I agree with getting BSN. A lot of job postings state that they prefer bsn over adn. If you can, get your prerequisites at a community college (make sure your credits can transfer). It is usually cheaper than going directly to a university.
*Research the nursing schools around you to see what the prereqs are, nclex-rn pass rate, graduation rate, tuition costs, etc. Some schools also require an entrance exam. I had to take the teas test.
*Maintain a good gpa throughout college and apply for scholarships.
* When you get accepted into nursing school, start studying for the nclex-rn based on the classes you are currently taking. Studying for the nclex-rn usually helps with your tests/quizzes in school. You also might want to find apps for care plans and medications.
* Talk to hospitals and see if you can shadow a nurse in different specialities to see what its like.
*During clinicals, do your best, make connections, and make sure your instructor and/or the managers/nurses remember you in a good way. They may be able to write you a recommendation when you're looking for a job.
*After you graduate, study study study for the nclex-rn and start applying for jobs. There are some threads on here about ways they found a job.
* Depending on the np program, they require 1-2 years of nursing, sometimes in a certain speciality. So if you know what speciality you want to be in, look up the np schools with that degree and see what the requirements are. For instance, neonatal np requires at least 2 years in nicu.
Doctoral programs are being phased in by the aacn. American Association of Colleges of Nursing | Frequently Asked Questions