Of the many educational paths one can take to become a registered nurse (RN), a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN) program is the most straightforward. BSN programs may include coursework on care theory, human anatomy and physiology, the origins of nursing practice and the structure of the U.S. healthcare system. These students also receive training through supervised clinical work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BSN holders have one critical step to becoming a RN – taking the National Council of Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Upon passing the exam, a licensed RN may practice in every state, the BLS adds. Students who hold a non-nursing undergraduate degree also may enter the field through an accelerated BSN nursing program. These fast-tracked students may apply their previous undergraduate coursework to their BSN. Some may be prepared to take the NCLEX-RN after 14 months. The BLS notes that there are other initial steps to a nursing career, including an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) program. ADN holders may work up to a BSN by training extensively with doctors and RNs in hospital settings.
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