How do I become and RN?


I live in central Washington and I hope to stay in the state. I have almost finished my first quarter at CWU where I am taking an English and statistics class. In the long run, I wish to be a CNA but i know one thing: baby steps. I was just wondering, how do I become an RN? All of the schools that I have looked at offer RN to BSN programs but I can't get into those if I'm not an RN, right? I might just be over stressing this, but I'd love any feedback you could give me.


3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Plenty of schools offer preliecensure or traditional BSN programs, just search around. You'll need to complete all of your general ed and your prerequisite courses for the nursing program you plan to attend (ideally, look at more than one). Both ADN/ASN and BSN are RNs, except that one is an associate's degree and the other a bachelor's. It's up to you and your goals which is better for you.

Specializes in ICU.

What you need to decide first is what degree you want. A RN can have either an ADN or BSN. Look at what the local hospitals in your area are hiring. Then look at different schools and what they offer. You will generally have 1-2 years of prereqs, then 2 years of nursing school. Make sure you do well in the prereqs to give you a better chance of getting into nursing school. Then one you graduate you take the NCLEX-RN licensure test. That is pretty much all there is to it.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

You live in Washington State- UW is consistently ranked as the #1 undergrad nursing program in the country so I am quite certain that, if you look, you can find traditional pre-licensure nursing programs. Your school does not have a nursing program so your best bet would be to look for one that does and transfer. It's early enough into the program that you might be able to do that. My BSN undergrad program accepted transfers into sophomore year but, after that, it wasn't possible.


97 Posts

Specializes in CNA. Has 3 years experience.

I'm in the same area as you but now living in the Seattle area. Start at Central to take your prerequisites for another 4-year university's BSN (bachelor's of science in nursing) program or an ADN (associates degree in nursing) program. A BSN can be received through a 4 year university such as UW or WSU. An ADN is offered at community colleges/small colleges such as Bellevue College, Seattle Central, etc. Both the ADN degree and BSN degree will get you your RN. But most hospitals in the WA area like you to have a BSN (but of course not all of them). I suggest starting off by looking at a school's nursing program that you're interested in. It's too bad Central's doesn't have a nursing program, I absolutely love Ellensburg! If you are a student who gets 3.7's and higher, look into WSU's or UW's BSN programs. They are competetive and require good and high GPAs. I suggest getting your CNA license as soon as you can, maybe this summer. Get a job as a CNA so you can have a year's worth of experience before applying to nursing school. Talk to a nursing advisor/set up an appointment over the phone and they will let you know what classes you need to take. :-) Good luck! I just applied to nursing school over in the Seattle area so if you have questions about nursing programs in WA, let me know!

Thank you so much! This is so helpful. I will look into getting my CNA licence this summer. Thank you!