Are you interested in becoming a nurse? If so, you’re on the right website. We want to help you realize your dream of becoming a nurse.
Nursing is truly one of the most versatile careers in the world. There are many different specialties and career options to choose from, and you can find a career in nursing that will match your personality. Whether you’re a bubbly extrovert who loves interacting with people, or an aloof introvert who dislikes small talk, you’re all but guaranteed to find an area of nursing you’ll love.
On this page, we’ll show you some of the popular resources on this site that can help you learn more about the different types of nurses, how to prepare for nursing school, what to expect in nursing school, and much more.
You can find different specialties, salary information for nurses, and useful nursing school tips that can give you the edge you need to succeed.
Please take time to browse this entire page to become more familiar with what it takes to become a nurse.
How to Become a Nurse
Step 1: The first step in becoming a nurse is to ensure you have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. The following article will give you some tips on how to prepare for nursing school while in high school.
Step 2: Next, you’ll want to decide on the type of nurse you want to become. This will make it easier to select a degree/nursing program. Becoming an LPN (license practical nurses) requires approximately 1 year of schooling. To become an RN, it takes 2-4 years. To become a CRNA, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, etc., it can take 6-7 years of schooling total. We’ll discuss more about different types of degrees later on this page.
Step 3: Once you make a decision on the type of nurse you want to become, you can then begin searching for the nursing school you’d like to attend. In our “Nursing Schools” section below, you’ll find a link to the list of nursing schools in each state (in the United States only). You’ll also want to consider how you’ll pay for nursing school. There are options such as financial aid or scholarships.
Step 4: When you’ve narrowed down your choices of nursing schools, it’s time to apply to a nursing program. You’ll have to submit an application, possibly sit for a nursing school interview, and more. In addition, you may have to take a few prerequisite courses if you haven’t taken all of the necessary pre-requisites in high school.
Step 5: Pass nursing school. You’ll have to successfully complete the nursing program in order to become a nurse. This may involve passing nursing proficiency exams (HESI or ATI), and any other university course requirements. Find out more by jumping to our nursing school help center.
Step 6: Take and Pass the NCLEX exam. The NCLEX exam is the State Board’s test that you’ll have to pass in order to become licensed. Once you graduate from nursing school and pass this test, you’re ready to work as a nurse.
Step 7: Get a job. We have plenty of resources on this website to help you find a nursing job and advance in your career as a nurse.
List of Nursing Schools
Students may be overwhelmed at the idea of searching for a nursing school. That’s why we took the time to compile a list of nursing schools in every U.S. state.
This list is a good starting point if you’re just beginning to research nursing schools in your area. It is best to first decide what degree program you want to pursue, and whether you want to be an LPN, or an RN. If you become an RN, you’ll have to decide whether you want to pursue an ADN or BSN program (we’ll talk more about nursing degrees below).
If you know of a nursing school we’ve missed, or if a new school has popped up that we don’t know about, please let us know by dropping us a comment. We’ll do our best to add it to our directory.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you choose an accredited nursing school, and that it meets the requirement of the State Board of Nursing.
Nursing Salaries and Income
One of the common questions people have when pondering a career as a nurse is, “How much money will I make as a nurse?” That’s a great question. According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses tend to make very competitive salaries.
If you want to see dollar amounts and averages of what an RN (registered nurse) makes, read our RN income page. It breaks down the salary/wage by each state in the U.S.
If you’d like to see income averages for other types of nurses, be sure to check out our nursing salaries section.
Of course, your salary will depend on things like your experience, your degree type, your specialty, whether your work day shift or night shift, and so forth.
Another factor that will impact your salary or overall income is the industry you choose to work in. You can work in government, in a private practice, in a for-profit industry, in a non-profit industry, and more.
Nursing Degree Types
There are many different levels of nursing degrees, and the path you choose will ultimately depend on the type of nurse you want to become. Becoming an LPN usually only takes about one year, and this program usually involves a diploma or certification, not an actual degree.
Becoming an RN can take 2-4 years, depending on whether you get an ADN or BSN degree (see more about the differences between ADN vs BSN degrees). There are many programs to help you advance, too. You can go from LPN to BSN, from ADN to BSN, and so forth. You can even get a degree from a traditional university, or an online nursing school.
If you want to become a CRNA (nurse anesthetist), nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse educator, or other similar position, you’ll likely need additional education (Master’s degree level).
You can also obtain your Ph.D. in nursing, which will give you the qualifications to become a university professor or dean, or a nurse researcher.
Many nursing schools require students to take nursing proficiency exams, also called nursing entrance exams, prior to admission into the program. These exams can include the HESI or ATI nursing test. While these exams may sound intimidating, they usually aren’t that bad if you take the time to prepare.
In addition, these exams will help you prepare for the really big exam: NCLEX.
These nursing exams are often administered throughout the program, usually in the form of an Entrance, Mid-Curricular, and Exit exams. Browse our sections on HESI exams and ATI Exams to learn more about how to prepare and succeed with these tests.
Nursing School Classes
What kind of classes can you expect to face as a nursing student? You’ll take nursing school classes such as Anatomy and Physiology, Pathophysiology, and much more. Some of these classes will require a lot of study time, while others won’t be as difficult.
In addition, many nursing schools are now offering online classes, and some even have their entire nursing program online. Online nursing programs can be a great option for people with a tight schedule, or for older students already working as a nurse. They also allow students to learn at their own pace.
Use this section to get tips and an overview on some of the most common nursing school courses.
Nursing School Tips
Nursing school can be difficult at times, but we’ve got you covered. You can search our website to find articles and nursing school tips to help you along the way. Learn from nurses and nursing students who have been where you are and succeeded.
We also answer questions nursing students often have when first entering nursing school, such as:
- What are clinicals?
- What’s a nursing school interview?
- How to afford nursing school
- Questions about nursing
Nursing is truly one of the most versatile careers in the world. Regardless of what your personality type is, you’re all but guaranteed to find an area of nursing you’ll love. That’s why we love nursing so much! This career enables you to love your job and help people, all at the same time.
If you’re looking for more information on some of the nursing specialties you can choose, try reading our overview on nursing. If you want to dig a little deeper, read our different types of nursing specialties section to learn more about what each nursing specialty is about, as well as some salary data.
You can also read more about some of the common types of nurses and healthcare positions, such as:
Finally, you can browse some common nursing questions people have.
Do you have questions about how to become a nurse? Would you like some friendly advice from fellow nurses and/or nursing students?
If so, please don’t hesitate to ask on our nursing forum. There are many wonderful nurses and nursing students who’d be glad to take the time to share their advice. We want you to succeed, and we know that you may need help from time to time.
In addition, why not do your “good deed” for the day, and stop by and leave a comment on someone else’s question. If you don’t have any questions, at least consider helping a fellow nurse or nursing student who may be looking for help.
We put the forum up to be a resource for you. We want you to succeed in nursing school, and we’ll do just about anything we can to help you do it.
Get the eBook on Nursing School
Are you contemplating going to nursing school, or are you actually in nursing school right now? Nursing school can be challenging, especially if you do not know what to expect. S.L. Page, the creator of this website, complied all the information students what to know about nursing school into one easy-to-read guide. These same strategies helper her graduate from nursing school with honors and pass the NCLEX-RN on her first try.