If you want to begin a career in the healthcare industry, becoming a nurse is a great way to get started. By completing a nurse training program, you will gain the experience, skills, and knowledge needed to begin an entry level position. There are several different nursing schools to choose from, and deciding which type of nurse you want to become will play a large role in your education.
Nursing schools offer education programs for both registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNS). Your choice to become an RN or an LPN will affect the length of your education as well as your coursework. For more information about nursing programs, contact a nursing school below.
What You Need to Apply for a Nursing School
Whether you hope to become an RN or an LPN, you will first need to earn a certificate or a degree at a nursing school. Most nursing schools require applicants to have a high school diploma or a GED. In addition, it is helpful to have some background knowledge in subjects related to the field such as anatomy, chemistry, nutrition, physiology, and even liberal arts. If you are thinking about becoming a nurse, you may want to research some of these subjects to prepare yourself for the type of coursework you will encounter throughout your education.
Program Lengths for Different Degrees
Nursing schools offer several different nursing degree programs. To become an LPN, you will have to earn a certificate from an accredited program. For those pursuing a career as an RN, you have a few more options. RNs usually pursue either a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, an associate’s degree in nursing, or a diploma. Most nursing schools offer the following programs:
Certificate: Nursing certificate programs usually take one year to complete. In general, certificate programs are offered at community colleges, technical schools, and occasionally even in high schools. Students in these programs will take a wide variety of subjects that cover everything an LPN will typically encounter on the job. In addition to completing a certificate programs, LPNs must pass a licensing exam before working in any state.
Associate’s Degree in Nursing: An ADN degree program, in addition to nursing diploma programs, usually take 2-3 years to complete. In addition to standard courses covering anatomy, social and behavioral sciences, psychology, and more, students will be expected to complete supervised clinical sessions. This will involve on the job training in actual hospitals or physician offices.
Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing: A BSN degree program can take up to 4 years to complete and typically includes additional training in several areas. An RN with a bachelor’s degree will have more leadership experience, allowing them to work closely with doctors to aid and care for patients. As with LPNs, all RNs must obtain a license regardless of their degree level.
Choosing the Right Nursing School
A nursing school must be approved by the state board in order for graduates to be able to take the NCLEX licensing tests and begin their careers. Not to be confused with accreditation, a state approval simply means that the curriculum meets that state’s requirements for nursing education and is by no means to be construed as a national accreditation. Often times larger schools will have regional state approval but lack a national accreditation. Check with your school’s enrollment officials to determine the status of your program.
Accreditation is an extra, voluntary step that schools undergo in order to affirm that their programs meet certain higher levels of standards. Finding an accredited program can be vital depending on the career path you see for yourself. If you’re interested in one day furthering your education you should know that some programs will not transfer credits earned at a non-accredited institution. Graduates from a non accredited school are also prohibited from working at a VA hospital, federal prison or in any other governmental capacity.
There are two main accrediting bodies for nursing schools in America.
- The National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) – the NLN accredits LPN, ASN, BSN, and graduate nursing programs. If you’re just starting out in the nursing field and looking for a nursing school with accreditation, you’ll should ask about the NLN.
- The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) – The CNCE only accredits baccalaureate and graduate level nursing programs. You can browse their list of accredited programs on their website.
This isn’t to say that attending a nationally accredited school is the only option for aspiring nurses. Many nurses find gainful employment and successful careers after simply graduating from an approved school and earning their license. It all depends on where you see yourself progressing within the industry. It’s also worth noting that the NCBSN has made public strides urging state boards to adopt a national form of nursing accreditation though it’s unclear at this point if the movement will gain traction nor how that would affect existing RNs and LPNs already in the field.
You will also want to compare tuition rates between various nursing schools. If you cannot find tuition information online, contact the nursing program you are considering for more details. Another thing to consider is physical versus online nursing schools. If you are not close to a nursing school, you may want to think about enrolling in an online program.
