Becoming a registered nurse can be a rewarding and challenging career path! Registered nurses (RNs) provide patient care, and perform tasks such as administering medication, recording medical histories, and assisting physicians with medical procedures. If helping others and working in the fast-paced environment of healthcare appeals to you, then becoming a registered nurse may be the right choice for you.
The road to become a registered nurse can be long but also worth it! We’ve outlined the requirements to become a registered nurse so you know where to start and where it can lead you.
Steps to Become a Registered Nurse
You’re ready to be a registered nurse, that’s fantastic! This can be a highly rewarding career path to pursue. Becoming a registered nurse requires training from an approved program, passing the NCLEX and then registering in your state. Once you complete these steps you can begin seeking entry level positions. Let’s break this down even more.
1. Earn a Degree from an Accredited School
The first step to becoming a registered nurse is earning a degree from an accredited school and an approved training program. You can choose to pursue an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Either route you choose you will want to make sure that the program is approved by the state.
There will be in class learning including physiology, anatomy, microbiology to name a few. Along with this you will participate in a clinical component where you will fine tune the things you learn in class and gain hands-on experience.
2. Pass NCLEX Exam
Once you have graduated from a nursing program you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The NCLEX is a standardized test that evaluates your nursing knowledge and competencies. Passing this exam is mandatory to obtain your nursing license and to practice as a registered nurse.
3. Get State Licensure
After passing the NCLEX, you can apply for your nursing license in the state where you want to work. Each state’s Board of Nursing regulates nursing practice, and as a result, the licensing requirements may vary. You need to meet the state’s educational and background requirements, provide the required documentation, and pay the licensing fees. Once you receive your license you can pursue entry level positions.
How long does it take to become a registered nurse?
You’re ready to become a registered nurse but what kind of commitment is that going to take? Becoming a registered nurse (RN) is a significant accomplishment. However, the decision to pursue this career is a commitment to education and training, as it can take several years to become a registered nurse. If you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree it can take 4-years in comparison if you pursue an associate degree it can typically take 2-years to complete. Keep in mind, those times are just to complete your training. It may take you additional time to take your NCLEX and become licensed with the state.
Dorsey College is an excellent choice for students who want to pursue a career in nursing. We offer a comprehensive nursing program at our Madison Heights, MI campus that is designed to prepare students to work as competent and compassionate registered nurses. Our Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program has a hands-on clinical portion in addition to classroom learning. Our nursing program is rigorous and challenging, but we provide a supportive learning environment to help our students reach their goals. Take the first step towards your future and learn more about our nursing program today!
Dorsey College is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. This applies to the Madison Heights campus (which serves as the main campus).
Dorsey College has determined that its Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program curriculum is sufficient to fulfill educational requirements for licensure in the State of Michigan only. No educational determinations have been made for any other state, district, or US territory in regards to nursing licensure requirements.