How Do You Become an RN?

How Do You Become an RN?


Someone who wants to become an RN, or registered nurse, needs to complete a state-licensed education program, pass a background check, pass a physical examination, and pass a licensing examination. The minimum education needed to become an RN is an associate degree, although many hospitals prefer to hire RNs with bachelor's degrees.

Prepare for college in high school by taking appropriate courses in high school. College prep courses include English, math, a foreign language, science and social studies. Taking challenging courses in high school can help to prepare students for college level courses required to become an RN.

Research nursing schools, community colleges, and universities, and the different nursing programs they offer. Pay attention to each school's accreditation because some degree programs are not recognized by other schools. For example, a two-year degree from a private school may have no transfer credit if the student plans to complete a four-year degree at a different school.

Complete any prerequisite courses needed for admission. Select at least two or three schools, apply for admission and take the required entrance exams. Once accepted, make arrangements for financing, housing and transportation.

Once enrolled, complete all the nursing program's requirements. A typical nursing school's curriculum includes academic courses in anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition and psychology. They also require a minimum number of hours of clinical training to earn a degree.

Apply for and take the National Council Licensing Examination, also known as the NCLEX. Apply for a temporary, supervised work permit until the exam is graded and a license is granted.