Find Your Path to the RN Title

Find Your Path to the RN Title


January 28, 2012

In all States and the District of Columbia, students must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass a national licensing examination, known as the NCLEX-RN. But there are many ways to get there!

You can obtain one (or more!) of several degrees in order to become a nurse.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN): This degree is typically gained through a year of training at a hospital, graduation from vocational-technical school, or through community college.

Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN): is acquired through graduation from community college and usually takes two years. It prepares an RN for a very defined set of clinical practices, and coursework includes technical practice and nursing theory. Many nurses with an ADN will return to school for a BSN or higher degree.

Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing (BSN): A Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing (BSN) requires graduation from a traditional 4-year college or university, and provides the full preparation for the entire scope of RN responsibilities. The preparation from a BSN includes nursing theory and broad clinical practice, as well as study of human development, psychology, chemistry, biology, and nutritional sciences. BSN holders are qualified to pursue masters degrees and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) professions, including Nurse Practitioner (NP), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNW) , Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

To explore Nursinglink’s Lists of Accredited ADN and BSN programs, click here.

Related Read: ADN vs. BSN: Which to Choose?

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