Nursing Career- Where to start??

Nurses Career Support


Hello, I'm new to the board.

I've read tons of threads in the past few days, but none seem to answer my questions. I'm hoping someone will. - What exactly do you need to get in order to become an RN? Is it better to start out as a CNA or what? I'm planning on going to a community college for two years for financial reasons, what can I do there to set me on the right path? Can I not go to a nursing school to become an RN or do I have to go to a University?? And do I have to become an LPN before becoming an RN?? Sorry so many questions, but it seems the more I read the more confused I become. Thanks - Ahead of time! :)


37 Posts

Some say LPN know how to do things, RN knows why

You can do these options

1, 4 yr bsn

2, 2 yr RN

3, 1 yr LPN then 1 yr Bridge to RN

I wish all RN's would start off as CNA, then LPN then RN

Only because of the skills needed for over all nursing.

BUT, that is only one opinion, and not a hard pinned one.

No matter what option you take, you can learn all skills in any program.

Overall, the RN's that have a larger grab bag of skills were LPN's at one time.

LPN's can make a decent wage while obtaining the RN degree. And most hospitals have tuition assistance.


BTW, I am one who did CNA, then LPN, and now attending AS RN course bridge.

This website is a good one to answer some of your questions:


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

I went straight for an RN and did fine doing so. It's really up to you and your goals. Make a goal, plan of action,mapping out your way there. Then GO for it, with gusto, not looking back.

Best wishes!


7 Posts

The community college in my state has a two year RN program. You might check to see if yours does too. Now let me make a suggestion. They show you that it can be done in two years, but I have never seen anyone do all their basics and the nursing program together. I am sure it can be done if you don't have a life outside if school like work or family, but the best thing you can do is get all the basics such as all your composition, history, math, science courses, etc out of the way before you apply for the nursing program. Nursing school takes a serious commitment. I do believe anyone can do it with good motivation but the people I took classes with that had lets say physiology that semester with nursing were just sweating bullets trying to do it all. The reason I say this is because in nursing school you have clinicals to attend at hospitals along with papers to write, hours of studying, etc. It is nice to ONLY concentrate on nursing school and not have another course looming in the back of your mind. Talk with a school counselor and they can help you map out a course. Good luck. Lori

Thanks guys for all the advice. It really did help! :)

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,510 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Good luck! I too went straight for the RN, but spent the last few months of nursing school as a CNA to get some hands-on patient care experience. I would go talk to an advisor at the school you are going to see if what you need to do. There might be some prereq courses you need to take prior to starting the nursing program, especially if you have no college courses under your belt.

Have fun!

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