How long does it take to become a registered nurse (NP)? (2023)



How long does it take to become a registered nurse (NP)?

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Nurses are well paid and in high demand. Find out how many years of school you can expect to become one of these essential health professionals.

How long does it take to become a registered nurse (NP)? (1)

It takes six to eight years of training to become a registered nurse. but how long does it takeOfThis largely depends on your current qualifications and level of education.

Nurse practitioners are well-trained healthcare professionals with a wealth of healthcare knowledge and patient care experience. This experience is well rewarded in the job market, but it may take time to develop.

In this article, you'll learn not only how long it takes to become a registered nurse, but also what they do, their career prospects, and the path you need to take to become one.

As you gain a better understanding of this exciting career and your place in healthcare, you will also better understand why it's taking so long and if it's the right path for you.

(Video) How Long Does it Take to Become an RN (Registered Nurse)

What is a Nurse? tasks and career prospects.

Anurse (NP)is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) with a master's degree and additional specialized training who can assess patients, diagnose medical conditions and prescribe treatment plans. not to be confused withRegistered Nurses(RN) NPs do much the same job as physicians, diagnosing and treating patients. However, some states require NPs to have a physician's license to prescribe drugs, and accountability physicians are licensed in all states.


NPs perform many important functions in providing quality healthcare to patients. Some of these features include:

  • Diagnose and treat health problems.

  • Request, run, and review diagnostic tests

  • Taking samples such as B. Blood tests.

  • Prescription drugs (in some states)

  • patient counseling

  • Perform some non-complex medical procedures, e.g. B. suturing a wound.

  • Educate patients about health-related issues and lifestyle changes.

Job prospectus and salary.

Career prospects for NPs are very positive. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), career opportunities for anesthesiologists, midwives, and nurses are projected to grow 45% (much faster than average) between 2020 and 2030 [1]. In comparison, the BLS forecasts total US employment growth of 7.7% between 2020 and 2030 [2].

With such high demand comes high earning potential. In 2020, NPs earned a median annual salary of $120,680, a multiple of the national median individual salary of $35,805 in the same year.3,4].

How many years of school to be a nurse?

Nurse practitioners must have a master's or doctorate degree in nursing. As a result, it typically takes six to eight years of education to become a registered nurse [5,6,7].

These school years are usually broken down as follows:

Grauapproximate average years
Master of Nursing (MSN)2
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)4

Monitoring:A master's degree is not required to receive a DNP, so the time required for a bachelor's degree and doctorate would be around eight years. To get all three degrees, the time frame is about 10 years.

How do you become a professional nurse?

It may take time to gain the knowledge, experience, and qualifications necessary to become a registered nurse. This is how you would do it, from start to finish.

1. Get a bachelor's degree.

To qualify for a master’s or doctorate in nursing, you must first have a bachelor’s degree. While a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) will likely prepare you better for advanced study, you can also apply to a postgraduate nursing program with a non-nursing degree.

For more information, see:What is the difference between a BA and a BS?

Already RN?

Many registered nurses receive their training through an accredited nursing program or graduate nursing program. Consequently, they have the appropriate training to perform professionally, but do not have a bachelor's degree.

Registered nurses in this common situation should consider taking oneRN for BSNProgram that can lead to a BSN in as little as nine months. To accommodate people with busy schedules, many education providers offer flexible online programs.

How long does it take to become a registered nurse (NP)? (2)

(Video) SO YOU WANT TO BE A NURSE PRACTITIONER? Here's how you become a Nurse Practitioner | Fromcnatonp

2. Become an RN.

To become a nurse, you must first be a nurse.

The educational requirements to become a registered nurse vary from state to state, but the three most common routes are through a BSN, an associate's degree program, or an accredited nursing program. Contact the NRA in your state to learn what you need to do to qualify for nursingNational Board Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses(NCLEX-RN). Once you meet the appropriate qualifications in your state, you can take the NCLEX-RN. Be sure to learn, however, because the NCLEX-RN tests your knowledge with questions that require critical thinking and informed decision-making, not just memorization.

3. Get a nursing degree.

There are two degrees you can earn to become an NP: aMaster of Nursing (MSN)by unoDoctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

An MSN typically requires two years of full-time study to complete and deepen a student's knowledge of subjects such as health informatics and evidence-based practices. A DNP is theterminal grisin the field of nursing and expands on the topics covered in an MSN and prepares students for leadership roles. Depending on previous experience and credentials, it can take anywhere from 18 months to four years to complete.

Ultimately, the decision to join an MSN or DNP program will depend on your own career goals and life circumstances. However, each degree qualifies you to become a registered nurse.

4. Get the license.

Once you receive your degree, you will be eligible to take any of the certification exams used to license nursing professionals.

These two tests areAmerican Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)exam and theAmerican Association of Nursing Professionals (AANP)Test. While the two tests differ slightly in their focus (ANCC is more research-oriented and AANP is more clinically-oriented), you only need to take and pass one test to be licensed as an NP in your state.

Next Steps

Healthcare is a growing field with constantly changing knowledge, practices and tools. Prepare for your future as a healthcare professional with Coursera by taking one of our flexible online courses.

the University of MinnesotaSpecializing in Integrative Careteaches students how to work with patients to develop a comprehensive care plan that meets their needs and preferences.

(Video) Becoming A Nurse Practitioner Worth It? Other Things You Can Do With Your Nursing Degree

the University of MichiganDepartment of anatomyin turn, teaches the students everything about the human body, from the skeletal system to the muscles, from head to toe.

How long does it take to become a registered nurse (NP)? (3)


Integrative care

Patient-centered, relational care. By the end of this specialization, you will be able to practice a patient-centered, relationship-based approach to nursing that uses a variety of integrative healing modalities.


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Average time: 7 month(s)

(Video) So You Want to Be a NURSE PRACTITIONER [Ep. 25]

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Skills you will develop:

integrative healthcare, wellness, patient-centered care, improved symptom management, evidence-based practice, symptom management, healthcare, stress management, pain management, integrative care, mindfulness, integrative medicine

related posts

  • What is a Nurse? a career guide

  • Your guide to nursing degrees and certifications

  • What does a registered nurse do? Your professional guide for 2022

  • What is the health administration? What You Need to Know [2022]

article sources

1. SVB. „anesthesiologists, midwives and naturopaths,” Retrieved 25 April 2022.

2. SVB. „Employment will grow by 7.7% from 2020 to 2030; 1.7 percent without COVID-19 recovery, .htm.” Retrieved April 27, 2022.

3. SVB. „Occupations and Salaries, May 2021: Nursing Occupations,, accessed April 27, 2022.

4. FRED Saint-Louis. „Real median personal income in the United States,". Retrieved April 27, 2022.

5. Care diary. "How to become a registered nurse,”. Retrieved May 5, 2022.

6. University of Maryville. "How long does a Masters in Nursing take?,”. Retrieved May 5, 2022.

7. Doctorate in Nursing Practice DNP. "How long does a DNP program last?,". Retrieved May 5, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content is provided for informational purposes only. Students are encouraged to do additional research to ensure that the courses and other qualifications earned meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.


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