HOW LONG TO BECOME A NURSE: Everything You Should Know

how long to become a nurse

The nursing profession is continually changing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, new technologies, and nurse shortages. Regardless, nursing might be the best option for you if you want to start out in a career path that is in demand and makes a difference. So in this article, we will give every detail on how to become a nurse and all you should know starting out.

How Long to Become a Nurse

The answer to this question is complicated. Why? To become a nurse, you might follow a variety of educational pathways. Generally, up to four years will be spent getting your RN license.

In the majority of states, either a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a two-year Associate degree in Nursing (ADN) is required to become a registered nurse (RN). You also will be expected to take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam after finishing either program. If you pass this exam, you’ll be able to practice as an RN.

Who is a Registered Nurse (RN)

A registered nurse is simply an authorized healthcare provider who treats patients of all ages. To practice nursing, RNs must complete a nursing program and pass all exams. They collaborate with patients, physicians, and other medical experts to diagnose and treat patients’ health problems. As a registered nurse, you offer practical treatment and care in a range of settings, such as clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab facilities. As a registered nurse, you carry out a range of tasks to advance health, suggest or provide treatment, and manage care, such as:

  • Preparing patients for tests, therapies, consultations, or discussions of results
  •  Administering medication or treatment
  • Taking vital signs
  • Evaluating patient health
  • Using a variety of nursing instruments
  • Discussing medical concerns with patients and their families
  • Educating patients about how to manage their ailments
  • Providing follow-up care is an example of what nurses do. 
  • They also collaborate with other medical experts including doctors and other nurses.

The Best Nursing Program to Attend

Anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, nursing practice and theory, and psychology are frequently studied when pursuing an RN degree. There are numerous methods to fulfill your desire to become an RN given the variety of options accessible.

#1. ADN

The fastest way to become an RN is often to earn an ADN and register as a nurse. The time commitment and cost of these programs are often lower than those of regular BSN programs.

ADN programs last roughly two years and are mostly focused on applying clinical skills. However, as was already mentioned, many businesses in the modern healthcare sector favor hiring nurses with a BSN. In addition, the AACN specifies that a BSN is the minimal level of education needed for professional practice.

#2. BSN

While regular four-year BSN programs offer a more profound and comprehensive curriculum, including nursing research, illness prevention, informatics, patient advocacy, and much more, ADN programs primarily focus on applied skills training. Aspiring nurses can use the courses at this level to get ready for leadership roles and have a bigger impact on the healthcare industry.

#3. ABSN

Through a second-degree BSN program, also known as an Accelerated BSN (ABSN), candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than nursing can become nurses in under two years. In as short as fifteen months, these programs can have you ready to successfully enter the healthcare industry as a nurse by providing you with online courses, skills and simulation laboratories, and clinical placements.

#4. BSN to RN

Students who already hold an associate’s degree in nursing and an RN license but wish to return to school to complete their BSN degree can take advantage of expedited education through RN-to-BSN programs. If you’re a registered nurse looking to advance your career and educational options, RN-to-BSN programs are fantastic. Even the program length can vary based on the institution and amount of 

How Much Time is Required to Become an RN

Though it frequently takes anywhere from 16 months to four years, being a registered nurse might take on average about three years. Of all the nursing professions, including certified nursing assistants and licensed nurse practitioners, these experts frequently have the most in-depth education.

Depending on where you reside, the type of practice you wish to engage in, the program or level of schooling you go for, and other factors, the precise time it takes to become an RN varies.

The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which assesses nursing knowledge, is taken by people who desire to become nurses. If a candidate fails the exam the first time, they can repeat it, but they must wait 45 days before doing so. There are various routes one can take to become an RN, and the duration of each program is listed below:

#1. Diploma

The minimal educational need to become an RN is frequently a diploma program. A lot of hospitals and institutions offer clinical practice along with classroom and lecture work, and it might take anywhere from 16 months to two years to finish. The following topics are covered in the nursing diploma program: 

  • Anatomy
  •  Health Care Needs
  •  Holistic Care
  •  Common Health Issues

#2. Associate Degree

Usually, a two-year curriculum, an associate’s degree in nursing can be completed in 20 to 24 months. Students who complete this degree program will be equipped with theoretical knowledge and practical nursing abilities. The following subjects are frequently covered in more depth in this program:

  • Microbiology
  •  Nutrition
  • Pathophysiology
  • health assessment 
  • medical terminology.

#3. Bachelor’s Degree

The most typical degree in the area is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and many employers need an RN with this level of education. A BSN can be earned in three to four years, with the study program placing more emphasis on clinical practice. Additionally, it offers classes in advanced terminology, 

  • Ethics
  • Chemistry
  • nursing assessment.
  • Population-based healthcare
  •  rules and regulations governing the industry

#4. Nursing License

You can take the NCLEX-RN after completing a recognized nursing diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree program. You can obtain a nursing license by passing this exam. This test comprises multiple-choice, multiple-response, fill-in-the-blank, and other question types across four categories and eight subcategories. It encompasses the following four categories: 

  • Safe and effective care environment 
  • Health promotion and maintenance
  • Physiological integrity
  • psychosocial integrity, 

Tips for Picking the Best Nursing Program

For you to excel in your studies, picking the correct nursing program or institution is crucial. Costs, time, and professional objectives are just a few of the numerous factors to think about. Here are four suggestions for finding the best nursing program for you:

#1. Verify the Credentials

Choose a nursing program or institution that has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC). If you desire to pursue higher degrees or specializations, these programs give you the opportunity to enroll in future nursing schools or acquire licenses from your state’s board of nursing. Students who require financial assistance might receive it from accredited universities and programs.

