How to Become a Nurse (2023)

How to Become a Nurse (1)

Nurses are the heart of the healthcare system. As highly valued members of the healthcare team, they administer care and act as an advocate for their patients. If you want to spend your career helping others, exploring how to become a nurse could be a good fit.

The nursing industry is constantly evolving thanks to new technologies, medical advances and changing nursing roles. Whether you want to work in a small setting where you can get to know each patient personally or you seek the high-energy, fast-paced work environment of a hospital, there are a variety of career opportunities within the field.

The path to becoming a nurse is also varied, with many different options for nursing degrees, licensure and certifications available. But before you start exploring possible career paths, it’s important to have a good understanding of the industry to determine if nursing is right for you.

The Field of Nursing

How to Become a Nurse (2)Nurses are the most employed profession in healthcare, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and the role is only continuing to grow. Registered nurses (RN) are the occupation with the sixth-highest projected increase in new jobs in the U.S. between 2020 and 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“The thing I have loved about nursing the most is the variety of careers that are out there,” said Dr. Lyndsay Goss, director of continuing professional development for nursing at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). “There are so many opportunities out there as a nurse and so many directions you can go in, which is exciting.”

Nurses can work in a variety of settings and take on many different roles. According to BLS data:

  • 1.75 million nurses work in hospitals
  • 199,130 nurses work in offices of physicians
  • 173,790 nurses work in home health care services
  • 147,720 nurses work in outpatient care centers
  • 131,320 nurses work in nursing care facilities

To get more specific, AACN reports that registered nurses are also in demand in both short-term care and community settings, including:

  • Healthcare maintenance and research organizations
  • Insurance and managed care companies
  • Mental health agencies
  • Nursing education centers and schools
  • Nursing homes and hospices
  • Primary care clinics, public health agencies and private practices

Many older patients also prefer to be treated at home or in residential care facilities, so registered nurses are in demand in those settings too, according to BLS.

How to Become a Nurse (3)

And these jobs aren't going anywhere. According to BLS data, nursing jobs are projected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030 - much faster than the national average for all occupations. In 2021, the median annual wage for registered nurses was $77,600.

As the healthcare industry continues to grow, skilled nurses are in high demand. No matter where you work, you'll play a critical role in patient care, often acting as the face of the system and providing key communication to patients and their families.

(Video) How to Become a Registered Nurse (RN) | Ways to Become an RN

How to Become a Nurse in Four Steps

Now that you have a better understanding of the nursing field and the types of jobs available to nursing school graduates, it’s time to break down exactly how to become a nurse - from the education you’ll need to get your nursing degreeor license, to the things you can do to stand out in the field.

Step One: Determine Your Nursing Goals

While becoming a registered nurse is a common path to a nursing career, there are plenty of other opportunities that could impact the preparation you’ll need for your career.

It’s important to research each career path and determine which may be right for you - and research the educational and licensure requirements to join that particular nursing profession.

There are many different types of nursesand nursing jobs, including:

  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)
  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)
  • Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNL)
  • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)
  • Nurse Anesthetists
  • Nurse Educators
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Registered Nurses (RN)

Whether you want to help patients with their daily care needs as a certified nursing assistant, wish to enter the teaching field and become a nurse educatoror take on another role in the field, you will need a nursing education of some kind. The most common types of nursing degrees are an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

What are the Requirements to Become a Nurse?

Nursing requirements vary by state, but each candidate is expected to complete at least an ADN or BSN from an accredited institution, as well as gain state licensure. On top of the educational requirements, gathering hands-on clinical experience is also necessary.

Step Two: Get A Nursing Degree

Your education is the most important step when determining how to become a nurse. Typically, if you want to become a registered nurse you’ll need to start with an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.

Associate Degree in Nursing

An associate degree in nursing is a two-year program typically offered through community colleges, universities or vocational schools. With an ADN you can get the knowledge and hands-on clinical experience you need to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), a standardized licensing test that nurses must pass in order to become a registered nurse.

If you want to become an RN but also want to get started in the nursing field right away, earning an ADN is a great way to begin your career faster and get valuable real-world experience while working toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing, said Goss.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

While you don’t need a bachelor’s degree in nursingto get started in the field, a four-year degree can help you advance your career, stand out among job applicants and expand your nursing knowledge.

Bachelor’s degrees are in high demand in the nursing field, said Goss. Studies have shown that nurses who hold BSN degrees tend to deliver safer, more effective care that leads to better patient outcomes overall.