Nursing Schools Enrolling Now
American Sentinel University
American Sentinel University is focused on more than just positioning you for success in your career today-we’re committed to preparing you for tomorrow. We offer accredited associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate programs in high-demand fields, and we design our curriculums to be forward thinking and market-relevant so that students can add value to their current and future organizations. With flexible delivery, outstanding student support services, and affordable tuition, we make the pursuit of your career dreams possible.
- American Sentinel University Online
- RN to Bachelor of Science Nursing
- Masters Health Care Informatics
- Master of Science Nursing, nursing informatics specialization
- Master of Science Nursing, nursing education specialization
- Master of Science Nursing, infection prevention and control specialization
- Master of Science Nursing, management and organizational leadership specialization
The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health
The Salter School of Nursing & Allied Health is a licensed, post-secondary vocational school with a primary purpose of training individuals for employment in health care. The Career Education courses being offered are designed to provide participants with knowledge and skills that will foster employment success on a career ladder. The Salter School of Nursing & Allied Health is dedicated to the provision and promotion of quality, career-oriented educational opportunities for Nurses, Nursing Assistants, and Laboratory Personnel, through classroom presentations, hands-on laboratory experience and applicable on-the-job training in externship opportunities.
The institution is accredited by ACICS. The LPN program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.
- Practical Nursing
- Licensed Nursing Assistant
Carrington College California
Now you can earn your associate degree and can get started in the career field you’ve always dreamed of more conveniently than ever by attending the online Campus of Carrington College California. Considered a leader in education, Carrington College California has a long history of helping students succeed in real world careers.
- San Jose
- Vocational Nursing
- Registered Nursing
- Vocational Nursing
Since 1974, Sumner College has been successfully preparing students in the Portland area for exciting and rewarding careers. If you’re looking for a college in Portland, Oregon, we encourage you to take a look at what we offer.
Sumner College career programs include practical learning experiences and professional instruction specifically focused on your chosen career field. Instructors have real world experience providing you with the necessary knowledge and skills required in your chosen career field. As a Sumner student, you’ll have the opportunity to acquire the skills that you will need to pursue positions in the legal or healthcare field.
We commend you on your commitment to yourself, and at Sumner College we are committed to you. We’re dedicated to supporting you in the pursuit of a new career and a rewarding future. We offer career-focused programs in the fields of Healthcare and Legal Arts that are designed to prepare and get you into your career sooner, saving you time and money.
- Practical Nursing Diploma
Lincoln / Lincoln Technical Institute
Are you looking for hands-on training at a well-respected technical school?
Since 1946, Lincoln Technical Institute has been helping students achieve professional success through personalized career support and hands-on, job-specific education. Our in-depth training programs are designed to meet the changing needs of today’s tough job market, and cover a variety of fields, including: Health Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Hospitality, automotive Technology, HVAC Technology and Electrical Systems Technology.
What sets Lincoln Technical Institute apart from other schools? Quite a few things, actually; our training programs emphasize experiential, interactive learning activities – that means you’ll do the job before you take the job. Plus, our Certificate, Diploma and Associate Degree programs are designed to accelerate your entry into the job market by offering a shorter length of training, so you may be earning valuable on-the-job experience before many of your peers do.
But our strengths go beyond that. our Lincoln instructors possess a combination of seasoned teaching skills, subject matter expertise and real world experience. Plus, we’ve built working partnerships with important industry contacts in your area. So when you graduate, we’ll help you find a good position and start your career off right.
When it comes to choosing a post-secondary educational institution, keep this in mind: Our dedication to your success sets us apart from the competition – and the specialized, career-focused training you’ll receive at Lincoln will set you apart from yours. Lincoln Technical Institute offers flexible daytime and evening programs to accommodate your busy schedule. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify and Career Placement Assistance is available upon graduation.
- Paramus (Northern NJ)
- Center City Philadelphia (Downtown)
- New Britain
- Northeast Philadelphia (Bucks County)
- Nursing (Practical)
- Nursing (RN)