#2. Be Aware of the Requirements

Nursing schools and programs may have different requirements depending on the institution, so it’s crucial to research those you’re interested in and make sure you have the necessary qualifications. Nursing programs typically require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and additional requirements can include: Excellent grades Good attendance Recommendation letters Health-related classes in high school Experience in a healthcare setting, such as volunteer work 

#3. Bear the Prices in Mind

Many students prioritize an affordable cost of attendance, thus it’s critical to investigate the costs of nursing schools. To assist with finances, you might enroll part- or full-time, or you might research the cost differences between an online school and traditional classroom instruction. To lower the cost of your nursing school, think about submitting applications for various financial aid schemes and scholarships. You may then determine how much financial aid you receive, how much you can afford, and how much debt you’re comfortable taking on.

#4. Examine the Clinical Collaboration of the Program

Nearly all nursing programs need you to spend time in clinical settings, so it’s critical to understand the type of medical facility you might work in. Making contacts with the medical staff there can also help you network, find out about job prospects as a nurse, or get hired. Many nurses seek work at healthcare facilities connected to their school or program, and it might be helpful to think of your time in clinical settings as a prospective interview.

How Long to Become a Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner needs to complete six to eight years of education. However, how long it takes you will primarily depend on your present educational background and qualifications.

Professionals in the medical field known as nurse practitioners are highly trained and have a lot of knowledge about health and patient care.

What is a Nurse Practitioner Tasks and Employment Prospects

With a master’s degree and further specialized training, a nurse practitioner (NP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who can evaluate patients, identify medical issues, and recommend treatment regimens. NPs, who should not be confused with registered nurses (RN), diagnose and treat patients, much like doctors. But in some areas, NPs can’t administer medication without a doctor’s permission, even though doctors can do it in every state.

How Long to Become a Nurse Anesthetist

After high school, you’ll need to attend college for roughly eight years if you want to become a nurse anesthetist. The amount of time required is comparable to that of a medical degree. By working full-time while enrolled in school, you could be able to complete the program in three years while also accelerating your education. Your time as a graduate student is split between classroom learning, lab work, and clinical experience.

Who is an Anesthetist Nurse

An advanced-practice nurse who is certified as a registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is in charge of giving patients anesthesia. A CRNA is distinct from an anesthesiologist in that the former has a graduate degree while the latter is an MD. It requires several years of school due to the significant prerequisites to become a nurse anesthetist. 

What Kind of Training is Required to Become a Nurse Anesthetist

Plan to enroll in challenging courses in addition to those you’ve previously taken to get your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) if you decide to pursue the CRNA certification. Strong undergraduate nursing programs prepare you for the difficulties of a graduate degree that is much more demanding. Programs for nurse anesthetists are quite picky about the applicants they accept. 

How Long  to Become a Nurse-Midwife

Since you must complete a BSN and at least an MSN, being a nurse-midwife will often take six to eight years. Additionally, you must have worked as a nurse for at least a year. Although earning a Doctor of Nursing (DPN) can lengthen the time it takes to complete, it can be a major advantage when working in such a fast-paced, practical sector of healthcare.

In order to become a nurse-midwife, you must complete an accredited MSN program or doctoral program in nursing practice (DNP) and successfully complete the CNM certification examinations.

The following are the critical actions to take to become a certified nurse-midwife (CNM):

  •  Complete a BSN program that is recognized.
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN exam for registered nurse certification.
  • Acquire a year’s worth of RN experience in women’s health, frequently in labor and delivery.
  • Complete an MSN program with ACME accreditation.
  • Pass the American Midwifery Certification Board’s Nurse-Midwife Certification (CNM) exam.
  • Submit an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) application.
  • Start working and keep learning to keep your license.

How Long  to Become a Nurse Assistant

Typically, the length of most CNA programs ranges from four to twelve weeks. This is divided into class time and clinical practice. Depending on state regulations, a typical 120-hour CNA program given over six weeks can include four weeks of classroom instruction and two weeks of clinical experience.

The majority of student schedules may usually be accommodated by nursing assistant programs. For students who juggle family obligations or full-time employment, flexible curricula are available. Day, evening, and weekend classes are offered by several schools.

What is the Fastest Time to Become a Nurse?

The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) route is the quickest method to become a nurse. You may finish a Practical Nursing degree and be well on your way to beginning a nursing profession in as little as 12 months, even though you wouldn’t really be an RN.

Is it very Hard to Become a Nurse?

Compared to many other professions, nursing demands greater dedication. It’s one of the most fulfilling occupations you can have, though. It’s not for everyone to go to nursing school because it’s so challenging. 

Is it ever Too Late to Become an RN?

At any age, you can follow your dreams and become a nurse. In fact, if you already hold a bachelor’s degree, it becomes much simpler.

How Long Is RN School in Texas?

To become a licensed nurse in Texas, budget 2-4 years. A BSN program normally lasts at least four years, whereas an ADN program must be completed in at least two years in order to prepare for the NCLEX-RN.

What is the Best Age to Become a Nurse?

No certain age is “appropriate for nursing school.”All of our NCLEX Exam Prep Course participants, who range in age from 18 to 55, go on to become outstanding nurses. Age is not and never will be a problem.


This is encouraging news for everyone who has thought about becoming a registered nurse. Demand growth has resulted in competitive compensation and strong levels of job stability. These advantages, together with a desire to improve the lives of patients, are what motivate many people to begin their path toward becoming nurses.


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