Today, the AACN recommends the BSN degree as the entry-level degree for all professional nurses, suggesting that BSN graduates are better qualified to meet the demands of the evolving healthcare system.

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“It’s important to know that bachelor’s degrees will continue to be something that’s valued in the future,” said Goss.How to Become a Nurse (4)

A nursing bachelor’s degree is typically a four-year program that includes nursing-specific courses and also explores other key areas of study, such as communication, humanities and social sciences. There are also pathways from your ADN to your BSN that could be completed as a working RN.

In a BSN program, you can learn how to use evidence-based practices to plan and evaluate outcomes of care, form strategies to promote better health across patient populations, lead new healthcare initiatives and interpret trends in healthcare policy and regulations.

BSN courses explore key topics including:

  • Ethics in healthcare
  • Healthcare management and finance
  • Information management and patient care technologies
  • Leadership
  • Public health
How Much Does a Nursing Degree Cost?

The price of a nursing degree varies based on the program you choose and the institution you attend. Your past educational experience can also impact the cost of your degree program. If you’ve already completed some nursing courses or general education courses, for example, you may be able to transfer those creditstoward your nursing degree, saving you time and money.

If you're already working as a registered nurse, your professional experience may also reduce the number of courses you need to take, reducing the cost of your degree even further.

Step Three: Get Clinical Experience

Getting real-world healthcare experience is one of the most important parts of exploring how to become a nurse.

How to Become a Nurse (5)Clinical hours are typically built into any nursing degree program, but the actual number of hours varies depending on state requirements, the type of degree and the institution’s curriculum. Most schools also take into account state laws regarding supervised work experience needed for licensure, according to Nurse Journal.

If you’re already working as an RN and are enrolled in an online BSN program, your nursing job will give you a unique opportunity to apply your classroom learning to the real world – and vice versa, said Goss.

“This is one of the great opportunities of online nursing programs,” said Goss. “You’re able to bring what you’re learning directly out into the field, but you’re also able to bring your experience in the field into the classroom, which leads to more engaging discussions.”

Step Four: Get Licensed

Once you’ve completed a nursing degree, the next step toward becoming a nurse is to seek state licensure. While each state has its own eligibility requirements for licensure, all nurses are required to sit for the NCLEX licensing exam and then apply to their state's board of nursing to become a registered nurse.

Once you earn your license, it’s important to focus on continued learning and professional development, said Goss.

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While state requirements vary, nurses are typically required to renew their license and get 15 to 30 hours of professional development every two years to ensure they’re staying up to date on the latest technologies and nursing best practices.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse?

How to Become a Nurse (6)

How long it takes to become a nurse will vary based on the degree you seek, the institution you attend and your prior educational and professional experience.

With so many great opportunities in the nursing field, it’s no surprise that many students have the same question: Can you become an RN in 2 years? While timelines for nursing school and licensure do vary, it's possible to start working as a registered nurse very quickly.

With an ADN, you can earn your degree in about 2 years and sit for your licensure exam soon after. This is one of the quickest ways to start working in the field as an RN, said Goss.

But even if that’s not the path you take, there are still a growing number of accelerated ways to get your nursing degree and start gaining real-world experience more quickly. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs that build on students’ existing nursing credentials with programs such as:

  • LPN to ADN
  • RN to BSN
  • RN to MSN

These programs allow students with prior nursing degree experience or licensed nursing credentials to move more quickly through a bachelor’s degree program.

In SNHU’s transfer-friendly RN to BSN program, for example, students can earn 45 credits for an unencumbered RN license and transfer up to 45 more into the BSN program. With a full transfer credit, the RN to BSN program could be completed in as little as one year.

Stand Out in The Nursing Field

Once you’ve earned a nursing degree and secured your state nursing license, it’s time to seek employment as a registered nurse. While there are many job opportunities available for nurses across the U.S., it’s still important to do what you can to stand out among other job applicants and ensure you get the job you want.

Be Prepared to Get Hired

There are strategies that you can use to get hired when embarking on your new career.

One strategy is to ensure that your resume is updated and highlights your strengths and experiences as a nurse. A strong resume can connect your skills and experiences with employer needs, according to the Nurse Journal, and understanding what employers wantis a way to stand out professionally.

