Allied Health Professions > Nursing Education Center

What Kind of Training Does a Registered Nurse Have?


Educational preparation for basic RN licensure can be obtained in a four-year college or university program leading to a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a hospital-based program leading to a diploma in nursing, or a two-year community or junior college leading to an associate degree in nursing. State licensure is required in order to practice as an RN. The rheumatology RN has acquired specialized knowledge and expertise in the care of persons with rheumatic diseases, through experience and continuing education beyond the basic nursing education program. This includes master and doctorate degrees specific to practice specialties, leadership, and research.

There are three primary academic routes to meeting mandatory educational standards in order to secure an entry-level position as a registered nurse. The first alternative, earning a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN) at a college or university, takes an average of 4 years. Those wishing to enter the workforce quickly can complete a program for licensed practical nurses (LPN). LPNs are supervised by registered nurses. They measure and monitor patients; assist in patient care and treatments; and collect laboratory test samples. LPN training programs allow nurses to begin work after completing one year of study and are available at community colleges and vocational schools. After completing the necessary education, graduates of a licensed practical nurse training program can take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). Most LPNs work in general healthcare and don't specialize.


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