Registered Nurse Education Requirements

Registered Nurse Education Requirements are less extensive than you think.  For example, most Registered Nurses go to school for only 2 to 3 years.  Considering you can make as much as $65,000 per year, this might be an excellent option for getting a rewarding career.  In addition, some Registered Nurses make as much as $95,000 per year depending on what setting you work in.  These types of Nursing Careers can be received when you fulfill your Registered Nurse Education Requirements.

Although this might appear to be too good to be true, it is not.  The US is expected to have a shortage of over 18,000 nurses over the next 10 years and expected to add over 700,000 jobs.  Nursing is currently the largest medical profession and because of the excellent skills you will gain, it is not expected to slow down.  If you are interested in How to Become a Registered Nurse or What Does a Nurse Do, then see our articles.

Registered Nurse Education Requirements

Becoming a Registered Nurse can be done through three education paths.  These Registered Nurse Education Requirements will allow you to become a RN and give you the ability to practice in any medical setting.  Above all, these education requirements are not burdensome and can be done fairly easily if you put your mind to it.  Here are the three education paths:

  1. Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  2. Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ASN)
  3. Diploma of Nursing

Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN)

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is an American and Canadian four year academic degree in the science and principles of nursing, granted by a tertiary education university or similarly accredited school. Though one is eligible to sit for the a licensing examination to become a registered nurse after graduating from either a two year program with an Associate’s Degree (ADN) or from a four-year program with an Bachelor’s Degree (BSN), the BSN prepares nurses for a professional role away from the bedside with coursework in nursing science, research, leadership, and nursing informatics.

This degree can be found at most universities throughout the United States.  In fact, there are hundreds of colleges that offer this degree.  Currently, this degree will include typical nursing classes such as biology and anatomy but will also include social science courses and other electives.  This is an excellent degree program to become a Registered Nurse because often a BSN will receive higher pay and has the option to pursue further education in nursing graduate programs.

Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ASN)

An Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) is a tertiary education nursing degree. In the United States, this type of degree is usually awarded by community colleges or similar nursing schools. Some four year colleges also offer this degree. Students awarded an Associate of Science in Nursing are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN and apply for licensure as a Registered Nurse. Some hospital-based nursing schools that granted diplomas altered their curriculum to offer associate degrees. Many nursing schools offering a bachelor’s degree have “fast-track” programs to enable practicing nurses with an associate’s degree to earn a bachelor’s degree in approximately two years. In some institutions this is called “Bridging.”

This degree can be found at most universities throughout the United States.  These two to three year programs are geared towards someone who would like to finish school quickly, but still be able to become a Registered Nurse.  In these programs, you will take only the required nursing courses and nothing beyond those courses.  This is an excellent option because you will be able to enter the workforce a year or two earlier than BSN graduates and often the ASN degree costs less.

Diploma of Nursing

A Diploma in Nursing or Nursing Diploma is an entry-level tertiary education nursing credential. In the United States, this diploma is usually awarded by hospital-based nursing schools. Students awarded a Diploma in Nursing are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN and apply for licensure as a Registered Nurse.

The Diploma of Nursing is similar to the ASN Degree in that it takes a shorter amount of time, often less than Two Years.  These programs are much more career focused on Nursing only.  The advantage to this path is flexibility.  Often these programs offer 1 class per month or weekend courses and allow you to become a Registered Nurse.  You will still take the required coursework, however you will have a much more focused curriculum and clinical schedule.  Overall, this is a great option for someone with a family that cannot commit the time necessary for the BSN or ASN Degree.