The Nurse Journal also has several tips you can use for ensuring your nursing resume stands out, these include:

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  • Be specific about professional experiences
  • Include a cover letter
  • Save your resume document under a professional name
  • Tailor your resume to the hiring organizations
  • Try to keep it easy to read and to one page (based on experience)

Another way to stand out is to prepare for a job interview. Job interviews offer a great opportunity to showcase yourself and make a connection with the employer. Job interviews also give you the opportunity to ask questions related to the job and organization to see if they are the right fit.

Consider Specialization

One of the great things about nursing is the wide variety of opportunities to specialize in a particular area of study, said Goss.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and National League for Nursing (NLN) both offer nursing certifications in a variety of subjects, including:

  • Informatics
  • Medical-surgical nursing
  • Nurse education
  • Nurse leader
  • Nursing professional development

Most of these specializations do require a certain number of hours of professional work experience, so these are typically a great way to advance your nursing career once you learn more about the type of work you want to do long term.

Earning a certification can help you get the job you want. Many nursing positions specifically seek applicants with an existing certification or ask that candidates earn their certification within a few months of hire, said Goss.

Consider a Master’s Degree

Earning a master’s degree in nursingis another great way to advance your nursing career and stand out when seeking jobs. While a master’s degree is not necessary to work as a registered nurse, it can provide key knowledge and skills to help you become a nurse practitioner, nurse leader or other advanced nursing position.

According to the AACN, nurses are more and more often acting as leaders in the movement toward healthcare reform. Nurses with advanced degrees often have more opportunities to take on these key roles and can also earn higher salaries. One of these roles is a clinical nurse leader, as their position calls on them to be a leaderin healthcare and manage the broader systems such as the patient's caregivers, payment structures and institutional policies.

Earning a master’s degree is also helpful if you want to advance your career in a specific area of nursing. Some specialized nursing master's degrees include:

  • MSN in Healthcare Quality and Safety
  • MSN in Nurse Education
  • MSN in Nurse Executive Leadership

Master Key Skills

One of the most important aspects of a successful career in nursing is to master - and continue to develop - key soft skillsand technology skills. Nurses are the faces of healthcare, and most often the healthcare workers who are interacting with patients on a personal level.

From working on communication and collaboration skills to exploring cultural competency, improving your soft skills as a nurse is an ongoing process, said Goss.

“It takes a certain type of individual to be a nurse and dedicate their career to caring for others,” said Goss. “Many new nurses graduate and go into the field and there’s an excitement for the work. It’s important to try not to lose that. It takes persistence, resilience and self-care to stay impassioned in this field.”

Discover more about SNHU's bachelor's in nursing: Find out what courses you'll take, skills you'll learn and how to request information about the program.

(Video) What if You Became a Nurse? | Sana Goldberg | TEDxHarvardCollege

Danielle Gagnon is a freelance writer focused on higher education. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


What are good answers for why I want to be a nurse? ›

I believe in helping people, especially in times of extreme need. When I worked as an EMT I was always the one asked to facilitate information between any involved party. I want to expand this skill and I think nursing is a good fit for me. My interests and experience with medical professionals are good for this job.”

How do I make sure I pass nursing school? ›

  1. Time Management. To be successful in nursing school, you must manage your time appropriately. ...
  2. Get Organized. ...
  3. Use Mnemonics. ...
  4. Study Everyday. ...
  5. Complete Practice Questions. ...
  6. Participate in a Study Group. ...
  7. Focus on course objectives when studying. ...
  8. Know your learning style.

Why did you choose to become a nurse? ›

Examples of the Best Answers

I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging, interesting, and makes a difference in people's lives daily. In the nursing profession, you deal with many aspects of patient care, and I enjoy the variety in the routine.

What are the 6 C's of nursing? ›

The 6 Cs – care, compassion, courage, communication, commitment, competence - are a central part of 'Compassion in Practice', which was first established by NHS England Chief Nursing Officer, Jane Cummings, in December 2017.

How do you write why I want to be a nurse essay? ›

Plan Your Nurse Essay

Jot down ideas that express your passion for the nursing profession, as well as any personal or familiar experience that led you to take this step. Be honest. Be open. Summarize your story, highlight your goals, and think about what the nursing profession means to you.

Is passing nursing exam hard? ›

Rather than using memorization skills, logic and critical thinking skills are required to succeed on this exam, making it more comprehensive and challenging. So, if you find yourself asking, "How hard is the NCLEX-RN? - The short answer is, it's very hard.

