Becomming an RN??


I'm currently a high school junior (11th grade) and i am looking into the nursing field. I have a very very vague understanding on nursing. I understand about the different levels such as LPN and RN and such. I woud like to look into becomming an RN then specializing from there down the road.

One of my questions is what are the different levels of nursing and are you required to advance through all of them to reach an RN?

Also, are there any prerequisites for becomming an RN??

Specializes in ICU, CCU, Trauma, neuro, Geriatrics. Has 16 years experience.

There are many levels of nursing, LPN is a licensed practical nurse who can do most everything an RN does. The LPN limits are usually no IV push meds, cannot administer blood products, some facilities don't allow LPNs to take verbal orders from doctors. This is usually a 2 year program. An RN can be diploma, associate degree, BSN, Masters and Doctorate. All RNs initially take the same exam to become an RN, the advanced degrees allow for more administrative, teaching and research positions.

You don't need to start at any special level but you do need pre-requesit classes prior to being accepted into a nursing program.

You can attend a hospital program, a community college a private 4 year college or a university for your nursing education.


164 Posts

Hi there! My daughter is a senior this year and taking the CNA class at her high school. This is a wonderful way to see if nursing is what you want to do.

If you are interested in nursing I would be taking science/biology classes now to help you prepare for your degree.

My pre rec classes included anatomy/physiology, english, math, chemistry,sociology,psych and an art class.


503 Posts

You could become a CNA to see if nursing is indeed for you.....then do LPN then RN ..or cut to the chase & bypass both cna & LPN & go straqight for RN...then decide which specialty you are interested in.....most LPN programs are 9-10 months long (where I live anyways)...unless you go part time then it can be up to 2 years...whichever route you decide is whatever is right for you & your lifestyle.......Good Luck!

hlfpnt, BSN, RN

1 Article; 665 Posts

Specializes in LTAC, Homehealth, Hospice Case Manager.

In addition to the above I also had to have humanities, human growth & developement, microbiology, & human nutrition. I attended a community college & all total it took me about 3 1/2 years (but I also had to work full time through college...may not take you as long) to complete the prereqs & nursing program, I have the ASN degree. Community colleges take less time than universities, but the highest degree from the CC is the ASN. I agree with the OP, I think doing CNA first is a very good way to "get your feet wet". You might check into some of your local hospitals now & see if they offer volunteer programs...just a thought. Good luck in whatever you choose! :)


98 Posts

Also, some hospitals don't hire LPN's. You might want to check local job postings at hospitals to see if they do. Where I work, LPN's do the "most hands on work"- like administer meds (minus IV pushes), do dressing changes, measure Input and Output, finger sticks. The RN's are responsible for assessing the patient, calling the doctor, doing paperwork- they seem to have less hands on experience with the patient, but you have more responsibility. This is also assuming that you have an LPN and RN on a team (which you both care for 8-9 patients). If you dont have an LPN, you have to do all the work yourself, but you have a smaller amount of patients to take care of.

You can also become an aid (or Patient Care Technician/Assistant, each place calls it differently) instead of being a CNA (which requires training, usually 1-2 months), but I would also check with area hospitals to see if they hire aids or just CNAs. By being an aid or CNA, you'll be able to see how you like the field, and what exactly the roles are of RN and LPN's. A majority of hospitals have a minor "Training course" to be an aid. At my hospital it was 2 3-hour evenings where they teach you how to move a patient, how to check their blood glucose level, how to take vital signs, how to make a bed, stuff like that.

If you become an LPN, you can become an RN by taking additional courses at an accredited school. A lot of LPN's I know, want to go back (or are in school) to become an LPN, since their roles are phasing out.

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