hospital during one rotation and a small clinic on another. You may also be able to arrange your own clinical rotations with a doctor that has agreed to take students for them (these are called preceptors).

Regardless of the location and who is supervising your clinical experience, there are some things that will remain the same:

  • The environment will be different from what you’re used to at home.
  • You’ll probably have little supervision available from your instructors because they won’t be with you 24/7—and it’s not like we can follow around every student all day!
  • There will be more people working than just yourself; therefore, there will always be someone else around if something goes wrong—which can be good or bad depending on how comfortable and confident in their skillset they feel as well as how much experience they have in dealing with these situations themselves… so don’t panic!!

6 After graduation, students must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to secure licensure.

After graduation, students must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to secure licensure. The exam is a computer-based test that is administered at testing centers throughout the country by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. After passing this test, prospective nurses can apply for a license in any state throughout the nation.

7 Anyone interested in becoming a registered nurse should consider pursuing a BSN degree program, since this level of education is preferred by many employers.

If you’re interested in a career as a registered nurse, you should consider pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. BSN programs are more expensive than associate’s degree programs, and can take more time to complete. However, they also offer greater depth of education and prepare students for leadership roles within the healthcare industry.

A bachelor’s degree is usually required for jobs as RNs or LPNs with most employers—although there are some opportunities for registered nurses without a four-year degree. On average, registered nurses who graduate from an accredited academic program earn higher salaries than those with less formal training (and they tend to be eligible for more positions). The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that graduates of bachelor’s degree programs had an average starting salary around $51K per year during the 2015-16 school year; graduates from associate’s degree programs earned an average starting salary just shy of $49K per year during the same period.

Closing

If you’re looking for information on how to become a registered nurse, we hope this article has provided some helpful guidance. We also recommend checking out our other articles about nursing school and the NCLEX-RN exam.

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