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What Educational Requirements Does an RN Need to Have?

Although many industries are cutting back on the amount of workers that they have, the need for qualified registered nurses is at an all-time high. This has led many individuals to contemplate whether or not this is the right line of work to pursue for them. The biggest question that many individuals have has to do with the exact education requirements of becoming an RN. In order to become a registered nurse it is necessary for a person to pass a comprehensive nursing examination. In order for person to qualify to take this examination, they must first complete a nursing program that has been approved by their particular state's Board of Nursing.

There are typically three different entry-level nursing degrees that an individual can choose from. These degrees include a bachelor's degree in nursing, an Associate's degree in nursing, or a hospital diploma program. Of course, in order to enroll in the program a person first must be admitted into the school of their choice. Each nursing school will have its own set of requirements regarding who can qualify for admission. Requirements can include everything from SAT or ACT scores to having maintained a minimum GPA.

The average individual will be able to earn their nursing degree within 2 to 4 years depending on the type degree that they are working towards. For example, a nursing diploma can take three years while an Associate's degree in nursing can take as little as two years. A bachelor's degree can take up to four years. It should be noted, however, that these times can vary greatly depending on the school and the course load that an individual chooses. Some schools offer accelerated courses that allow a person to earn a more advanced degree in a shorter amount of time.

Like the amount of time that it takes to earn a nursing degree, the amount of money that it will cost to earn a degree will vary depending on the school that an individual chooses. Factors such as whether or not a school is public or private or whether an individual is an out-of-state or in-state resident will all factor into the cost of tuition. Financial aid is available to many individuals interested in furthering their education but it is important to only choose a school that has the proper accreditation. It is also important for an individual to understand that a nursing degree can often be earned partially online.