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What are the requirements to become a registered nurse?

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Quick Answer

Requirements to become a registered nurse include a nursing board degree program and a registered nursing license from a state board. Each state has its own board of registered nursing, which approves degree programs and grants licenses.

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Full Answer

There are a few educational routes available to prospective registered nurses. Many colleges offer 2-year associate's degree programs in nursing, which can qualify graduates for basic nursing practices. A bachelor's degree program in nursing qualifies graduates for a variety of different nursing activities, and it also gives them an in-depth view of the profession's role in society.

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in another discipline can take an accelerated baccalaureate program, which lets them complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing quicker than students starting university for the first time.

Registered nurses who wish to work in specialized fields may want to complete a master's degree in nursing. However, they must complete a bachelor's degree before they can be admitted into a master's program.

After completing a degree in nursing, prospective nurses must obtain a license from their state's nursing board. Each board has its own process for granting licenses. The process usually involves sending in an application and taking an examination. Other requirements may include a copy of college transcripts and a criminal background check.

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