How to Become a Registered Nurse and Earn Your Four Year Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

How to become a registered nurse with a bachelors degree

A question often asked is how to become a registered nurse with a bachelors degree. Some have gone straight to graduate school, earning an Associates degree, while others pursue a degree at a community college or other vocational institute. For those who qualify, there are some good jobs waiting for them in the nursing field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in the nursing field will grow 13 percent through 2021. This may not seem like a lot, but it is a positive indication of just how much the nursing industry has to offer to qualified people.

One way to get started in the nursing field is by studying for a degree in Nursing Assisting. There are scholarships available both within the United States and overseas to help nursing students pay for their education. Many state and local governments have educational financial aid programs, as well as tuition assistance programs from private foundations.

In order to apply for financial aid, the student must fill out FAFSA forms with their school, college, or university. These forms are available online, and there is a detailed application on the internet. The only items required for submission are the student’s first and last name, address, social security number, and race/ethnicity. There are also forms available from the federal government, which require more information. Students should check with their state’s financial aid office to see what scholarship opportunities are available in their state. They often run several scholarship searches before finding a match.

Another option for the aspiring student seeking a degree in nursing is to earn an Associates degree or Bachelor’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited nursing school. While the salary for these degrees are usually not as high as the one’s obtained from online programs, the salary differential can be significant. Online programs are still beginning to earn high marks from the academic community, but there is still considerable work to be done to earn the respect of the nursing establishment. A student with an Associate degree will likely start at the very bottom, working their way up to the top of the salary ladder.

If one wishes to specialize in a particular area of nursing or further their education, then a Master’s degree program is another possibility to consider. Once one obtains their masters, they can then specialize in their desired area of nursing. Registered nurses can further their education by going into research, coaching, administration, or teaching.

How to become a nurse is a good question to ask oneself. The salary potential, coupled with the support you receive from your employer, will depend on the answers to this question. Other than hands-on training, most hospitals will not hire a nurse without a degree or certification. This will be your ticket to advancing in your chosen career.

Now that you know how to become a nurse and the general outlook on earning a four year bachelor’s degree in nursing, what are your next steps? The most common route a student takes to earn their four year degree is to enroll in an Associate program. There are many benefits to enrolling in an Associate program, including having a base salary and more job options. Some Associate programs will allow the student to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which usually leads to a higher starting salary and more job opportunities. An Associate degree will also allow the student to choose to major in a specific area of nursing such as family practice, adult care, disaster management, or rehabilitation.

An Associate degree typically takes two years to complete. Students will learn clinical basics, nursing research, and basic business practices. They will also learn how to communicate effectively with patients, how to manage staff, how to motivate staff, and how to effectively plan office activities. Upon completion of the Associate program, students will typically sit for the NCLEX-RN examination. This exam measures nurses’ competency in basic patient care and leadership. Passing this exam will grant the aspiring nurse their license to practice.

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