Really Really Confused? How does this all happen?

  1. 2
    Hello to all nurses! I'm a senior in high school and am wanting to go into nursing school. I want to be a Nurse Practitioner (I've always been into the health care field since I was in kindergarten- I think it had something to do with me being a premi baby and loving how intent the nurses were about caring for me) . With the way the health care and insurance world is going there is a definite demand.

    However I'm really confused about what I need to do to even begin. I mean I know I need to become a regular RN first - however that even confuses me.
    Here are my questions:

    1. What do I need to do first to become an RN besides graduating high school?
    2. What happens after I'm an RN - how do I make the next step?
    3. When I finally become an RN am I able to work in between trying to become an NP?
    Rosenhammer and Joe V like this.
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  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Are you starting your senior year of high school this fall? If so, I would look at the schools in your area that have nursing programs. Find out what prerequisite courses are needed to apply to the nursing program(s). Once you've got that information I would seriously consider a dual enrollment program and earn some college credits while you are still in high school. Then, once you graduate high school, you're ahead of the curve. Meeting with a guidance counselor at your high school it a great place to start. Good luck!
    rkdb and heydelilah like this.
  5. 0
    Thanks so much for your answer! Yes I'm going to be a senior this fall I'm not sure about dual enrollment now my guidance counselors are SUPER sticklers when it comes to schedule changes lol However they may if they know it is for my benefit. Thanks again!
  6. 0
    If you can I second dual enrollment! It was the best choice I ever made.
  7. 0
    Okay thanks -I'm going to work with my guidance counselors probably annoy them but I don't care. This is something I'm feel really strongly about.

    One more question if anyone is able to answer...

    What is a pre-entrance exam? Do I have to study for that? lol What happens with that thing?
  8. 0
    Hi, JayGirl! That's awesome you are looking into nursing... it took me a year into college to switch into the major. I agree with Halcyonn and heydelilah about the dual enrollment. You could also consider taking the CLEP exams if you feel really confident about a subject. Look into the schools around you. I recommend taking pre requisites at a community college (it's affordable) and then applying to either their ADN program to get the 2 year RN degree or applying to a 4 year university for the BSN. Pre entrance exams depend on the school you are applying to. There are different ones: the HESI, TEAs, etc. The program also determines when you should take the exam. For example, only 1 of the 3 schools I am applying to requires an pre-entrance exam. In my case, the exam is the TEAs. The TEAs can be taken at any time as long as it is a semester before I would start nursing school. I waited until I had taken most of my science pre reqs before signing up for the TEAs because then I would be more knowledgable on different parts of the test (science, math, English). Hope this helps! Just start looking into programs NOW so you know what is required from each.
  9. 1
    I decided I wanted to be a nurse my junior year of high school, so I know where you are coming from! I understand having a lot of questions. This is basically what I did.

    1. Looked at all the nursing programs in my area that I was willing to go to. I went straight to looking at BSN programs (four year college) because I like the idea of graduate nursing and maybe becoming a nurse practitioner and didn't want to have to get my ADN then ADN to BSN then graduate school.

    2. Set up appointments to tour the nursing facility (not every school let me) and talk to the program's adviser. They laid out the whole thing for me with generic degree plans and everything, including when I would have to take the entrance exam, submit the application, etc. Big questions I asked were what the NCLEX-RN pass rate is for their graduates (that's the test that certifies you as an RN), how many applications they get each semester and how many students are selected, and what (if any) bonus things would help me better my chances of getting in.

    3. Fought off senioritis to finish well before starting college. I did dual-enroll my senior year but it is definitely an optional thing. If you already have your coursework finalized and all I don't know that it is necessary to change it up now. A college adviser (make sure you talk to the adviser at the actual nursing program and not just a "freshman" adviser) will help you plan your semesters.

    Have fun!
    GrnTea likes this.
  10. 6
    the short answer is that nurse practitioner is (as of this year) a doctoral program, and will probably take you 3-6 years post college. therefore you will need to get your bachelor's in nursing first (go directly to a 4-year college or university for this program).

    rns are not granted by schools, but by the state board of registration in nursing. after you graduate from your basic program, you will take a licensing examination, called nclex. when you pass it, the state will issue your license to practice as an rn.

    plan on working as a registered nurse for several years to get your feet underneath you and learn what nursing is all about-- unlike english lit or history majors, you will not learn enough to be considered basically competent until you have worked for a few years. meanwhile, take a course here and there, figure out what specialty you would like. (i know you think you know now, but trust me, few people who are dead certain sure of their future specialty actually end up in it).

    identify the program you want to take, take graduate record exams, make sure you have fulfilled all the admission criteria, apply. good luck!.
    NF_eyenurse, chevyv, BrandonLPN, and 3 others like this.
  11. 0
    Most NP programs require only 1-2 yrs of experience prior to acceptance, if you wish to gain more experience than that it will be up to you. There are also ADN to MSN programs if you only wish to get the 2yr RN degree, skip the BSN and go into a bridge program. This can add about 1 yr to the 3 yrs it could require to get your NP degree. If it has changed to doctoral only, instead of MSN, I have not heard...last I heard it would not be until 2015. That could add another 2 years.
  12. 7
    Go to a four, direct-entry year BSN program if you are coming directly out of high school. Trust me, you will thank yourself later.
    princesstl121, chevyv, hiddencatRN, and 4 others like this.


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