How hard is the nursing exam? ›

NCLEX Pass Rates

The second-attempt pass rate for domestically-educated students taking the test was 45.56%. These results demonstrate that it is a pretty difficult test. The questions are designed to test your critical thinking, knowledge of the nursing process, and assessment skills.

What happens if you fail your RN exam? ›

All nurses have to pass the NCLEX to acquire a nursing license and practice. If you fail the exam, you should reschedule and restudy as soon as possible to get closer to working as a nurse. In some states, you must inform your employer once you learn you didn't pass the NCLEX (if you're already employed).

What are the 6 C's of nursing interview questions? ›

Interviewee: Before your interview, you must ensure you understand the six Cs of nursing, which are: care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.

How to pass nursing school questions? ›

How to Pass Nursing School: Ace Your Nursing Test Questions
  1. Budget Plenty of Study Time.
  2. Find Some Example Nursing Questions.
  3. Use A Study Group.
  4. Study With Your Learning Style.
  5. Put Facts On Repeat.
  6. Create Mnemonic Devices.
  7. Make the Facts Relatable.
  8. Use An NCLEX Practice Test Question Bank.
Feb 19, 2019

How do I study for nursing questions? ›

10 Study Tips That Will Make Nursing School Easier
  1. Follow the nursing exam study guide. ...
  2. Focus on the material covered in class. ...
  3. Think in terms of action, not facts. ...
  4. Form a study group. ...
  5. Skim-read first. ...
  6. Use outside sources. ...
  7. Know your learning style. ...
  8. Use downtime as study time.

What makes a good nurse? ›

Kindness, fairness, caring, trustworthiness, emotional stability, empathy, and compassion are aspects of your personality that serve you well as a nurse. You exhibit strong communication skills. You communicate well with patients and colleagues — sometimes at their worst life moments.

What do you find most difficult about being a nurse? ›

Here are some of the challenges nurses face in their profession:
  1. Long shifts. Nurses often work 10- or 12-hour shifts. ...
  2. Changing schedules. ...
  3. Emotional involvement. ...
  4. Physical demands. ...
  5. Exposure to illness and chemicals. ...
  6. Lack of nurses. ...
  7. Changing technology. ...
  8. Poor treatment from patients.
Mar 10, 2023

What are your strengths as a nurse? ›

For nursing applicants, specifically, our experts said they're typically looking for strengths like flexibility, a team player, extremely organized, multitasking, leadership abilities, creative problem-solving, an excellent communicator, or curiosity about learning new things.

How do you rock a nursing interview? ›

Nursing Interview Tips
  1. Know where you're going. Healthcare facilities are often big and confusing. ...
  2. Dress professionally. Professional attire tells interviewers you take them and the job seriously.
  3. Rehearse your nursing interview questions. Don't just prep answers. ...
  4. Pamper yourself. ...
  5. Listen and take notes.
Mar 21, 2023

What skills does a registered nurse require? ›

These nursing skills are crucial for anyone in this important field.
  • Communication skills. No matter which type of nursing role you wind up in, communication will be a critical part of your job. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Patient assessment. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Urgent care. ...
  • Physical endurance. ...
  • Technology skills.

What is the full meaning of a nurse? ›

: a person who cares for the sick or infirm. specifically : a licensed health-care professional who practices independently or is supervised by a physician, surgeon, or dentist and who is skilled in promoting and maintaining health compare licensed practical nurse, registered nurse.

How should I start my essay? ›

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
  1. An opening hook to catch the reader's attention.
  2. Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  3. A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
Feb 4, 2019

How do you want to become a nurse? ›

The minimal qualifications needed to become a practicing registered nurse (RN) are an associate degree (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Registered Nurses.

Is it common to fail nursing class? ›

Many nursing schools require a minimum grade of roughly 80% to actually pass, as well. By the time you realize you aren't doing well enough to be successful in the course, the choices can be pretty limited. Failure happens all the time. It happens every day...

How many times can you fail the nurse exam? ›

Candidates who do not pass the NCLEX after three times must complete a board-approved remedial training before their fourth attempt.

How many people fail the nursing exam? ›

What Are Your Chances Of Failing NCLEX-RN On The First Attempt? The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) reports 13.43% of NCLEX-RN candidates fail the exam on their first attempt. The number of unsuccessful test-takers is low compared to the more than 86% who pass the exam on their first try.

How many hours is the RN exam? ›

2. How Long is the NCLEX RN? The minimum number of questions on the NCLEX is 75, and the maximum number of questions is 145. The max amount of time you can take on the exam is 5 hours, including all breaks.

