Usually the nursing school is attached or affiliated with a community college or university. There are a few diploma Programs out there, but they are few and far between these days. Becoming a registered nurses generally takes about 3-4 years. The associates degree program clinicals are two years, and you usually take prerequisites (anatomy, physiology, chem) in the year prior to entering the program. A BSN program gives you a university degree- and you generally spend two years taking pre-requisites and university requirements (foreign language, history, and what not). Your last two years at university are usually spent in clinicals. Each school is slightly different and has different requirements. I would suggest going to a counselor at the school you are at now, they will be able to help you choose appropriate classes now, and help you to apply to the programs in your area. Good Luck.