Although states may have other practice requirements, all RNs must take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. In order to be eligible to take the exam, nurses must have completed the appropriate program of education.
Future nurses may study either a Diploma in Nursing, an associate degree in nursing, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to be able to take the national exam, according to the American Nurses Association. Johnson & Johnson Discovering Nursing adds that future nurses may also study nursing in their college's ROTC nursing program.
The diploma in nursing is the most common route to becoming a RN. Hospital-based schools of nursing offer this diploma. Hospital-based schools and community colleges also offer an associate degree in nursing. However, this degree only applies for a limited technical scope of practice.
The Bachelor of Science in nursing prepares future nurses for the full range of nursing practice in all healthcare settings, states the American Nurses Association. Colleges and universities offer this degree. Bachelor of students study a wide scope of materials relating to patient care and the healthcare industry. These subjects include psychology, biology, chemistry, and anatomy and physiology. Nursing students also study theory, physical and behavioral sciences, and acute and chronic diseases.