How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse?

Is this a trick question? It really all depends on what type of nurse you want to become. If you’re thinking about preparing to be a practical or vocational nurse, it takes about a year to a year and a half to complete the program depending upon your state and the institution.  After finishing your practical nursing program, then you will need to prep and sit for the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) to get your licensure.

To become a registered nurse (RN), you’ll need a minimum of an associate degree, which typically takes two years to complete, followed by passing the NCLEX. Others chose to earn a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) to become an RN.  While an associate degree is the minimum requirement for an RN, a BSN can improve a nurse’s opportunities for a higher level of compensation and leadership responsibilities.

To become an administrator or teach in certain states, you likely will need your Bachelor of Science in Nursing. As the name “bachelor” suggests, these often can require four years of study. Working RNs with an ADN degree (Associate Degree in Nursing) can often pursue an RN to BSN degree fully online.  Some programs are as short as 18 months but they can be longer depending on the course load taken each semester.

After a BSN the next step is an MSN – Master of Science in Nursing – and this can entail another two years of study. Again, some online programs can be as brief as 18 months depending upon the institution.  You’d need an MSN to become an advanced practice nurse, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, for example, but let’s skip that for now.

Earning an ADN and becoming a registered nurse usually is the shortest popular option to become an RN.  Becoming an RN can open the door to many staff nursing positions as career experience grows. Studying to become an RN typically will include courses in anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, nursing practice and theory, and psychology.

With locations throughout the U.S., Fortis offers nursing programs, including associate degree in nursing (ADN), practical nursing (PN – vocational nursing in Texas), bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), and more. Visit our Nursing Programs page to learn about the options.

Discover the love of a career in nursing…and how a nursing program at Fortis Colleges and Institutes can make the dream of being a nurse a reality.

Tags: nursing, career advancement, empower

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