How long is a nursing program? Today, we are going to provide answer to this question. Many prospective students for nursing will like to know the duration of the program plus many other important information about the nursing program. So in this guide, we not only going to tell you the duration, we shall go as far as telling you more about the nursing program, benefits of studying nursing, what nurses do etc..
Who Is a Nurse?
A nurse, according to the International Council of Nurses (ICN), is a person who has finished a basic, generalist nursing education program and is licensed to practice nursing in his or her country by the appropriate regulatory authority.
This person must be prepared and licensed to practice the general scope of nursing, which includes health promotion, illness prevention, and care of physically ill, mentally ill, and disabled people of all ages in all settings; to teach health care; to actively participate in the health care team; and to participate in research (ICN, 1987).
In contrast to popular belief, the nurse plays a variety of functions in various situations, including checking vital signs, updating medical records, and performing other tasks as directed by the physician. Shantay Carter, a registered nurse and author, has called nursing “the heartbeat of health care.” The nurses’ job as coordinators of health-care processes exemplifies this. Every activity involving the patient is normally planned and executed with the help of the nurses.
Let’s now look at the duration of nursing program or how long it takes to study nursing program
How Long Is a Nursing Program?
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is typically completed in four years. This degree is suitable for students who wish to study everything there is to know about nursing as a profession. At this level, there may be more career and wage opportunities.
RNs with bachelor’s degrees are more likely to work in hospitals than in medical offices or other types of care institutions. With a bachelor’s degree, you may expect a higher starting pay and more educational options down the road as an RN.
LPNs and RNs who want to get a bachelor’s degree may be eligible for LPN-BSN or RN-BSN programs, which last one to three years. Because these applicants have prior nursing education and license, they can apply those credits toward their bachelor’s degree and complete it faster than a standard four-year program.
Accelerated BSN programs are another option for people who want to change careers and have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline but want to work as a nurse. State-approved accelerated BSN programs, such as 4-year BSN programs, allow graduates to take the NCLEX-RN test at the conclusion of their studies.
Read also: Top 7 Best Online Nursing programs in Texas
How Long Does It Take To Become a Practical Nurse(PN)?
In most states, it takes one to two years to become a practical nurse. Although this is a quicker path to becoming a nurse, students should be aware that job prospects may be limited. LPNs may offer basic level care such as dressing, feeding, and tending to patients, or they may assist other nurses with normal medical activities.
The NCLEX-PN test is essential for LPNs to take and pass. Even students who want to follow an accelerated course should study hard for the exam because there is a 45-day waiting period to retake it. When it comes to LPN programs, there are a variety of alternatives accessible, including regular and accelerated options. Before deciding which program is ideal for you based on your timetable and career aspirations, you should speak with an admissions or career counselor.
Top Best Nursing Schools
After considering the duration or how long it takes to become a nurse, we now want to look at some of the top nursing schools that offer qualitative education:
Duke University, regarded as one of the premier research schools in the world, offers some of the best nursing programs. For undergraduate nurses, Duke’s School of Nursing only offers one degree option: an expedited BSN.
Applicants must first earn a non-nursing bachelor’s degree before applying to this program. The curriculum, on the other hand, takes 16 months to finish, requires only 58 credits, and students get 800 hours of clinical experience before graduation. The program’s outcomes are also extremely excellent.
Duke is likely most recognized for its graduate programs, which include a variety of MSN and PhD options. Nurses interested in becoming nurse anesthetists should know that Duke has one of the best nurse anesthesia programs in the country.
Tuition fees: $23,000 per semester.
Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., one of the country’s oldest private universities, includes a long-established and well-respected nursing department.
The BSN is a direct entry program, which means that current high school students find out if they have been accepted before beginning at Georgetown. BSN students will have completed over 882 hours of clinical experience at places throughout Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area by the time they graduate. For BSN students, Georgetown also offers an honors program.
At Georgetown, graduate students can choose from a variety of nursing programs. The university offers an excellent MSN in nurse-midwifery/health women’s nurse practitioner that may be completed in just over two years. The BSN-DNP program, which is accessible in both part-time and full-time formats, allows those interested in pursuing a DNP without first completing a master’s degree.
Tuition fees: $58,000 per year.
Johns Hopkins University
Graduate nursing programs often include extensive research, and John Hopkins University is arguably the world’s top research university. Although there are no undergraduate nursing programs at this prestigious institution, it does offer an MSN for non-nursing majors. The MSN is open to anybody with a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than nursing, and graduates do well on the NCLEX.
Many nurses pursue a DNP at John Hopkins after earning their MSN and gaining professional experience in clinical settings. There are 13 different DNP choices available at the university, each of which leads to a different employment consequence.
Tuition fees: $58,000 per year
New York University
New York University, based in New York City, is truly a global university, with students from 133 countries with campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Students go from all over the world to receive a top-notch education.
Nursing students at NYU have a variety of undergraduate options, including a regular BSN, a second-degree transfer BSN, an RN-BSN, and an expedited 15-month BSN. All of the programs have great outcomes, with recent graduates passing the NCLEX at a rate of 99 percent. A top-ranked college, of course, offers a plethora of excellent graduate programs. Nurses can pursue one of two master’s degrees: a DNP or a Ph.D. Graduate students can also choose to specialize their education.
