Obtaining an associate's degree in nursing takes at least two years, while a Bachelor of Science in nursing takes at least four years. In addition, some individuals decide to do a nursing diploma program through a hospital. This type of program takes three years to complete.
When choosing which path is best, keep in mind that both an associate's degree and a Bachelor of Science can be earned at a four-year university, but only an associate's degree can be earned at a community college or technical school. Going through a diploma program is utilized less because there are fewer of these programs available.
Getting a degree in nursing is one of the first steps in the process of becoming a nurse. Once the degree is earned, the next step is to become licensed as a registered nurse by taking the National Council Licensure Examination. This exam is issued by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Most facilities consider nurses who have completed any program for employment, as long as they have passed the exam. However, some employers only consider people with associate's degrees or higher, and others only hire people who have completed a Bachelor of Science degree, says Penn State College of Nursing.