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How can I become a nurse?

Begin in high school

As a nurse, you will hold lives in your hands. Nursing is a responsible job and we need people who take academics seriously. Take college prep courses such as biology, chemistry, physics, and advanced math. And don't forget challenging English, social studies, and foreign language courses, because a key part of nursing is communicating effectively with a wide range of people, from powerful physicians to disadvantaged patients. Aim for top scores because many schools now are looking for a GPA of at least 3.6. Study hard!

School, types, licensure

Nursing boot camps

Requirements, scholarships and loans

Becoming an Advanced Practice Nurse

Interview techniques

School, types, licensure

Entry pathways to become a registered nurse include a 4-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree, a 3-year associates degree in nursing, and a 3-year diploma program at a hospital (this last way is not common today). Nursing leaders have long encouraged all nurses to attain at least a bachelor's degree. Research shows that the more education nurses have, the more lives they save. So consider just going straight for your BSN. You will have more education to rely upon when your patients are in crisis. Once you complete your BSN and have a few years experience, you can consider becoming a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist or nurse midwife.

Nursing boot camps

Boot camps or training experiences for teenagers or prospective students can be a great way to learn about nursing. See the programs below. If you have one we don't have listed here, please click here to let us know so we can add it. Thank you!


Hospice of the Valley Teens in nursing program


Memorial Health System Teens experiencing nursing camp

New Jersey

JFK Muhlenberg Snyder School of Nursing (New Jersey) nursing boot-camp in New Jersey, at JFK Muhlenberg Snyder School of Nursing, on MedWatch Today, and at Edson College.

North Carolina

East Carolina University Scout Out Nursing program, see link 1 and link 2


University of St. Thomas (Houston) nursing boot camp

Texas Women's University pre-nursing boot camp


University of Wisconsin Manitowoc nursing boot camp

See more on Best online RN to BSN programs

Requirements, scholarships and loans

College Affordability Guide

California Board of Registered Nursing

American Nurses Association

Registered Nurse - A Career Guide at


RN to BSN online schools; scholarships

NursingSchool411 has information on requirements on getting a nursing license

Becoming an Advanced Practice Nurse

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Planning your NP education: American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Family Nurse Practitioners

Nurse Practitioner Programs Online | 150+ Schools

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

CNS FAQs: National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists

Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Become a Midwife: American College of Nurse-Midwives

Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Become a CRNA: American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Also see:

Guide to Advanced Practice Registered Nursing

This site includes information on ten APRN specialties, including family nursing, certified nurse midwifery, psychiatric mental health nursing, pediatric primary care, and pediatric acute care, plus over 40 interviews with practicing APRNs across several fields and work settings.

The Complete Guide to MSN Programs

A detailed breakdown of clinical and administrative specialties available at the MSN level.

The Complete Guide to DNP Programs

A thorough guide to DNP programs that also includes information on BSN to DNP, MSN to DNP, and RN to DNP programs.

Interview techniques

This is a very good guide for how to present yourself for an interview.

Click on the links below for detailed information:

What is Nursing?

Where do nurses practice? Tell me about nursing specialties.

Why become a nurse?

Who should become a nurse?

Who are some nurse leaders, past and present?

Where can I get nursing recruitment materials?

Go back to our Become a Nurse page


First published October 7, 2014

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