According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing employment is expected to grow 23% from 2006 to 2016. That's much higher than other occupations. Positions in doctor's offices and with home health care services are expected to grow even more. So becoming a registered nurse (RN) is a great career choice for anyone looking for stable employment and the opportunity to help people.
Become a RN in Less than Two Years
Have prior education. You can't become an RN in less than two years unless you have another degree or a practical nursing license. There is simply too much material to be learned to become an RN that it is not possible to do it in less than two years.
Enroll in an accelerated Bachelor's program. People who have bachelor's degrees in other fields can enroll in a 14 month Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that will allow them to become RNs. Massachusetts General Hospital's Institute of Health Professions is the latest school to start such a program (see resources for more schools).
Try an accelerated Associate's program. People who are already Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) can join programs that allow them to become RNs through Associate degree programs in as little as 12 months. Eastern Kentucky is one university that has this program (see resources for more schools).
- If you already have an associate's degree or credits in other areas of study, you can probably complete the requirements to become an RN within three years.
- Don't rule out becoming a licensed practical nurse or certified nursing associates, both of which you can do in less than two years. Then it will be easier to get your RN and you will be able to do it while working in the field.
Jennifer Zimmerman is a former preschool and elementary teacher who has been writing professionally since 2007. She has written numerous articles for The Bump, Band Back Together, Prefab and other websites, and has edited scripts and reports for DWJ Television and Inversion Productions. She is a graduate of Boston University and Lewis and Clark College.