What are the educational and licensure requirements for an RN?
In the United States, there are three routes to initial licensure as a registered nurse. The shortest path (and the most widely utilized) is a two-year Associate of Science in Nursing, a two-year college degree referred to as an ADN; this is the most common initial preparation for licensure in the U.S. Often in competitive metropolitan areas within the US, two-year programs can require several prerequisite courses which ultimately stretch out the degree acquiring process to about 3 years. Another method is to attend a diploma program, which lasts approximately three years. Students take between 30 and 60 credit hours in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, nutrition, chemistry, and other subjects at a college or university, then move on to intensive nursing classes. Until 1996, most RNs in the US were initially educated in nursing by diploma programs. The third method is to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a four-year degree that also prepares nurses for graduate-level education.