What is the highest paying nurse? ›

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist consistently ranks as the highest-paid nursing career. That is because Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled Registered Nurses who work closely with medical staff during medical procedures that require anesthesia.

Why do I keep failing NCLEX? ›

Failing the NCLEX may indicate that your study habits were not optimal. Identify your areas of opportunity, and be clear about how you will alter your approach for your next attempt. You may have tried to cram too much studying into too short a time, or you might have not studied enough.

Has anyone failed NCLEX at 75 questions? ›

While it is certainly possible to fail the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN evaluation in only 75 questions, this rarely happens because most nursing students are far more prepared than they believe they are.

How many nurses fail NCLEX? ›

According to the NCSBN, the national first time NCLEX-RN pass rate for US educated nurses in 2020 was 86.5% and the PN pass rate for the same period of time was 83%. The pass rate for repeat RN test-takers was only 42.9% and for PN 35.6%.

What is the final test for RN? ›

The NCLEX-RN, which stands for the National Council Licensure Examination [for] Registered Nurses (RN), is a computer adaptive test that is required for nursing graduates to successfully pass to be licensed as a Registered Nurse in the US and Canada.

What is the most important C in nursing? ›

Care is the first C; Care is defined as the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something. The primary duty of the nurse is to care for the patient. Amongst all the C's this is the most important.

What do you say in Tell me about yourself? ›

Your answer to the "tell me about yourself" question should describe your current situation, your past job experience, the reason you're a good fit for the role, and how you align with the company values. Tell the interviewer about your current position and a recent big accomplishment or positive feedback you received.

What is the hardest topic in nursing school? ›

Pharmacology. Pharmacology, or the study of medication, can seem scary because of the sheer scope of the course. "It becomes one of the hardest classes for nursing students due to the depth and amount of knowledge needed," says Megan Lynch, RN and instructor at Pima Community College.

How do I prepare for my first nursing exam? ›

NCLEX-RN: Ten Ways to Prepare for the Exam
  1. Know What to Expect.
  2. Create a Study Plan.
  3. Form a Study Group.
  4. Use Available Resources.
  5. Answer Practice Questions.
  6. Take Study Breaks.
  7. Maintain a Routine.
  8. Take Care of Yourself.

How many hours a day should you study in nursing school? ›

How many hours a day should I study for nursing school? Everyone is different, but in general, it is recommended that nursing school students study anywhere from 2-4 hours a day. Committing class material to memory is essential to becoming a registered nurse, so the more time studying, the better!

What do nursing exams look like? ›

Nursing school exams mainly use four of the six cognitive levels for multiple-choice questions. And, these levels include knowledge questions, comprehension questions, application questions, and analysis questions. These cognitive levels are a part of Bloom's Taxonomy.

What type of questions is on a nursing exam? ›

The NCLEX-RN® is composed of primarily multiple-choice, four-option, text-based questions written at the application/analysis level of difficulty. These questions may include charts, tables, or graphic images.

How many questions is the simple nursing exam? ›

The NCLEX-RN may contain anywhere from 75 to 265 questions, with 15 “experimental” questions that don't count toward the final score. Test-takers have six hours to complete the test, with an optional break after two hours and another optional break after 3.5 hours of testing.

How can I improve my nursing skills? ›

How to Improve Your Skills for Nursing
  1. Continue Your Education. ...
  2. Explore Advanced Nursing Education. ...
  3. Learn How to Effectively Communicate. ...
  4. Join a Professional Nursing Organization. ...
  5. Make a Commitment to Service and Knowledge.
Mar 23, 2022

What is the motto of nurse? ›

"Save one life, you're a hero. Save a hundred lives, you're a nurse."

What makes nursing hard? ›

Why is nursing school so hard? The top 6 challenges of earning a BSN include the rigorous curriculum, fast pace, need for multitasking, time commitment, personal sacrifices, and NCLEX preparation. However, despite these rigors, it's possible to rise up and master how to succeed in nursing school.

What is the best part of nursing? ›

"The most rewarding thing I have found about being a nurse is the personal connection that I am able to make with patients. No matter how long it has been, a patient remembers their nurse. They may or may not remember the nurse's name, but they remember if they were kind and compassionate. A good nurse always is.

Why do I want to be a nurse? ›

As a nurse, you can make a real difference in someone's life. You can offer hope to people, sometimes during the worst time of their life. Nurses often counsel patients and families after a devastating diagnosis, celebrate with them when they receive good news, and become trusted confidantes.

