How long is nursing school? You might ask this if you’re interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, and you’re weighing your options. The situation with nursing school, however, is that it is a broad term. There’s more than one type of nurse in the medical field. There are CNAs, RNs, and NPs just to name a few. How long it takes you to complete nursing school depends entirely on what type of nursing school you go to, which field you want to go into, and even whether or not you decide to focus on a general nursing degree or a specialty.
Understanding what nursing school entails is wise. If you’re asking yourself, “How long is nursing school?” and using that as one of the factors in your decision to attend or not to attend, you need to know the timeframe you can expect to spend. There’s so much you may not know about nursing school, nursing, and the medical field if you’re not already working in the field, and that means it’s time to educate yourself. You want to know, before you apply to nursing school, how long it will take and what you can expect. Learning that it’s not for you halfway through the program is a gross waste of your time and money.
Programs, Degrees, & Accreditation
How long is nursing school? That depends on the type of program, the type of accreditation, and the type of degrees you want to pursue. There are so many fields and avenues you can take to become a nurse, and each one is set with its own timeline.
Nursing Programs You Can Take
No two nursing jobs are the same, and no two nurses take the same path to finding out which type of degree or program works for them. In fact, some nurses take the fast track to becoming a nurse while others take their time and work in one nursing position for a while before they decide to move up into the nursing world as another type of nurse. That’s why you can choose from any of these programs, stick with one, add to it, or pursue another avenue.
This is the kind of program you can take to get started in the nursing field. Becoming an LPN does not require a college degree, but it does require vocational training. You become an LPN when you’re done with this course, and that means you’re an entry-level nurse. You don’t do as much as an RN or another type of nurse, but you still get to nurse patients, work with them, and care for them. You don’t get paid as much as other nurses, and your job duties are very restricted and very basic.
Associates Nursing Degree
This is a college degree you obtain at your local college. Most people obtain this degree at the local community college. It’s a degree that requires you spend two years in college learning to become a nurse while earning your associates degree. It’s a stepping stone to becoming a more specific type of nurse by pursuing your bachelor’s degree in time.
Bachelors of Science in Nursing Degree
This type of degree is perfect for you if you want to become a registered nurse with fewer restrictions, more pay, and better job duties. You get to work more closely with your patients, you get to spend more time with them, and you are not as restricted in patient care as an RN who only has an associates degree or a vocational degree. It’s also the stepping stone required to focus on more advanced degrees and more specialized training.
Masters of Science in Nursing Degrees
To earn the most money, have the least restrictions in nursing, and to have the most knowledge in the nursing field, this is the most subjective type of nursing degree. This requires earning your bachelors degree, and it requires spending another two years in school. This is a substantial degree that allows nurses to earn the most money and the most prestige in the nursing community.
Diploma Degrees, Doctoral Nursing, and Post-Grad Programs
Diploma degrees were once the way nursing was done. It was the way people were given a chance to work in a hospital setting where they were trained and taught, but they’re not as popular these days. They’re still an excellent form of education. A doctoral degree is meant for those who are attending nursing school to take over leadership positions. They earn a doctorate degree that turns them into a doctor of nursing. It means more money, more advancement, and more career options.
Post-grad options are for those who want to pursue a very specific career path. They are meant for those who want to go into a very specific nursing field. They are online courses that offer specialized training.
To become a nurse, you need to do more than obtain a degree. How long is nursing school? It depends on how long it takes you to earn your licensure and your accreditations. There are numerous nursing exams you are required to take depending on what you’re doing, and how you’re doing it.
Every nursing student must take and pass the NCLEX, which is the National Council Licensing Exam, once they are done with their program of choice before becoming licensed. Without a license, you cannot work as a nurse. As you advance your career, you will need to take more exams to become accredited in the fields in which you want to work.
Tips For Getting Started
Before you ask how long is nursing school, ask yourself if you are ready to get started in the field. If you are, you should know how to get started and what your new career path requires of you. Here are some tips.
Choose A Path
It’s not required, but it’s helpful to know what path you want to take when you get started in nursing school. Knowing ahead of time what you want to do and how you want to do it allows you to make decisions in advance that will help your career. You can change your path at any time, but you do need one.
Earn Your Degree
Now that you know which path you’re taking, enroll in your courses and earn your degree. Whether it’s a college degree or a vocational degree, this is your chance to learn to become a nurse. You may decide to go further or to stop where you are during this degree program.
Take the NCLEX
The moment you are done with your training, it’s time to take the NCLEX. This is the degree that matters the most in your life, and it’s the one that will help you the most when you get started on the path to becoming a nurse. You cannot work as a nurse without this, and it’s the starting point of your career.
Work and Go To School
If you become a nurse and can’t decide if you want to move on with your degree, go to work as a nurse. You might find that your degree is great, but you might want more than what you can do as an entry-level nurse. It helps you get some hands-on training, learn a bit more, and it helps you decide where you want to go as a nurse.
How Long Is Nursing School?
How long is nursing school? The correct answer is that it’s as long as it takes. It might take you two years to get your basic degree. You might choose an accelerated program and finish in 20 months. If you want a bachelor’s degree in nursing, you’ll spend four years working on it. If you want a Master’s degree in nursing, you’ll spend another two years working on it for a total of six years.
You also play a role in how long it takes to get through nursing school. How long is nursing school? How serious are you about it, and what in your life is holding you back from working faster? If school is the only thing you are focused on, you can earn a Master’s in six years. If you’re working, raising a family, and only taking a few classes at a time, you’re looking at spending a lot more time in nursing school.
If you’re asking how long is nursing school, ask yourself how much money you want to make, what kind of responsibilities you want, and ask yourself how hard you’re willing to work to make this happen. You can find the answers you’re looking for in those questions. You can take as long as you want, or you can get it all done at once by focusing on school and taking as many courses as you can at one time. You can do it in two years, four years, six years, or you can take a decade to get that final degree. It’s all up to you.