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How Many Years Of College To Be A Nurse

Nurses must graduate from a nursing program. It takes about 2 years of college to attain an associate degree in nursing. It takes about 4 years to finish a bachelor’s degree in nursing. And a nursing diploma program usually takes about 3 years.

Deciding what kind of training to get is important. Some career paths are open only to nurses who have a bachelor’s degree.

Nursing education includes taking classes and hands-on learning with experienced nurses in hospitals and other places. This is called clinical training.

Nurses study anatomy, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and nursing theory.

After graduating, nurses need to pass a test to get a nursing license. They have to take classes every few years to keep their skills current.

Nurses need to be caring and kind. They also need to be good at recognizing problems and remembering details.

Nurses need to work well with doctors and patients. Many nurses also supervise assistants and other workers.

Nurses can become head nurses or directors of nursing. Some nurses move into the business side of health care. Some get jobs in big health care firms planning, marketing, and making sure people get good care.

Registered Nurse (RN) Education

A degree in registered nursing is the foundation for a career in the field of health care. Credentials can be acquired by completing one of these three programs offered at many registered nursing schools:

  • Associate degree in nursing
  • Bachelor’s of science degree in nursing
  • Nursing diploma

The most popular program is the associate’s degree in nursing, which takes an average of two-to-three years to complete. One of the perks associated with this path is that once you’ve obtained the degree, you can apply for an entry-level position that offers benefits—including tuition reimbursement and college credit toward your two-year bachelor’s in nursing degree. This choice also provides valuable hands-on experience in the field while earning an education.

After completing any degree program a nurse must pass a national licensing examination (NCLEX-RN). Nursing degree education requirements vary based on state, and a nurse may sometimes be required to take the local NCLEX-RN examination to work in a new state.

To become a Registered Nurse (RN), you have three options:

  1. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (4-5 years of college)
  2. An Associate Degree in Nursing (2 years)
  3. A diploma from a Nursing Diploma School (2-3 years)

The 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is preferred by most nursing leaders and provides the best professional-level job opportunities.

The Associate Degree program focuses more on technical skills than theory, and is often a stepping stone to the BSN. Its main advantage is that it allows a student to become a Registered Nurse more quickly than a 4-year BSN program, thereby enabling them to earn money sooner. However, the jobs they qualify for will be more on the technical (rather than professional) level, so often this degree is seen as a stepping stone to later seeking and earning a BSN.

Nursing Diplomas, and Diploma Schools, aren’t as common as they once were, but they’re still out there. These programs, despite taking as long–or even longer—than Associate Degree programs, lead to more limited job opportunities, preparing students mainly for work in a hospital or other inpatient facility as CNAs, LPNs, Nursing Aids and Patient Care Technicians.

The top three accredited schools to become a Nursing Anesthesiologist are:

  1. Virginia Commonwealth University
  2. U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Texas and tied for the third position
  3. Navy Nurse Corps Rush University

How much does this job pay?

In May 2008, nurses had average yearly wages of $65,130.

How many jobs are there?

Registered nurses is the largest health care occupation. They held about 2.6 million jobs in 2008. About 3 out of 5 worked in hospitals.


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