Skip to content

How long does it take to become a nurse?

  • by
A Nurse

Before pursuing a career in any profession, one might ask how long does it take to become a nurse. RIGHT?

Well, it varies vastly from person to person and depends on an individual’s skills, expertise, ability and mostly their willpower. The case is not so different in the health sector as well, in the field of nursing, the competition is extremely competitive, and the first step towards becoming a successful nurse is simple, become a nurse first! 

The process is not as simple as it sounds, before becoming a nurse the nursing student has to go through a rigorous training of mind and body and develop nursing skills.

You may have questions that arise in your mind? How long does it take to become a nurse? Basically, it depends on your education, training and ability. A nurse chooses your career as a registered nurse (RN), a licensed practical nurse (LPN), or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and there are also other options available for you. Let’s check what degree do you need to become a nurse and the duration of the degree-

types of nursing degree and duration
How-long-does-it take-to-become-a-nurse


Associate Degree Program – (ADN)

Associate Degree Program - How long does it take to become a nurse

This is the quickest route to becoming a registered nurse; it usually takes two years to complete this program. This route is suitable for those who want to be a nurse as soon as possible. The methods are not much different from the Bachelor’s program. The credits for this program are very less. Some of the credits include pharmacology, anatomy, nutrition, physiology, development psychology and human development.

The fundamentals of nursing are also taught in this program like nursing skills, health assessment, interpersonal relations, etc. The hands on medical skills are taught as well, the advantage of this program is that it’s much faster The fundamentals of nursing are also taught in this program like nursing skills, health assessment, interpersonal relations, etc. The hands on medical skills are taught as well, the advantage of this program is that it’s much faster to become a nurse and work and the disadvantage of this program is the lack of depth nursing knowledge and less practical skills so those who want to pursue nursing into advance level or specialized level, this program might not be helpful to them.

Though there is an option to get a bachelor’s degree even after getting a job, there are options to work and study, the problem would be immense pressure and the positive side is that there will be many courses that will not be needed to complete as they will have already completed it in their associate degree program. There are some states who do not accept an associate degree so that is also a complication. But overall it’s a well-organized program. Associate degree programs are usually offered at private schools and community colleges.

Bachelor’s degree program (BSN)

The next option and probably the most efficient one to become a registered nurse is a bachelor’s degree program. Bachelor’s degree programs can be finished in four years or so. Nurses who have an ADN degree can complete BSN within 2-3 years. So, it’s easier for them to complete (BSN) With ADN, The methods and lectures are similar to those in an associate degree program. But in addition to the basics, students also get a broader education and take classes in general education courses such as humanities, psychology and nursing ethics, sociology, etc.

Colleges and universities offer four-year BacheloColleges and universities offer a four-year Bachelor’s nursing program. RNs with bachelor’s degrees have it much easier when choosing a specialty to study further and become a nurse specialist or advance into management.


In order to decide what program is right for you, it’s helpful to determine what your career goals are. Whether it’s the associate degree program or the bachelor’s program, both have to participate in the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) before obtaining their license from the state.


Bachelor’s degree program - How long does it take to become a nurse

Organizations like the American Nurses Credentialing Center offer voluntary certifications in different areas of nursing practice. Nurses who have met experience and continuing education requirements can take an exam to earn certification in specialty areas like ambulatory care, diabetes management, home health nursing, pain management nursing, or pediatric nursing. Earning certification shows prospective employers that nurses have met high standards for education and experience in their field.


For advanced education such as the master’s degree, it can be taken while doing work, to become advanced For advanced education such as master’s degree, it can be taken while doing work, to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) a master’s degree is required. So we can see that time taken depends on one’s educational choices, skills, knowledge, practical experience and of course their will power. The bottom line is if you want to become a registered nurse, it’ll at least take you two to four years.

To learn more about the requirements and time length and other necessary information for becoming a nurse, you can always visit your state’s board of nursing. Also, there are websites of a professional nursing association like the American Nurses Association or the National Student Nurses Association, they have all kinds of information in depth.

One of the good things about nursing is that there are many roads you can take towards success. For example, if you want the shortest path with the least effort then there is always LPN, it takes about 12-16 months to complete that degree.

Since the popularity of Registered nurses (RN) are vast among the nurses, this article will be about how long it takes to become a registered nurse. There are two ways or two procedures to become a registered nurse – One is by earning an Associate degree and the other one is a Bachelor’s degree.

Master’s Degree In Nursing (MSN)

A Master’s degree in nursing is a high degree. These degrees are mainly required for NPs, CNSs, CRNAs, and CNM nurses to extend their career growth. An MSN degree can bring benefits to nursing careers by accelerating their previous knowledge. There are different types of nursing MSN degrees. By obtaining the right major, you can open the door to your career.

You will need a BSN degree to obtain an MSN. The admission process is typically taught, then BSN. It is mandatory to complete some prerequisites to obtain a BSN degree and the requirements are simple.

