Overview of the 5 Most Common Ways to Become a Registered Nurse (RN)

by Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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    00:01 There are so many ways to become a Registered Nurse, which is really awesome for increasing accessibility to education.

    00:08 But it's also, like, really complicated.

    00:10 So, for the sake of our collective sanity, we will be focusing on the five most common ways to become a Registered Nurse.

    00:17 But please know, by all means, if you have any other, literally any other degree or certification in something else, you can probably just do some googling and find a way to link the two in a way that we haven't mentioned here today.

    00:31 I thought we would briefly go through the five ways all here together, and then there will be an individual section on each one where we kind of go more in depth on each of them, give you some pros, give you some cons and all that good stuff. Let's start with an overview of an ADN program or an associates program, as they're also called.

    00:52 These are really, really common types of nursing programs, often found at technical or community colleges.

    00:58 And when you graduate from these programs, you earn an associates degree.

    01:02 These programs will say that they are two years long, but that's a total lie because you have nursing courses that are two years long and the pre-reqs that you have to take before are also two years.

    01:14 So realistically, that's four, but they're a lot more affordable and they can have a lot more flexibility in terms of schedules.

    01:21 So these are a really great option if you will want to avoid as much debt as possible, you have a family, or you just need life to be a little bit more flexible.

    01:30 The next most common RN programs are our BSN programs from a four-year university. Upon graduating from one of these, you earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree and possibly quite a large amount of debt.

    01:42 These programs are in traditional university settings.

    01:46 They take four years to complete and they're more rigid typically in terms of the schedule that they have than an ADN program.

    01:53 Graduating with a bachelor's degree does open some doors in terms of jobs in different areas, so that's definitely a benefit to one of these degrees.

    02:02 But it has to be weighed out with the usual super high price tag of these programs. And next, we have our accelerated BSN programs, which is geared towards individuals who have a previous bachelor's degree in something else and would like to now obtain another degree in nursing.

    02:20 This is actually the type of program that I did once upon a time.

    02:23 And while most people already have a bachelor's degree prior to these programs, I have actually heard of some that don't require you to have a full bachelor's degree.

    02:31 They just require all of the pre-req courses to be completed.

    02:35 I'm not really honestly sure how that would save you a ton of time, but it's just fun to know that that's also an option.

    02:42 Regardless if you do have a previous degree or not, you do have to complete all of your nursing prerequisites prior to the start of an accelerated program because they only cover the core nursing classes.

    02:54 They chug right along at a really quite incredible speed, with most programs lasting only between 12 and 18 months.

    03:02 But Liz, you might be asking, what if I already have a bachelor's degree and I want to go and get my nursing degree now, but I don't want a second bachelor's degree.

    03:11 You can always check out a master's level entry program for nursing.

    03:16 These nursing programs provide nursing school, but with a few extra classes, usually in something like leadership.

    03:23 And when you want to graduate, and you have your, now you have your Masters in Science in Nursing and can take the NCLEX to become a Registered Nurse.

    03:31 This can be an appealing option if you plan on pursuing additional advanced degrees in nursing, or if your first bachelor's degree doesn't really allow you to take any more financial aid in order to do an accelerated BSN.

    03:45 More on that in the full section on this.

    03:47 And lastly, the least typical of all of these options is the diploma nursing program.

    03:54 Diploma nursing programs grant a certification upon completion instead of a college degree, but you still take the NCLEX and become a Registered Nurse.

    04:02 This is how a lot of nursing programs used to be actually.

    04:06 And there are, I was shocked, like still quite a few hanging on, right around 100, which really, really surprised me when I learned that these programs are typically based at a hospital and affiliated with a university.

    04:19 They're similar to an ADN program in their length and curriculum, but they really do focus most of their learning on the clinical setting versus the classroom.

    04:28 It's much, much more of an apprenticeship type of situation where you learn on the job, whereas normal nursing programs, it's much more classroom oriented. So people usually graduate actually super-duper prepared and geared towards working at a specific health system where they're trained.

    04:46 The programs are 2 to 3 years and depending on the educational system associated with the hospital, you may even get some college credit for some of the classes that you've taken. The clinical component of this is absolutely phenomenal because that's where you're doing most of your learning.

    05:02 But the big drawback to these programs is that if you move away from an area that has these programs, many hospitals will require an ADN or even a BSN in order to even work there.

    05:14 And that could possibly be tricky down the line.

    05:16 Now that we've gone over the five basic types, let's take a little bit of a deeper dive into each one.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Overview of the 5 Most Common Ways to Become a Registered Nurse (RN) by Elizabeth Russ, FNP is from the course Choosing a Nursing Program (RN).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. ADN program
    2. BSN program
    3. Accelerated BSN program
    4. Accelerated MSN program
    5. Accelerated ADN program
    1. ADN programs are affordable.
    2. BSN programs open doors for more opportunities.
    3. BSN programs are expensive.
    4. ADN programs are 2 years long.
    5. BSN programs are affordable.

    Author of lecture Overview of the 5 Most Common Ways to Become a Registered Nurse (RN)

     Elizabeth Russ, FNP

    Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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