Calling All Nurses

Nurses General Nursing


Hello Everyone,

I'm a writer getting started on a new book and thought I'd stop in for a bit of research. The Heroine in my book is a nurse (thought you might appreicate that) and I need some help.

I'm looking for training info, what kind of training would a person have to go through to become a nurse in the US? Does an ADN permit you to go into full nursing after just two years?

If you took an ADN program say, 6-8 years ago what would your status be now? Would you have gotten an RN job right away or are there other committments you need to fulfill first (training hours etc). If you wanted to be an emergency nurse what additional training would you need?

Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated!



169 Posts

Originally posted by writergirl

Hello Everyone,

If you took an ADN program say, 6-8 years ago what would your status be now? Would you have gotten an RN job right away or are there other committments you need to fulfill first (training hours etc).

Can't exactly speak for the US....but here in would really depend on how much a$$ you were prepared to kiss. I know one nurse who is same year as me graduating....he got a clinical nurse (lvl 2 - charge nurse) position within six months, having no prior healthcare experience and very little life experience. How did he get the job? His lips are permanently attached to the lvl 3. lol Yet I work with others who have been nursing for 20+ years and are still lvl 1 RNs like me. It's not that they have no ambition to go further....they often try but get knocked back because there's always someone younger coming up through the ranks kissing all the butts they need to.


442 Posts

Specializes in Psych.

What makes one able to practice as a Registered Nurse in the US is taking and passing the NCLEX exam; after passing the exam, you are eligible to apply for licensure in your state.

To be able to take the NCLEX you must must complete a nursing program. There are ADN programs which are 2-year hospital based programs, college associate degree programs or bachelor degree programs. It's all rather confusing.

After licensure (RN) you may work in any department as the hospital provides the addtional training. There are certification programs in various areas of nursing; however, these programs are not licenses, but merely certifications granted after taking a test administered through a nursing organization. For example, I am preparing to take an exam administered by the American Association of Critical Care nurses that will allow me to use the creditial CCRN. This just says that I passed the exam; it is not a license.

Good luck.


790 Posts

Along with what chigap said, there are also dimploma schools nurses. These are hospital based programs, many of which are now gone because they didn't make enough money for hospitals. In my experience (10 years RN) Diploma grads generally have the best clinical skills upon graduation because they get the most clinical time during school. The next would be the Associate degree then the Bachelor degree (BSN). BSN is offered for non-RN's wanting to get into the nursing profession and is also offered as a different program for those of us who are RN's and want to attain BSN. BSN is more of a prep for management.

There aren't really levels of nursing at the staff position. I started as a staff nurse and am still a staff nurse. I would have to walk the walk and talk the talk to do management and I just can't compromise my ethics and morals like that. I am not saying all managers must, but in my facility the vast majority of the managers are bottom line focused rather than quality care focused.

If you want any other info feel free to PM me anytime.

Good luck!!


62 Posts

Let's not forget you can go on as a RN to a higher degree of MSN, or a NP, not to mention a DON (doctoratre of nursing).


2 Posts

Thanks everyone.. you're very generous with your time.. I'm interesested though with what oh-agnurse had to say. What is a MSN, NP and DON and what kind of training would you need and what would be the motivation for wanting to do this?

Also, could someone with a ADN go right into emergency nursing?



62 Posts

BSN, Masters of Science in Nursing, and Doctorate of Nursing are all higher education in nursing. The NP is a Nurse Practioner who may have a MSN or grandfathered into the title. They are all RNs who have gone on to further degrees. The BSN is 4 yr degree, and the MSN is usually 6yr @ more yrs. after the BSN), and the DON is obtained after the MSN. Motivation differs from nurse to nurse. I personally wanted more than floor nursing. The BSN prepares you for both floor nursing, homecare, managers positions, (any type of nursing), etc., but it also prepares you for going on for the MSN. The BSN can teach in some instances, but usually is reserved for the MSN, and DON. I would like to start my own consulting business someday, and teach.

The NPs are qualified through advanced education in pathophysiology, pharmacology, and theory to diagnose, and treat patients. This I personally am not interested in for myself.

The ADN can go into emergency nursing, usually after one year medical/surgical nursing(as the same with any degree), but that is changing also. New grads. are more and more invited into specialty units, and are being "molded" for that unit.

Hi writergirl. Here's a little info about emergency RNs I found on a website:

"Emergency Nurse

The emergency nurse comes to the team in a number of ways. One way is completing a 4 year degree in college to obtain a B.S.N. (bachelor of science in nursing). Alternately a 3 year diploma program (usually at a hospital) or a 2 year associates degree program (usually at a community college) can be completed. After completing any of these academic endeavors the nursing graduate is eligible to take a licensing exam. After passing this exam the nursing graduate becomes a R.N. (registered nurse) and can now practice nursing. Many emergency nurses take an additional exam to become a C.E.N. (Certified Emergency Nurse). As of 1997 there were 75,000 emergency nurses in the U.S., of which 25,902 were certified by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nurses."

Also, I can't help but add that though ADN nursing programs are 2 year programs (Associate Degree), they all require prerequisites, which makes the reality of becoming an entry level RN a bit longer than 2 years. The basic prereqs are usually: English, Math, Psych, Nutrition,Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, and Chemistry. Those must be taken PRIOR to starting the 2 year program. ;-)

Please let us know if you help with any further research. Best of luck on your story!


7 Posts

Hi writergirl -

Please check your private messages.

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X