  • Complete BSN degree
  • CGPA 3.00 on a scale of 4.00
  • one year of clinical nursing experience
  • Verified RN licensure.
  • Knowledge and certification in human anatomy, psychology, and microbiology.

The MSN Program only takes 2 years to complete if you have working experience and can provide significant financial aid. Sometimes the duration can be 3 years as well, based on your ability to nurse. Many institutions give nurses the opportunity to take MSN courses online. Some allow them to take the courses on a part-time basis or a full-time basis. Nurses can also pursue dual degrees in MSN and MBA, as well as MPH, MHA, and other related fields.

Generally, an MSN general degree is obtained by those who want to extend their reach as administrative nurses or healthcare leaders. The MSN degree will help nurses improve their knowledge of nursing and put them at the forefront of their profession. With this degree, a nurse can gain expertise in healthcare management, nursing practitioners, nursing education, administration, medicine, tools, and practical knowledge. You can specialize in a particular niche (like patriotic, neonatal, travel, or ICU nursing), clinical, or non-clinical areas.

Finding and majoring in the right type of MSN degree will help you achieve your success targets. You can go a long way with an MSN degree and earn a maximum.

ABSN DEGREE

If you have no or little nursing experience but you dream to be a nurse with good experience within a short time, choose an ABSN Degree. ABSN will help you get familiar with nursing terms and experience and will help you accelerate your career growth. 

Individuals who have already built a profession in another field but want to change occupations as nurses are able to do so by earning an ABSN degree. The admissions process is not so easy. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in any subject and a minimum GPA of 3.00. Nursing degree holders need to stand at least with a ‘C’ grade. To pass this exam, you must have a basic understanding of first aid, human psychology and basic medications and instrument knowledge.

This is a relatively short course that will take about 12-15 months to finish. Human physiology, behavioral health, critical support, pediatric nursing, healthcare administration, and medical instruments are all covered in this course. This course will also include medical research, medical reporting, patient assessment, and interventions as part of it.

The entire curriculum will help you gain a better understanding of the nursing profession. You’ll be able to provide correct treatment to your patients, as well as properly use medical technology, report on the patient disease, and improve their health condition. This short degree will make your dream come true to become a complete nurse.

Level of Nursing Degree and Time Duration-

A nursing degree can take the following amount of time to finish, depending on your level of dedication. Let’s check out the duration below-

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)-

CNAs assist patients with everyday activities. They also handle some managerial and administrative tasks of documentation, reporting, handling phone calls, etc. 

Time: CNA degrees take 4-12 weeks to complete

Earning: You can earn up to $30,720 / Annually.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)-

LPN nurses provide basic treatment to patients with everyday activities. Like CNA they also handle some managerial and administrative tasks of documentation, reporting but depend on state regulations.

Time: LPN degrees take 1 Year to complete

Earning: You can earn up to $48,500 / Annually.

Registered Nurse (RN)-

RN nurses dispense medicine, help doctors with exams and procedures, educate patients, promote wellness, care for patients and supervise other nurses and LPNs.

Time: RN degrees take 2 Years (for associates) 4 Years (for bachelors) to complete.

Earning: You can earn up to $77,500 / Annually.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)-

They decide on the quantity and kind of anesthetic required, as well as manage the administrative task.

Time: (CRNA) degrees take 2 years to complete.

Earning: You can earn up to 181,141 / Annually.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)-

NPs offer primary care to individuals of various ages and backgrounds, diagnosing diseases and prescribing patients medicines.

Time: NP degrees take 2 years to complete.

Earning: You can earn up to 111,850 / Annually.

Nursing Informatics (NI)-

Nurses mainly handle patient information, system development, control medical equipment, and record patient data on the system. They provide technical support to healthcare.

Time: NI needs(4 years of Bachelor’s) or (2 years of master’s) to complete their degree.

Earning: You can earn up to $96,160 / Annually.

Nurse Administration (NA)-

Nurse administrators have numerous tasks, ranging from setting work schedules to handling funds. You will supervise nursing personnel while also analyzing services, looking for methods to minimize expenses, and monitoring resource use.

Time: Nurse administrators (4 years of Bachelor’s degree) or (2 years of master’s degree) to complete.

Earning: You can earn up to $115,160 / Annually.

How many credit Hours does it take to become a nurse?

You may be curious to know about the course hour per day and time duration to complete. It actually depends on which program you are pursuing. Basically, In the USA it will not cross more than one hour of class time. If you give yourself time at least 2 hours per week for the nursing study you can complete your degree with a good score.

The BSN program consists of 120 credits. RN counts 45 of them, leaving 30 for each further specialization you need to accomplish. The MSN program consists of 12 courses totaling 36 credits.

It is now up to you and your university to decide how many credits you will take every semester.

Whichever path and level you choose, make sure you finish your degree with adequate knowledge.

Because it is a matter of people’s life that must be dealt with in order for your future to grow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.