Becoming a nurse is a very popular, demanding, and rewarding career choice. Nurses are usually the first people the patient sees and trusts for help when going to a hospital or doctor’s office; this is an incredible opportunity to leave an impact on someone and help them in their serious time of need. You have several different specializations to choose from to pursue, and this field can range from different age groups as well. Assuming that you can handle working under stress, this career is worth it because you may receive opportunities occasionally to assist a doctor in saving lives. If you are interested in working in the medical field but do not want to become a doctor, you should check out your options of joining the remarkable nursing field.

The field of nursing has several different paths from a quick diploma to becoming a Doctor of Nursing. This is the right field for you filled with excitement and satisfaction if you enjoy helping individuals who are sick, hurt, or need assistance living their everyday life. The salary and job outlook for registered nurses are wonderful compared to many other career fields. Additionally, if an individual enjoys learning and taking courses in biology, anatomy, and other health-related courses, the training and education may be interesting and fun. If planning to become a nurse, some of the aspects of your job will be providing and comforting patients with care, educating patients about different types of health problems, and giving advice and supporting the patients along with their families.

How long does it take to become a nurse?

The time period to become a nurse is a lot less than it is to become a medical doctor, and you still can help with a lot of the same duties that doctors do. If the question, how long does it take to become a nurse, crosses your mind, you are certainly not alone. Many people are under the impression that every job in the medical field may take a long time to complete. However, you can expect it to take on average two to four years to become a registered nurse; it all depends on which degree program you choose to study. There are several different pathways to becoming a nurse, and it is up to you to decide which one fits into your life and goals.

How long does it take to become a registered nurse with an associate degree?

If you are looking for the quickest path to become a Registered Nurse, an associate degree program is the perfect option for you. Students who decide to earn an associate degree in nursing are typically finished within two years. Most associate degree programs consist of courses, such as pharmacology, anatomy, and nutrition. You are also required to take nursing courses along with successfully participating in clinicals. The clinicals are usually held in hospitals, doctor’s offices, or other healthcare settings, and students are given hands-on experience working with an actual registered nurse. By focusing and doing well in the clinicals, it will help provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to become an exceptional nurse after graduating from the program. If you are interested in obtaining an associate degree in nursing, these programs are usually offered at community colleges and technical schools across the country.

How long does it take to become a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree?

If you are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree, it generally takes about four years to complete if you study full time. The types of classes that you need for a bachelor’s degree in Nursing are almost the same as for an associate degree in Nursing. The main difference is students who pursue a bachelor’s degree are able to study a wide range of courses, such as humanities, psychology, nursing ethics, and many more. If you are looking for a bachelor’s degree program in Nursing, you should check out colleges and universities.

How to know which program to study?

While determining which program option is the right one for you as a student, you must determine what your future career plans are first. Nurses that want to become managers or become nurse practitioners in the future need a bachelor’s degree. If you are looking to just enter the career of nursing quickly without any future goals set right now, then an associate degree is the perfect option for you. However, community colleges require prerequisites most of the time for the associate program in nursing. Prerequisites are classes, such as math, English or biology, that you need to take before you are able to be accepted into the nursing program. Prerequisites can sometimes make your degree program take longer.

How long is nursing school exactly?

As you can see there is no final answer to the question, how long is nursing school. This all depends on you and what you are looking for. Some people may need a program even quicker than an associate degree and decide to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). This shorter program leads to a diploma and takes around 12 months if you pursue it full time. You will not be considered a Registered Nurse with this diploma until you join an LPN to RN bridge program through a college, which will require more education. However, if you choose the LPN route, you will gain valuable experience in clinics and will be supervised by a Registered Nurse.

In addition, some students must work to afford their education. This could also extend your education time, but it is worth it in the end. A lot of nurses worked as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s) while attending college for their RN. Being a CNA will give you the experience to help a nurse and see what they go through daily to prepare. The only answer able to be given is that it depends on each individual’s own dreams and goals. By knowing how much time you can dedicate to your education will help determine which path you should go down to become a nurse.

Become licensed after graduating from a nursing program

Once you graduate and earn a degree from one of the nursing programs, you are not automatically a registered nurse. You must become licensed to be a registered nurse and to practice in the nursing field. It is up to you when to take the examination to become licensed. Some students have chosen to wait a couple of months to take the test, and some decide to take the test immediately after graduating from the nursing program. The sooner you take the exam and pass, the closer you will be to becoming a registered nurse. However, it is understandable for individuals to take time to study for a period of time before taking the crucial exam.

Salary and Job Outlook for Registered Nurses

After becoming a licensed nurse, there are a variety of different settings for registered nurses. They typically work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, home healthcare settings, and specific nursing care facilities. There are even many clinic settings with nurses, school nurses, and military nurses.

As of 2018, the median annual salary for a registered nurse is $71,730.00. The career field is expected to grow around 15 percent for the next few years, which is a lot faster than other career paths. Nurses are very needed because chronic conditions are increasing as well as the necessity for health care due to issues of obesity and diabetes.

Becoming a nurse is an exceptional career choice to pursue if you enjoy helping people during their worst times of need. Before making that choice, it is advisable to invest in the time to learn more about the field of nursing and the different programs available to you. Choosing a career is never meant to be an easy choice, so you should take more time to explore the different options and program time lengths within the nursing career field as well.


Consider applying to our Pre-Nursing and Nursing Internships at International Medical Aid. This is an excellent opportunity for nurses or students who are planning to become nurses to help those who tremendously need help in East Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. This internship opportunity will provide you with the hands-on experience and in-depth understanding of the nursing field while also exposing you to other fields, such as medicine, dentistry, mental health, public health, and physical therapy. In addition, this internship will also provide you with the assistance of deciding which specialty you would like to focus on in the future. Many specialties will be available to earn experience in during the internship, such as cardiac nursing, critical care nursing, emergency and trauma nursing, infection control nursing, neonatal nursing, orthopedic nursing, pediatric nursing, and many more. Pre-Nursing students, Nursing students, LPN’s, RN’s, and Nurse Practitioners are all welcome to participate in the internship and earn a rewarding experience while also being able to help this underprivileged population abroad.