Published Aug 2, 2005
I'm a CNA and I'm looking into becoming a RN, what are your advice? What school should I look into? How many years will it take? Basically what are the steps to become a RN. Thank you.
Speak with an advisor at your local community college. Of course they will outline the program at that particular school, but that is a great place to start.
For an ASN/ADN-RN (ASSOCIATE SCIENCE NURSING/ASSOCIATE DEGREE NURSING) you usually do a semester to a year of prerequisite classes like Anatomy and Physiology I&II, Microbiology, and possibly an Algebra, Chemistry, English Comp. and Speech classes. After you finish your prereq's you apply to a program and begin the nursing part of the program. Nursing curriculum vary from school to school, but most include classes in pharmacology, professional nursing, nursing history and care development. Clincial training is also provided in med/surg, OB, Pediatrics and other areas. With no waiting lists most people complete and ASN/ADN-RN degree in 3 years or so.
Don't be frightened by the number or type of classes you have to take. With hard work and study Chemistry and Microbiology will be no big feat.
You also have the option of pursuing the BSN-RN. Consult an advisor at the university (4-year school) near you. They will be able to walk you through the steps. The BACHELOR of SCIENCE NURSING is a four year degree. Normally you take a year or two of Gen. Education requirements as prescribed by the university or state college. You will also take two years of nursing classes that will include clinical training.
There are a few hospitals that still offer the hospital diploma program. Less common than it once was, they usually require prerequisites from a local school or college and extensive clinical training at a local hospitals. Some of these programs offer the ADN/ ASN in conjunction with a local community college. Some offer a diploma and confer the title of DIPLOMA-RN.
After you graduating you take the NCLEX. If you pass this challenging exam you are able to use th title of RN. You are given a licence to practice nursing.
All three degrees will prepare you for practice as an entry level RN. The degree route you should be based entirely on your personal situation. Choose the best school you can. Look at NCLEX past rates. Talk to nurses in the area. Speak with nursing students. Look through the forums here at allnurses.
Additionally many hospitals will offer full scholarships for employees or students who will eventually fill the ranks. Contact HR at your hospital ans see if they offer tuition reimbursment. You may even get those prereq's paid for. Contact your local BON for school and scholarship information.
Good luck on your journey. It will be hard, but boy, is it worth it!
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