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
Southern Technical College provides education and training in a variety of medical and technical areas that enable graduates to obtain entry-level employment. As a student at Southern Technical College, you will have the opportunity learn in several different ways.
- A.S. - Nursing
- Diploma - Medical Assistant
- A.S. - Medical Assistant
- Nursing - Associate of Applied Science
- Practical Nursing
- Medical Assistant
Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.
* Programs vary by location
* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information
- Associate Degree in Nursing
- Practical Nursing
- Medical Assisting
At Florida Career College, our supportive faculty and staff are committed to helping you build a life and a future you can be proud of! We have dedicated financial aid representatives who will meet with you one-on one-to help you explore your payment options. Tutoring is available for when you need extra help and once it’s time to look for jobs, a dedicated career services representative will help you with your resume, interview skills and employer connections!
- Patient Care Technician (10-Month Diploma Program)
- Medical Assistant Technician (10-Month Diploma Program)
Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Accelerated)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (FastTrack)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
- And more...
At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career. Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.
- Associate of Science in Health Science - Pre-Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Health Science (Post PTA)
Get Personalized Attention at UMA
Ultimate Medical Academy is committed to helping you succeed in a healthcare career. That’s why we offer assistance from the very beginning, throughout training, and even after you graduate. One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in our competitively priced tuition.
- Nursing Assistant
- Patient Care Technician
- Medical Assistant
Our mission is YOUR SUCCESS!
When you succeed, we succeed. That is why we provide high-quality, specialized career preparation for all our students. Our goal is to help you find your rewarding career.
Our Mission Statement:
To provide high-quality, specialized career preparation or enhancement to meet and cope with technological changes resulting in employment and career success.
- Medical Assisting, Diploma
You can prepare for a new career with help from Charter College. Our accelerated Associates Degree, and Certificate programs are designed to help you complete your education as quickly as possible. We offer year-round classes and flexible scheduling - study anytime from anywhere. We provide students not only with the technical skills necessary for success, but also job search and placement assistance so you can find new opportunities after graduation.
- Certificate - Medical Assistant
Unitek College – About Us
Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career. Your training at Unitek College will position you to take advantage of the rising demand for experts in allied health, nursing, and technology professions. Our programs include Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, Vocational Nursing, Practical Nursing (select locations,)and Bachelor of Science in Nursing: RN-to-BSN Degree Completion.
- Practical Nursing (Reno Campus Only)
- Medical Assisting