The courage and dedication healthcare professionals have demonstrated in the last few years, has inspired people to pursue careers in this sector.
One of the most popular careers in healthcare is Nursing.
Nurses play a fundamental role in the integral care of patients.
They can provide a broader perspective of what a patient is going through by establishing a more direct and constant relationship with them.
Nurses have several responsibilities according to where they work, yet their main goal remains the same: caring for patients when they need it most using their knowledge, experience, and critical thinking.
In the next few sections, we’ll review some of the basic information about how to become a Registered Nurse and how much it can cost.
Table of Contents
What Is a Registered Nurse?
A Registered Nurse (RN) is a healthcare professional that organizes and provides care and education to patients, regardless of the environment or setting, and regardless of the condition or diseases they might have.
Some of the typical responsibilities of nurses are to observe and record the symptoms and medical history of patients, perform diagnostic tests, monitor medical equipment, work with doctors as well as with other healthcare professionals to coordinate treatments, administer medicine and treatments, and educate and give suggestions to patients and/or their families on how to continue with treatment at home.
What Do I Need to Become a Registered Nurse?
There are several ways to become a Registered Nurse.
The most common ones are to obtain an undergraduate degree first, such as an ADN or a BSN.
After completing one of these programs, you will have to take the NCLEX exam and then obtain state licensure.
An ADN is an Associate Degree in Nursing, which is a short-term undergraduate degree that provides students with essential theoretical and practical knowledge in Nursing.
This degree can be obtained in 18 months or two years.
It can be a great option if you don’t have the time or resources to continue with your long-term studies.
A BSN is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, and it’s considered a long-term undergraduate degree.
It usually takes four years to complete it when studying full-time.
It offers a more profound understanding of Nursing and more practical clinical experience, as well.
This is the most popular undergraduate degree if you want to become a Registered Nurse since future employers prefer this more extensive degree than others.
After graduating from one of the Nursing programs, you will have to pass the NCLEX exam or the National Council Examination for Registered Nurses test.
This exam measures your knowledge in the area, in order to assess whether you have the proper expertise to become an RN.
Only after passing the NCLEX exam, you can get a Nursing license in the state you live in or where you want to work.
Every state has different requirements, which might complicate things if you wish to have the opportunity to work in several states.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Registered Nurse?
The time it takes to become an RN is going to vary according to the undergraduate degree you wish to pursue, and if you want to specialize in a certain field by obtaining a postgraduate degree.
On average, it might take between 2 and 5 years (without a postgraduate degree) to become an RN.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Registered Nurse?
The total cost of becoming a Registered Nurse is going to depend mostly on the kind of Nursing program you choose and the city where you live.
An ADN program can cost from $2,500 to $40,000 per year.
A traditional BSN generally costs between $40,000 and $100,000, although it can reach $200,000 in some cases.
The NCLEX exam has a registration fee of $200, with extra fees depending on your particular case.