An entry-level RN can be educationally prepared by one of four different pathways:
1. RN-ADN: the ADN (associates in nursing) is the most common track, and nearly 70 percent of all RNs are educated at the ADN level
2. RN-BSN: the BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) is also another common educational pathway to becoming an RN.
3. RN-MSN: only 2 percent of all RNs have attained the master of science degree in nursing. There are direct-entry MSN programs that allow people with non-nursing degrees to earn a MSN in a short amount of time.
4. RN-diploma: the 3 year diploma in nursing used to be the most common educational preparation for RNs, but these programs are fading away.
Any person who has completed one of the four types of nursing programs
is eligible to take the NCLEX to become a registered nurse.
Also, the LVN-to-RN bridge, the LVN-to-RN track, LPN-to-RN completer programs, LPN-to-RN laddering, and LVN-to-RN transition programs are all various terms that are used to describe the exact same type of schooling. In all cases, the educational preparation is designed for the LPN/LVN to attain RN licensure after having earned an associate or baccalaureate degree in nursing. There are LPN-to-RN ADN programs, and LPN-to-RN BSN programs.