Tuition fees: $56,000 per year
University Of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is one of the country’s oldest universities, having been founded in 1740. The institution has a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1, which is ideal for nursing students who want a more customized education.
Students in Penn’s BSN program learn in a state-of-the-art simulation lab and participate in a mentorship program to improve their hands-on experience. Penn also offers a number of undergraduate study abroad programs.
MSN and DNP programs are also available at Penn, with popular specializations including nurse-midwifery, nurse anesthesia, and two pediatric care tracks. For individuals seeking leadership positions, there are also administrative graduate degrees and post-graduate certificate programs for MSN-prepared nurses.
Tuition fees: $53,000 per year
University Of Michigan
The University of Michigan, which is located in the campus town of Ann Arbor, is one of the top places to get an undergraduate degree. Over 13,000 U-M nursing alumni work all over the world, and the BSN degree builds on over 100 years of nursing education experience.
The institution offers two entry choices for first-year students: direct entry and a sophomore transfer program.
The MSN program at U-M is one of the top in the country, having concentrations in eight different areas. MSN graduates have a near-perfect pass record on every exam each year, and all eight specialties lead to a specific APRN employment.
The MSN integrates instruction at the University of Michigan’s Clinical Learning Center with clinical placements around the region. Students can pursue the same subjects at the PhD level if they wish to continue their education.
University Of Washington
The University of Washington, which is located in Seattle, offers some unique privileges to nursing students.
To begin, all students participate in clinicals at dozens of locations throughout the region, including top-ranked facilities such as Seattle Children’s Hospital. Second, nursing students have the option of enrolling in innovative programs such as the accelerated BSN with early DNP admission, which is designed for non-nursing graduates who wish to get their doctorate rapidly.
While UW offers a regular BSN, it does not provide an MSN; nevertheless, the institution does offer 11 DNP courses that lead to APRN positions, including pediatric clinical nurse specialist, nurse-midwifery, and adult gerontology acute care. The majority of DNP programs last three years, and students graduate with plenty of clinical experience to sit for their certification examinations.
Tuition fees: $12,000 for instate students and $39,000 for out of state students.
Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, is a fantastic choice for nursing students at any level because it is home to one of the world’s best healthcare systems. For undergraduate nurses, the prestigious private institution offers three options: a direct-entry BSN program for current high school students, a sophomore entry program for current Emory or Oxford College students, and a transfer program for individuals with at least 60 credits.
Emory also offers a variety of graduate-level choices for both nurses and non-nurses. The MSN-pre-licensure degree leads to RN certification, while regional accreditation approval is still pending.
The other MSN programs are accredited and lead to a variety of APRN positions. All MSN programs are available in both full-time and part-time options, allowing nurses to work while pursuing their graduate degree.
Tuition fees: $53,000
University Of Maryland
The University of Maryland, with its headquarters in Baltimore, is a national leader in innovation and research. Every year, the university educates over 41,000 students, and its proximity to Washington, D.C. and other major cities makes it perfect for nursing students and future nurses.
The BSN program at UM promotes nursing leadership and teaches students in cutting-edge facilities. The degree can be completed in as short as two years, but students must first finish two years of introductory coursework.
Nurses interested in becoming APRNs should apply to one of the University of Michigan’s DNP programs. Nurse anesthesia, newborn nurse practitioner, and psychiatric mental health nursing are just a few of the specialties available to DNPs.
Other graduate-level nursing degrees available at the university are ideal for nurses interested in leadership, research, or administration positions.
Tuition fees: $9000 for instate and $38,000 for out of state students.
NCLEX Exams: What Is It?
You’ll take the NCLEX-RN exam around the time you graduate if you enroll in an ADN or BSN program. Nurses are certified by the NCLEX, and no state or hospital would license or hire a nurse who has not passed the exam. (However, to be clear, most hospitals have new grad hiring programs that will hire you on the condition that you pass the exam before you even take it.) Fortunately, all recognized nursing programs meet the NCLEX criteria and should enable you to pass the exam on your first attempt.
But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Colleges and universities are concerned about the success of their students and want as many of them to pass the NCLEX as feasible. Schools do everything they can to prepare you to take and pass the NCLEX through a combination of coursework, lab courses, and clinicals. Some nursing schools are better at this than others, and this is something to think about while choosing a college or university.
How To Finance Your Nursing Program?
Most nursing students avail themselves of some financial aids which helps them pay less for their nursing program. You can apply for student loans, grants, scholarships, student loan forgiveness etc.
Students who are concerned about the cost of nursing programs can always start with an ADN. Community colleges, which normally offer significantly lower tuition rates than four-year schools and universities, can finish ADNs. Students can save thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars by doing so.
BSN programs, on the other hand, are often more expensive and take twice as long to complete as ADN programs. BSN programs, on the other hand, assist nurses in obtaining higher-paying professions. An ADN program would be difficult to justify above a BSN program for students with sufficient financial help.
Which option is the more cost-effective? That is determined by the learner. Consult a financial advisor to help you make the best decision, and let the financial aid offices at each institution know you’re looking for assistance with the cost of your nursing degree.
If you can’t afford to stay in school for four years, you can get an ADN and then finish your BSN once you start working in patient care.
Many employers provide financial support to ADN nurses pursuing BSN degrees. The company may want you to commit to staying on the job for a few years in exchange for helping pay school.