Why did you choose nursing? ›

Patient Care

One of the most common reasons that nurses give for “why nursing?” is to care for patients. Nurses spend more time with patients than any other medical professionals.

Why should I be a nurse? ›

It's a career that provides meaningful work, career growth opportunities, diverse specialty options, high earning potential, job stability, schedule flexibility, and more. Not only do nurses feel personally fulfilled through their work; they also reap the professional benefits throughout their career.

What are the chances of passing nursing school? ›

According to the NCSBN, the national first time NCLEX-RN pass rate for US educated nurses in 2020 was 86.5% and the PN pass rate for the same period of time was 83%. The pass rate for repeat RN test-takers was only 42.9% and for PN 35.6%.

Is it common to fail a class in nursing school? ›

Many nursing schools require a minimum grade of roughly 80% to actually pass, as well. By the time you realize you aren't doing well enough to be successful in the course, the choices can be pretty limited. Failure happens all the time. It happens every day...

Is it common to fail out of nursing school? ›

Nursing is one of the most desirable professions in the United States. So many students, for many reasons, are trying to become a nurse, but the road to becoming a nurse is not easy. The main bump in your path will be nursing school, where so many students fail every semester.

How many test can you fail in nursing school? ›

If they fail, they'll need to wait 45 days before retesting. After failing three times, though, they'll need to complete a board-approved remediation program before the next retake. test-takers have six attempts to pass in total.

What class is the hardest in nursing school? ›

Hardest Nursing School Classes
  • Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
  • Pharmacology. ...
  • Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
  • Evidence-Based Practice.

How many nursing students drop out? ›

According to the National League for Nursing, the national dropout rate for nursing programs in the United States is 20%, and this high attrition rate is considered problematic.

How many people pass nursing school first try? ›

Falling Pass Rates

Pass rates continued to decline in 2022, with an average pass rate of 80.9% opens in a new tab or windowfor all first-time U.S.-educated candidates, and a rate of 66.6% for all candidates, based on a dataset that excludes the fourth quarter of the year.

What is the easiest class in nursing school? ›

Sometimes the difficulty of a class is determined by the professor (some are hard, whereas others are easy).
The Easiest Classes in Nursing School
  • Social Sciences (Intro Psychology, Sociology, etc.)
  • Humanities.
  • Intro to Speech (or Communication)
  • English Composition.
  • History.
  • Using Information Technology.

What is a bad GPA in nursing school? ›

While most nursing schools set their minimum GPA requirements at 3.0, there are accelerated nursing programs out there that accept students with 2.7 and 2.8 GPAs. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean you'd receive a lesser nursing education with these programs.

Why is it so hard to pass nursing school? ›

Challenging Course Material

The main reason why nursing school is challenging is because it involves learning about complicated nursing concepts and practical skills, then applying that information into diverse patient care scenarios — going well beyond memorizing facts.

Is it hard to finish nursing school? ›

Nursing requires more dedication than many other careers. However, it's one of the most rewarding jobs you can have. Nursing school is notoriously difficult—and it's not for everyone. Graduate school is challenging as well.

Is nursing school hard if you study? ›

Nursing school is competitive to get into and challenging to get through. Because programs require many credit hours, nursing students sometimes end up taking multiple difficult courses in one semester. Think of late nights studying for exams in addition to clinicals where you'll gain hands-on nursing experience.

How do I stop failing nursing school? ›

You can talk with the dean or a counselor at the school to see if there is any way to get back into the program. Maybe you can retake a class over the break, file an academic appeal, or take some other action to get reinstated in the program. Many failed nursing students have done this successfully.

Why are nursing exams so hard? ›

The NCLEX is challenging because it not only tests an expansive range of nursing information, but it also asks questions in a unique way. Instead of asking for the correct answer amid several incorrect answer choices, the exam asks for the best answer amid many possible correct answers.

What are the most difficult nursing exams? ›

For many nursing students, taking the NCLEX exam is the most difficult and stressful moment in their nursing education. Your resolve will be tested, your critical thinking skills will be tested, and even your commitment to your chosen profession in nursing may be tested.

How long should you study for a test in nursing school? ›

Everyone is different, but in general, it is recommended that nursing school students study anywhere from 2-4 hours a day. Committing class material to memory is essential to becoming a registered nurse, so the more time studying, the better!


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