If you’re interested in nursing as a career, now is the time to become an RN. The demand for Registered Nurses (RNs) is strong and growing.
To be a Registered Nurse in the United States, you must pass the relevant National Council Licensure EXamination (NCLEX). This means that you would have to first undertake and pass a suitable education and training program, either an associate degree or bachelors degree, in preparation for the the exam.
But what is the difference between getting registered and getting a bachelors degree (RN vs BSN)? What can you expect to earn as an RN? This page tells you about the pathways to nursing registration, helps you to find suitable programs to prepare you for the NCLEX nursing licensing exam, and more …
Studying to become an RN (Registered Nurse) in the USA
The NCLEX-RN is taken by both Associate Degree (ADN) and Bachelors Degree (BSN) prepared nurses and the pass rates are about the same for both ADN and BSN prepared nurses. Make sure that your chosen program prepares you for the NCLEX Nurse Registration exam.
There are basically three types of program you can take depending on your qualifications and the time you want to spend:
- If you don’t yet have a degree, then the two-year online Associate Degree in Nusing (ADN) is one program you could take. The Associate Degree has been the main route to becoming a registered nurse for many years.
- If you don’t yet have a degree, the other program you could take is the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The popularity of the BSN as a route to registration is growing quickly, both with nurses and with employers.
- If you already have a non-nursing degree, the paths to becoming an RN are called “second degree accelerated” BSN programs, and “direct entry” MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) programs.
Preparing for the NCLEX-RN Exam
The NCLEX-RN exam is a computer based test designed to measure if you have the knowledge and problem solving skills needed to provide adequate health care to patients and is needed in order to work in any health care facility. The length of time it takes you to complete the test will depend on if you get the correct answers. Each time you do, the computer software gives you a question at a higher skill level, whilst a wrong answer will mean going down to a lower level. The software will keep providing new questions until it is clear that you have or do not have the competency at the level required.
The subjects covered include care and comfort; safety; infection control; health promotion and maintenance; psychosocial integrity; pharmacological therapies; and reduction of risk potential.
StudyGuideZone.com provides further information, together with a free, downloadable Study Guide for the NCLEX-RN exam.
Summary of how to qualify as an RN
If you don’t yet have a degree:
If you already have a non-nursing degree:
- Take the “second degree accelerated” BSN or take the “direct entry” MSN
- Take the examination for registration (NCLEX-RN in the USA).
What can you expect to earn as an RN?
Your salary will obviously depend on your experience, qualifications and which role you pursue. But in the US, the median salary range for an RN with 1 to 4 years experience is $40,000 – $59.000 (source: PayScale).
List of schools and programs
Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school experience.
- Practical Nursing Diploma
Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!
What Are You Waiting For?
- Nursing (RN) - Associate's
- Nursing (RN-BSN) - Bachelor's
- Practical Nursing - Diploma
- Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!
- PN RN Associate Degree Bridge Program
- Associate Degree in Nursing
- Practical Nursing
- RNs, join one of GCU's CCNE-accredited bachelor's, master's or doctoral nursing programs.
- Offering a full spectrum of nursing programs to fit your education needs and career aspirations.
- Online and evening classes designed to meet the needs of working students and adults.
- A holistic, physical, emotional and spiritual approach to patient care is taught in the classroom.
- Curriculum that connects classroom theories to working scenarios through many modalities.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
- M.S. in Nursing: Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems
CTU can help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional network, faculty who are real-world professionals and innovative technology. And now several CTU degree programs are ranked by U.S. News Best Online Programs for 2015. Are you in?
- Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning. Today, we offer an impressive array of more than 130 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs across five colleges and the Graduate School.
- Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
- Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP)
- Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner Track (BSN to DNP)
- And more...
[email protected], the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.
You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.
- MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
- RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
- BSN completion program for Registered Nurses is available entirely online.
- The RN to BSN program is designed to help students advance their career, or prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
- Courses teach modern health assessment and treatment methods, how to evaluate potential disease or injury, and more.
- Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
- Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
- Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
- Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
- Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
- Specialization in Nurse Administrator (MSN)
- Nursing (RN to BSN)
- RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (RN-MSN)
- And more...
- Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
- GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
- Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
- Executive Master of Health Administration
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