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How to Become an RN

Becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) offers several avenues to success and career growth, but how do you get there? What is the best path?

Individuals can become an RN through a variety of programs. The most important constant is passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The NCLEX was created by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to test the ability and knowledge of nurses. This exam is used to test nurses in the United States and Canada.

Taking the NCLEX is one of the final steps to becoming an RN, so where do you begin?

For those who have not obtained any other healthcare certificates, they can choose to either get their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which takes four years to complete, or receive an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) which takes two years.

ADN Program Details

  • 2 years to complete
  • Average credit hours required range from 60 to 75
  • Earning potential is averaged to be up to $73,300

BSN Program Details

  • 4 years to complete
  • Average credit hours required are 120
  • Earning potential is averaged to be up to $111,220

One of the benefits to receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is the potential to earn more along with receiving a wider wealth of knowledge.

After you receive and successfully pass the required schooling and NCLEX, individuals will then need to become certified in their state, as each state is different and requires different documents for approval through the state’s Board of Nursing.

For Avanza Training students or alumni who are currently Certified Nursing Assistants looking to become an RN, there are programs called Nursing Bridge Programs where they help “bridge the gap” between various career paths. Some programs may include:

  • RN to MSN
  • LPN to RN
  • CNA to RN

“CNA to RN programs are an attractive option because they allow nurse assistants to earn their associate degree in nursing in significantly less time than a traditional RN program that can take between two and four years to complete. Nurse assistants who enroll in a CNA to RN program often receive credit for coursework completed in their initial CNA classes or are allowed to “test out” of required prerequisite courses, so they do not have to repeat unnecessary courses. This approach allows students to earn their RN credentials in half the time and cost of traditional programs, in some cases.” – everynurse

Working as an RN allows you the opportunity to explore a variety of career paths, like working in a school as an instructor, working in a hospital treating critical care patients, or being a home health nurse for a local home health agency, and providing one on one care with the patient. Here’s everything you need to know about being an RN.

If you or someone you know is interested in taking their first step to working in the healthcare industry, Avanza Training offers flexible CNA courses fit to your schedule. Learn more on our Classes page at