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Part-Time RN Program Information

Find out about your options for studying nursing in a part-time program. Read about educational prerequisites and coursework for these programs, and get career info for registered nurses (RNs).

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Essential Information

Part-time nursing programs are typically offered by community colleges. Part-time Associate of Science programs cater to students who have full-time jobs and cannot attend classes on a daily basis. Program length can range between two and a half years to four years, and many of the classes are offered at night or on the weekends. Graduates can sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

A part-time nursing program combines general education courses with classes that focus on the fundamentals of nursing practice. Students receive training in nursing ethics, pharmacology and nursing administration. Some programs have supervised clinical training sessions that allow students to gain practical nursing experience in health care settings.

Educational Prerequisites

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or a GED certificate. If there are any deficiencies in high school math and science classes, an applicant may be required to take the MNE placement test, which is also known as COMPASS. In some instances, a community college may request ACT or SAT test scores. Proof of immunizations and a current CPR certification may also be requested.

Program Coursework

The first year of enrollment usually focuses on the completion of general education courses. Once these courses are finished, students can begin classes in nursing practice.

  • Allied health math
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Human development and growth
  • Patient assessment
  • Perspectives of professional nursing
  • Nursing practice
  • Computer literacy

Job Outlook and Salary Information

Due to the increasing elderly population, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected in 2010 that employment of registered nurses would increase by about 26% through 2020. According to the BLS in 2012, registered nurses earned a median hourly wage of $31.48.

Continuing Education Information

Completion of a part-time associate's degree in nursing does not qualify a graduate as a registered nurse (RN). In order to become a registered nurse, a graduate must take the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN) for state licensure. Once this exam has been passed, the RN designation is recognized, and graduates can apply for entry-level RN positions.

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