How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse?


Quick Answer

Nursing degree programs take a minimum of two to three years to complete. The basic requirements for becoming a nurse are getting an associate degree in nursing, applying for a nursing license and taking the National Council Licensure Exam.

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Full Answer

A career in nursing can offer an opportunity for financial freedom. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses earned a median income of $65,470, or $31.48 per hour, in 2012. While the entry-level educational requirement for a career in nursing is an associate degree, nurses who earn a four-year bachelor's degree in nursing have a higher income potential.

Advanced practice registered nurses, who are registered nurses who go on to obtain master's degrees in nursing, had a median income of $96,460, or $46.37 per hour, in 2012. APRNs typically hold positions as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners. It takes about three years for a nurses who already has a BSN to obtain an MSN.

Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 19 percent between 2012 and 2022, a rate that is faster than average for all occupations. The employment of APRNs is projected to grow 31 percent within the same 10-year time span.

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