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Nurse Education Requirements

One of the first steps to becoming a nurse is getting a solid education, whether you hope to be a licensed practical nurse, a registered nurse, or a nurse practitioner. Every state requires students to graduate from an approved nursing program in order to become licensed.

An associate's degree program takes less time to complete, which allows one to enter the workforce sooner. However, employers are more apt to hire a nurse with a bachelor's degree because they receive a more in-depth education. Having said that, plenty of nurses with associate's degrees go on to earn higher degrees with the help of tuition reimbursement from their employer.

Many of the university courses for students pursuing a nursing degree are challenging. Classes are focused on science and mathematics, medical terminology and biology, and many hours studying and memorizing can be expected. A clean background check and drug screening are also almost a given for people in the healthcare industry, since the level of trust between employer and employee is very high.

Education History of Nurses

The most common degree held by nurses is Nursing. 6 percent of nurses had a degree in nursing before becoming nurses. That is over 20 times the average across all careers. Biology graduates are the second most common among nurses, representing 1 percent of nurses in the Sokanu user base, which is 0.4 times the average.

Nurse Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Nurse, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of nurses % of population Multiple
Nursing 6.4% 0.3% 19.9×
Biology 1.1% 2.5% 0.4×

How to Become a Nurse

Think you might be interested in becoming a Nurse? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good nurse? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education
    Simmons Nursing

    • Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington | Wilmington, DE
      Offers: Associates
    • Delaware State University | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • University of Delaware | Newark, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Wesley College | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Wilmington University | New Castle, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
  3. Get Hired
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Further Reading

Find your perfect career

Would you make a good nurse? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

Take the free career test

Recommended Books

  • Nurse's Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions and Rationales www.amazon.com

    This pocket-sized, quick-reference tool has what you need to select the appropriate diagnosis to plan your patient’s care effectively. The 13th Edition features all the latest nursing diagnoses and updated interventions. There’s also a laminated “pocket minder” quick reference bookmark to make diagnosis even easier.

  • How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Nursing School: A Guide for Students by Students www.amazon.com

    This light-hearted, fun, fresh, and easy-to-read guide for nursing students by nursing students is full of practical information to help them cope with—and get the most out of—nursing school.

  • I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse www.amazon.com

    This collection of true narratives reflects the dynamism and diversity of nurses, who provide the first vital line of patient care. Here, nurses remember their first “sticks,” first births, and first deaths, and reflect on what gets them though long, demanding shifts, and keeps them in the profession.

  • How To Succeed In Nursing School www.amazon.com

    Reach your dream of…. Becoming a nurse! Since you have decided to become a nurse, you may have a lot of questions concerning: How to choose a nursing school, How to Become a RN, How to become a LPN, What is the difference between RN & LPN & BSN... I learned a few key study tips & techniques that I will share with you in this book which enabled me to start nursing school with a 3.7 gpa and also graduated nursing school with honours.

  • The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career www.amazon.com

    Whether just starting out in nursing, getting ready to retire, or anywhere in between, The ULTIMATE Career for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career offers something of value for every current and future nurse. While clinical skills are the foundation of nursing practice, so many additional skills and so much more knowledge beyond the clinical realm are necessary to have a satisfying and fulfilling career.

  • Nurses, Jobs and Money: -- A Guide to Advancing Your Nursing Career and Salary www.amazon.com

    'Best Book Award of 2014' by Amazon Editors'. 'Nurses, Jobs and Money -- A Guide to Advancing Your Nursing Career and Salary’ offers a sobering portrait of the nursing industry—and what nurses can do to advance their nursing career and salary in today’s environment.

Become a Nurse