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How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse in North Carolina?

If you’re interested in becoming a nurse, you’re probably wondering just how long it will take to accomplish your goal. There are specific steps you need to take to get there, and the timeline depends on the choices you make. At Barton College, we are here to support our students in their chosen career paths. Here’s what you need to know about getting a North Carolina nursing license.

What is the Time Frame to Become a Nurse in North Carolina?

Nurses are in high demand, and as the population ages, that demand will continue to grow. If you’re interested in pursuing nursing as a career, this is an excellent time to take the plunge. Naturally, you’ll have to consider how much time you’ll have to invest before you can commit. Just how long will it take?

This question is a little more complicated than it may seem. The short answer is that it will take between two and four years, but the full answer requires more details.

Every state has its requirements, but wherever you go, to become a Registered Nurse (RN), you must have a nursing degree, pass the national examination, and complete a background check. In North Carolina, the required degree is an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN usually takes two years to complete, while the BSN takes four.

What do I Need to Do to Become an RN?

The first step toward your nursing license is to choose the best program for you. Can you attend full time, or do you need a part-time schedule? Of course, going part time will slow down the process. At Barton College, we offer flexible schedules and online classes to help you fit your studies into your life.

Once you’ve selected a college, you must decide what degree to pursue. The two degrees differ in more ways than length of study, but we’ll get into that in a little bit.

Once you’ve completed your degree, there are some important tasks to take care of before you receive your license. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Register and apply for your nursing license on the North Carolina Board of Nursing website.
  • Register and pay the fee for the NCLEX-RN exam
  • Fulfill a criminal background check
  • Once you’re authorized to take the NCLEX exam, sign up for a testing date and complete the exam
  • When you pass, you should receive your license in about five days

These steps will usually take roughly three months to complete after you finish your degree.

What Degree Do I Need to Become an RN?

At first glance, opting for the ADN seems like the best choice, especially if you’re in a hurry to start your career. This may be the right degree plan, depending on your goals. An ADN is mostly focused on developing technical, hands-on clinical skills, such as patient care and monitoring.

A BSN, on the other hand, also delves into nursing theory, management, and other in-depth knowledge in the field of nursing. Because of the difference between the two degrees, the job opportunities after graduation are different, For the most part, nurses with a BSN can take on roles in education and case management, as well as patient care. Nurses with an ADN are more limited in their careers. They usually work in direct patient care in settings such as hospitals, assisted living communities, home health, and outpatient centers.

Ask Us About Our Nursing Program!

At Barton College, we offer BSN programs for students who are seeking their nursing license, as well as those who already have a license. We provide a thorough education that will start you in your nursing career with confidence. For more information about our program and how it will work for you, contact us today!

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