How Long Does It Take To Become An RN?

How Long Does It Take To Become An RN?

Exact Answer: 2 Years

An RN, which is the abbreviated form of a registered nurse, is a nurse who has successfully been able to obtain a nursing license. Such a nurse should have completed a recognized nursing program and is also able to fulfill all the requirements that have been set by the concerned government of the country, state or any administrative unit.

Registered nurses are required to specialize in any particular field of study. They are tasked with performing a wide variety of functions. This makes the need for a well-trained nurse paramount. Moreover, those nurses are also required to undertake regular training to upgrade their knowledge with the latest technology.


How Long Does It Take To Become An RN?

Steps In The ProcessTime Taken
Completing an accredited Nursing Program18 Months
Passing the NCLEX exam2 Months
Applying and getting the license to practiseA Month

The process to become a registered nurse can take a minimum of two years to complete. In this period, the prospective nurse has to complete a number of requirements to tick in all the right boxes. The candidate has to take up and complete an accredited nursing program, pass the NCLEX exam and then, apply for the license to practice.

The first step in becoming a registered nurse is to complete a recognized nursing program. A few important nursing degrees that can help a person to become a registered nurse are Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Associate’s Degree in Nursing. There are various nursing courses and each has different time requirements.

The second step in the process is to apply and clear the NCLEX exam. Clearing the NCLEX exam is a prerequisite in the United States Of America. However, different countries have different exams and conditions. It may take up to two months to apply and clear the exam.

The third and last stage of becoming a registered nurse is to obtain a legal license to practice. In some countries, it is issued by the top nursing body while in The United States of America, it is issued individually by every state. This stage can take anywhere between a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

Why It Takes So Long To Become An RN?

Becoming a registered nurse requires crossing several hurdles. These hurdles test the knowledge and skill of each aspiring nurse and seek to eliminate all the unfit and unsuitable candidates. The basic objective of this process is to make sure that only the most capable candidates make it to be registered nurses.

Completing an accredited nursing program helps a prospective candidate to possess all the relevant knowledge and skills that would be required while on the duty. A candidate can opt for specialized nursing programs and though such programs take a longer time, they are valued more than general nursing programs. It is only natural for specialization programs to take more time than general ones.

The next stage in this process is equally important. Clearing an NCLEX exam is proof that a person has grasped all the necessary knowledge from the nursing program. The result of this exam certifies that the person is fit to be in the job of a registered nurse.

The last step is the most crucial step. Obtaining a license from a recognized body adds credibility to the claims of a registered nurse. This improves the chances of the nurse getting hired. However, getting a license requires time as there are several applications awaiting a response from the licensing body.


A person willing to become a registered nurse has to fill in all the required boxes. They have to complete an accredited nursing program, pass the NCLEX program and then apply and get the license. Completion of the nursing program varies based on the type of program selected while passing the exam and getting the license takes a couple of months.

A prospective nurse should possess all the relevant skills and information related to their job domain. The process of becoming a registered nurse ensures that the person has all those skills.


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