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Which Nursing Degree is Right for Me?

Which Nursing Degree is Right for Me?

Peter Vogt | Monster.com

The RN Path

If you’d rather go straight for your RN, you can get there via several paths:

Diploma in Nursing: Heavy on clinical experience and light on theory, diploma programs are usually hospital-based, although these days some hospitals run programs in collaboration with local community colleges, Turner says. You’ll need a high school diploma or GED to enroll, but whatever your educational background, you’ll need two to three years to get your diploma and become eligible for RN status.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): Offered through community and technical colleges, an ADN can be completed in as little as two years if you took all the science prerequisites (typically microbiology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, algebra and psychology) in high school. It will take you three or even three-and-a-half years if you need the science prerequisites, which are part of every nursing program, to complete your ADN.

Once you’ve finished your ADN, which is also known as an associate of science (AS) or associate of applied science (AAS), depending on the school, you’ll be eligible to become an RN.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN): Because of its educational depth, the BSN has become the degree employers prefer. As Turner points out, it often takes about the same amount of time to complete, practically speaking, as it would for you to fulfill all of your science prerequisites and get an ADN. So in the end, she says, the BSN gives you “more cluck for your buck.”

If you don’t already have a bachelor’s in another field, you’ll need four years to complete a BSN. But if you do have a bachelor’s, look into:

Accelerated Programs: If you have a bachelor’s in a non-science-oriented field like English and want your BSN as quickly as possible, you can enter one of the country’s more than 160 accelerated BSN programs and earn your degree in two to two-and-a-half years. If your first bachelor’s is in a science-oriented field like biology, you’ll probably be able to complete an accelerated BSN program in 12 to 18 months, since you already will have taken some or all of the BSN program’s science prerequisites.

Regularly Paced Programs: These programs cover the same ground as the accelerated BSN programs at a normal pace. If your first bachelor’s is not in a science-oriented field, you’re looking at three years to completion. With a science-oriented bachelor’s, you can finish in two years.

Of course, you’ll also need to pass your state’s National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to get your state RN license.

Whatever your current situation, you can find an educational path into nursing that makes sense given your background and time frame. The industry definitely needs you.

This article originally appeared on Monster Career Advice.

Next: How to Get in to Nursing School With a Degree in Something Else >>

Related Reads:


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    TionaT

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I want to go as far as getting my MSN..but didnt no wich way to go. I didnt know that I could go from bein an a LPN to MSN. I thought I would have to go step by step thanks for this article

  • Profile_jenny_max50

    JennyGK

    over 3 years ago

    198 comments

    nice article

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ced33

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I AM 33 YEARS OF AGE, AND START LPN SCHOOL IN JAN. 2011. WILL IT HELP THAT I HAVE A DEGREE IN BIOLOGYAND SOME MASTERS IN BIOLOGY?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    loneoak

    almost 5 years ago

    12 comments

    I do not think high school anatomy and physiology would suffice in getting into any RN program.
    I had to take pre-med A&P prior to or at the same time as my RN courses. Nursing is a difficult career and it takes a special person to be a truly good nurse. Of course, anyone can be a "below average" nurse but is that the type of nurse you would want at your bedside? Or a nurse who takes her / his duties very seriously, has compassion, empathy and love what they do?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    Thank you needed help where to start.

  • Mine_021_max50

    mYcAllinG_09

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I was thinking about getting an associates in nursing but you clearified that a bachelors degree is a smarter choice.
    Thanks =).

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bogyahl

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    ok i have a question am graduatiing in may witha bachelors in science degree and i am a criminal justice major. i want to do RN though so am wondering how long it would take me

  • Dscf3311_max50

    Nove

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    This is exactly what I needed! I've been doubting myself and my options but I can see that I have a lot ahead of me and that I should be patient as well.

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    aichausa

    over 5 years ago

    98 comments

    Nice!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    luvjones

    over 5 years ago

    36 comments

    I want to go as far as BSN but I was a bit confuse as where to start or how but this article has really given me a better insight into things... so thanks!

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    tperd

    over 5 years ago

    108 comments

    Just what I needed.

  • Trace_max50

    TCTalbot

    almost 6 years ago

    296 comments

    Great, concise information to build upon!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    britizs11

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Thank you so much. i am 33 y/o and i have a BS degree in physical ed /biology. i am looking to change careers. Legal nurse consultant. is ther any particular track i should follow?

  • 100_1845_sq90_max50

    jessbarnes84

    almost 6 years ago

    596 comments

    Thanks Susan the info was a Big Help!

  • Foxy_lady_max50

    tiffannij

    almost 6 years ago

    194 comments

    Thanks that help me a lot.

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