US nurses!!

  1. I've been browsing this forum for a while now... and the thing that puzzles me are the abbreviations of different nursing programs in the US.

    I'm starting a nursing program on Aug. 19th and it will last for 3,5 years, no prereqs. just apply with your high school diploma (+entrance exam=personality tests and teacher interview).

    I know a bit of the college system in the US (I spent a semester in TX high school) but please fill me in... how do you end up as a nurse in the States???
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    About Ada

    Joined: Jul '03; Posts: 36; Likes: 1


  3. by   MoJoeRN,C
    I saw your post and that no one had answered. I love reading the international posts and wonder about that aspect of nursing.

    There are several paths to RN in the US. The quickest is ADN (associate Degree in Nursing), which takes 2 years to complete and must be taken at a credited nursing school, usually a junior college. Another way is for a person to go to a vocational school, become a LPN- licensed practical nurse (some areas call it LVN-licensed vocational nurse), then transfer into a participating ADN program and complet this.
    Another path is the diploma program, this trains very good nurses. I believe most of these programs are now closed in the US. They were run by hospitals, you lived, worked, studied and trained in their facility for a period of 3 years.
    The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a 4 year college or university. Usually the 1st two years are liberal arts with the last two years specializing in nursing.
    All the above take the same state board exams and the required scores are the same. And the licenses say Licensed Professional Nurse.
    Graduate study for an additional 2 years can get a MSN or Masters in nursing within various fields of specialization e.g. pediatrics, psychiatric, nurse practitioner etc. This is in addition to the BSN degree. Another year of graduate study can earn PHD in nursing.
    In the US we have the American Nurses Credentialing Center which certifies nurses with the required experience and education in speciality areas. I am an RN,C certified in mental health and psychiatric nursing as this has been my primary field of paractice for over 27 years.
    In my experience a good nurse is a good nurse no matter what their school or degree. Schools cannot teach caring and motivation to be a good nurse, that comes from within. I've worked with excellent nurses from poor quality schools, and poor quality nurses from excellent rated shcools.
    I'm sure there are other paths but these are the ones I am most aware of. Hope this helps.