Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN)

If you are looking for a career in the healthcare industry, you may want to consider getting a Master’s of Science in Nursing. This degree will allow you to access a broad variety of jobs, and you will be able to help a broad variety of people. Keep reading for more information on what you can expect going to college to become a nurse.

Tuition & Additional Costs

The price of becoming a nurse will depend on the college that you choose. You will want to check with your local community college as well as local vocational schools that offer nursing programs. You want to be sure that you talk at length with the college to see what is included in the tuition. For example, in-state tuition can cost around $2,000 while out-of-state can cost up to $12,000. Each school will have different pricing so you will need to make sure that you do your research to find a school in your area that offers nursing at an affordable price. There are some reasons why you may find that tuition is more expensive depending on the school that it is offered at. This is because they have additional costs included in the tuition like textbooks and uniforms, shorter length of the program, shorter waiting list, and prerequisite courses are included in the program.

You also need to keep in mind that there will be an additional cost when it comes to being in nursing school. Here are the few things that you will need when you decide to become a nurse:

• White shoes. Nursing schools will require that you wear white sneakers or white clogs.
• Uniforms. You will be required to have 2 to 3 sets of scrubs. This will be in the school’s colors with the school’s name. The average cost of these is around $200.
• Stethoscope. You will be required to have a stethoscope. These will vary in cost and can be around $35 up to $500.
• Textbooks. Your textbooks for the class can vary in price and can run up to $1000. In some schools, though, this is covered in the tuition costs.
• Parking permits. You may be required to get school parking permits as well as clinical location parking permits.
• Penlight. This is a simple purchase and is usually only a few dollars.
• Meals. Between classes and clinicals you will need to have money to have lunch.

Another thing that you will need to consider is the cost of transportation. You will be driving to and from school as well as clinical locations. You will need to make sure that you know how many miles you will put on your car, how much gas will cost, and if you need to take public transportation.


There will be prerequisites that you will need to take before you take the nursing class to become a nurse. The school will have these requirements outlined.

Prerequisites Required

• Anatomy
• Physiology
• Chemistry
• English
• Psychology
• Communications
• Statistics
• Microbiology

Course-Specific Classes

Nursing classes that you will have to take during this program include:

• Nursing care of adults
• Maternal and child care nursing
• Pharmacology
• Behavioral health
• Foundations of nursing

Clinical Hours

Clinical hours are required for most nursing programs. The program will vary due to each school having their program. During clinical hours the student will have real-world experience within nursing. They will be placed in a setting where they will work with people and explore the world of nursing. The hours that they must complete in clinical will depend on the state. These hours will have to be completed before the nurse can graduate. Clinical hours need to be taken before the NCLEX-RN exam begins.

NCLEX-RN Exam and RN Licensure

The NCLEX-RN exam is an exam that allows a nurse to become a registered nurse. This test is a national exam and must be passed to allow RN licensure. When you are in nursing school, they will teach you everything you need to know to pass this exam.

Pass Rates

If you are curious about the pass rates in your school, you should be able to find this information through the state’s nursing board as well as the school. You will want to find a school that has higher pass rates. This will allow you to know that they have higher standards. If you go to a school with lower pass rates, you may find that you drop out before the completion of the program. It is important to find a school that has high pass rates.

How to Become a Licensed RN

Once your nursing program is complete, you will be able to complete the steps necessary to become a registered nurse. You will need to make sure that you are eligible to take the NCLEX from your State Board of Nursing. You will also want to register at the testing site to pay the application fee and receive the authorization to be able to be tested. You will be able to schedule the exam through Pearson Vue at a local testing center. Make sure that you take the test promptly once registering.
If you have passed your test, your RN license will arrive in the mail. You can expect this to come from the State Board of Nursing. Employers will also be able to access the information on NURSYs website. Once your RN license is approved, you can immediately search for an RN job.

Jobs to Expect

When you first graduate, your very first job might be as an internship. You will learn the ropes, and learn what is expected of you in your nursing role. You will also be able to learn the complexities of a specialty.

Some of the internships, you might choose to include:

• Emergency room
• Labor and delivery
• Neonatal ICU
• Oncology
• Telemetry
• Skilled nursing facility
• Outpatient clinic
• Orthopedics
• Outpatient clinic
• Physician’s office
• Medical-surgical
• Critical care

If you are interested in a specialty care field, before you start the nursing program you want to search for your job requirements. Some hospitals or employers will require that you have a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing.

You will find this common in research, education as well as large teaching hospitals. It is quite easy to get your RN to BSN with various programs. These are available online and do not require you to be on a waiting list. There will be no clinical hours required for this.

If you are interested in becoming a nurse, you will need to do your research to see what kind of nurse you want to become, as well as check out local schools in your area. Remember you want to find schools with high pass rates that offer a variety of education for your nursing degree.