How Can I Get My RN License?

All states require that registered nurses (RNs) be licensed. Obtaining an RN license is a multi-step process that includes completing the appropriate college education and training as well as passing an exam. To learn more about this process, read on. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Nursing Licensure Requirements

In every state and the District of Columbia, aspiring RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to obtain a nursing license. In order to be eligible for the exam, you must have graduated from an accredited RN degree program and completed the necessary clinical training. Additionally, every state mandates that you submit to a background check. Other requirements vary by state. Continuing education coursework is commonly required for renewing your license.

Important Facts about RN Licensure

Online Availability Hybrid, online-only and online prerequisite programs available
Common Courses Basic nursing concepts, health assessment, human anatomy, microbiology
Continuing Education Many schools offer continuing education courses for RNs, RNs may specialize in areas like anesthesia or midwifery and may participate in a nurse practitioners master's program
Key Skills Compassion, physical stamina, detail-oriented, emotional stability

Educational Requirements

Eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN calls for graduation from an accredited nursing program. If you are already a licensed practical nurse (LPN), you can enroll in a 2-year LPN-to-RN program. Individuals without nursing education can pursue a 2-year associate's degree or a 4-year bachelor's degree in nursing. The primary difference between the two is that a 4-year program often provides additional training in leadership and management, as well as in working within multi-ages or various life stages. Additionally, a bachelor's degree is required if you intend to pursue a graduate education in nursing.

Training Requirements

As a part of your degree program, you're required to complete supervised clinical practicum training. This training typically takes place within local clinics and hospitals. During clinical rotations, you work with patients and provide care in various settings, including emergency care, pediatrics and geriatrics.

RN Career Information

RNs assist physicians and other healthcare professionals in providing medical care to patients. They may update medical records, administer medications and help with medical tests. Additionally, they might advise or teach patients about managing their own care, such as maintaining a healthy diet, taking the proper dosage or following up with appointments. RNs are most commonly employed within hospitals and clinics.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • South University

    South University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at South University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Delaware

    University of Delaware responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of Delaware:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

    Online Programs Available

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