RNs must first
graduate from a nursing program to be eligible to take
the nurse licensure examination. There are more than
1,500 nursing programs in the U.S. Three types of
nursing programs prepare you to assume different roles
once you graduate:
Bachelors of Science in Nursing
This is a four-year program, offered at
colleges and universities. BSN graduates are prepared
for leadership, management, and more independent nursing
roles. Advancement opportunities are greatest for the
BSN graduate. A BSN is required for advancement into a
master's degree in nursing program. You can also enter
nursing with an associate degree or a diploma.
Associate Degree in Nursing
This is a two-year program (after
pre-nursing courses are completed) offered at community
and junior colleges. Some hospital schools of nursing,
colleges and universities also offer ADN degrees.
is a two- to three-year nursing program based in
hospital settings. Many diploma schools are affiliated
with junior colleges where students take basic sciences
and English requirements.