The Road To Becoming an RN
by Greg Cryns
The fact is that you do not need a bachelor's degree to become an RN. You
can do it with a two year associate degree, if you choose.
Though they call it a 2-year associate program it is likely that it will
take you 3 years. Why? You mush have the prerequisites in biology,
anatomy, chemistry and physiology before you are allowed to apply for an
associate program. You will then take two full years of nursing courses.
Nursing courses are not easy so plan on lots of study and superior effort
to complete them. When you finish the associate program you will take the
identical licensure exam as do people who have the bachelors degree. If
you want, you can do a BSN program when you are ready, both mentally and
financially. The first two years, though, are much more demanding.
You could also go directly into the BSN program. You will finish in four
years if you take the full college level course requirements for each of
the four years. You could choose to extend the program if you feel you
need extra time. Just take fewer courses each semester or quarter. At the
end of the sophomore year you will then apply for the nursing program. You
begin the BSN part of the program in your third year. It's the same as
declaring your major.
In the nursing BSN program you
earn many more general education and elective credits. In the BSN program
you will take additional courses in Public Health, research, management,
leadership and nursing history. In other words, you will have a broader
knowledge about nursing in general and you will be more prepared for the
administration end of nursing. You will also be prepared to earn a
To be a nurse practitioner, you will need to go to graduate school. This
implies that you have the BSN in your back pocket.
If you are in high school, decide which nursing program would be best for
you. Get lots of information from nursing schools in or near your home
State or city. To determine the competitiveness, be sure to find out how
many students apply for nursing school and how many are accepted.
Apply to many nursing schools.
You don't want to be left out in the cold if your dream school does not
accept your application. After you choose a school and are accepted, jump
in and finish the prerequisite courses. Most often these basic but very
necessary courses will be transferable to another school should you change
your mind about the school.
If you do not get into any
school at first, start taking the prerequisite courses at your community
college and then apply again the next year. You will get into a good
school if you want it strong enough.