The mystery is over! Take the leap and go from being a medical assistant to RN. Many medical assistants start off their career with the ultimate goal of becoming a registered nurse. While being a medical assistant is a great accomplishment, becoming a registered nurse is even better. A RN will command a higher salary which is in proportion to their greater responsibilities. As a medical assistant, you may have an advantage over non experienced students interested in becoming a RN. The main benefit is that in most cases you have real world experience in the medical field. Since you have already put in the hard work at school to become a medical assistant you may not have to repeat some of the same core classes. Every school is different, so once you narrow down your choices it best to meet with an admission specialist when considering transforming from a medical assistant to a RN and see what will transfer into the Registered Nursing program. On the flip side of the coin, it may be in your best interest (if you have the time and money) to not transfer those credits and start from the bottom. The simple reason being, that while some of the credits are similar, they are not the same. Classes to become a registered nurse are more in-depth compared to that of a typical medical assistant program and it is essential for you to have very strong critical thinking skills.

Degrees To Become A Registered Nurse

The two most common levels of education to become a registered nurse are the Associate Degree and Bachelor degree programs. Most programs will take two to four years to complete as a full time student attending a traditional classroom setting. If you were to take online classes to transition from a medical assistant to RN, then they programs may be shorter. Ultimately, if possible, you will want to get your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to become a registered nurse since it has the potential to open more doors in the medical field.

Associate Degree Program

Typically, community college and vocational schools offer two-year associate’s degrees in nursing, but some four colleges also provide them as well. In very simple terms, the Associate Degree programs to become a registered nurse after you have decided to go from a medical assistant to RN are heavily focused on training students on the proper care of patients; bedside nursing care skills with hospital based practical experience.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Program

Successfully completing a BSN program will earn you the degree you wanted to become a registered nurse. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing builds upon the skills learned in the Associate Degree in Nursing program. The main difference is not only in time and the degree you receive, but the additional nursing education and experiences you receive. You will spend much more time in class and the lab learning about nursing and science theory. Since having a BSN will provide the opportunity for future management positions as a RN, you can be expected to prepare presentations and group projects as part of the job.

Medical Assistant to RN Nursing School Tuition Assistance

Going to school and getting good grades while balancing a life outside of school is hard enough when going from a medical assistant to RN. Sometimes paying for school is even tougher. Luckily for many students there are many programs available to help with tuition. You can get scholarships, grants and loans if you are like most of us and can’t afford to pay tuition on your own. There is a vast amount of information on the internet when try to find and apply for scholarships

Some Final Steps

In order for you to fully transform for a medical assistant to RN, you must take the NCLEX-RN® exam after graduating from a nursing school. Passing this test will license you in both the US and Canada, which is pretty cool within itself. It also makes the statement that you have the skills and education to safely practice entry-level nursing. You will need to visit your states Board of Nursing website and review the requirements and process for registering for the NCLEX-RN® exam. Once you have that information in place, you will then visit the Pearson Vue website and register for the test. You will then wait for a Candidate Bulletin to register for the NCLEX-RN® exam from your State Board of Nursing. As always it is best to speak with your school to get more detailed information on how the process works for your situation.

NCLEX-RN® and NCLEX-PN® are registered trademarks of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.


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