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How to Become a Registered Nurse

This frequently asked question section answers many of the questions you may encounter as you take the steps towards becoming a registered nurse (RN). By taking the time to do your research about state licensing requirements, BSN nursing school details, the different kinds of RN to BSN’s offered, career opportunities and more, you’ll be on your way to beginning your career as a registered nurse.

How can I become a Registered Nurse (RN)?

Before you can become a registered nurse, you’ll have to meet the set of requirements set by your state’s Board of Nursing. In order to earn a professional nursing license, you must first complete a nursing education program that is approved by the board. You’ll also need to pass the NCLEX examination, a comprehensive nursing test administered by each state. Once you’ve passed that exam, you’ll get your professional nursing license  Several states also require that you continue your nursing education even after you have earned your license in order to keep the license current.

Which RN programs qualify me for the NCLEX examination?

In order to take your NCLEX exam, you have to have one of these three nursing degrees:

A hospital diploma
An associate’s degree in nursing
A bachelor of science in nursing

What are the nursing school prerequisites?

While every nursing school has its own set of guidelines when admitting students, this list should provide you with a basic outline of what you can expect:

SAT or ACT exam (this minimum varies from school to school)
GPA range from 2.0 to 3.25 (this average also depends upon the school)
3 years of math, including geometry and algebra II
3 years of science, including biology and chemistry
4 years of English
2 years of a foreign language

How long will my degree program take to complete?

Nursing Diploma: 3 years
Nursing Associate’s Degree: 2 years
Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN): 4 years
RN to BSN Program: 2-3 years

How much does it cost to become a registered nurse?

The cost of getting an education in the field of nursing can vary depending on the school, type of degree program, geographic location, and more. Community colleges may cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 per year, whereas a private 4-year college can cost more than $20,000 per year.

What is nursing school accreditation and how important is it that my school be accredited?

Accredited Nursing schools are evaluated by a thorough group of standards that are determined by accreditation organizations to be essential in providing students with a quality education. This rating is very important, as a nursing school’s accreditation is a marker for the quality of the institute’s education. Most states also require that your degree be from an accredited school in order to take the NCLEX exam.

Get Started with your Online Registered Nurse Degree

Today it’s easier than ever for you to further your education and increase your salary with an online RN to BSN Degree. If you want to start taking steps towards becoming a registered nurse, find the online school and degree program that’s right for you today!

RN to BSN Careers
Explore the wide scope of registered nursing career paths that exist within this branch of the health care industry.

RN to BSN Nursing Schools
As you prepare to begin an education that will put you on track to becoming a registered nurse, find out which nursing school is best for you.

Registered Nurse Programs
There are a variety of registered nurse programs available to students today – find out which one is the best for you.

The Demand for Registered Nurses
Find out about the high demand for registered nurses and see why now is a great time to start a career in this field.

RN to BSN Salaries
Learn about the trends that have affected – and will continue to affect – registered nurses’ salaries in the health care industry.

NCLEX
Get the information that you need to know about the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).