In order to become a registered nurse (RN), you must complete a specific set of courses as well as hands-on training that prepares you for taking the registration exam. At SLU, you can complete some of these courses that are pre-requisites for entry to an accelerated nursing program. Typically, SLU students choose accelerated nursing programs that enable them to earn a “second major”- a bachelor of science degree in nursing or BSN along with preparation for taking the RN exam. Earning a BSN is required for advancement to completion of more advanced credentials including nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, etc.
What path do SLU students take to a career in nursing?
Students typically earn a bachelor’s degree in biology or psychology here at St. Lawrence University, while also completing the nursing pre-requisite courses. Then they choose one of these two paths:
Option #1*: Some of our students attend an accelerated BSN program after SLU; this serves as a second bachelor’s degree and provides them with the coursework and clinical experience to sit for the NCLEX registration exam. The most common programs that our students attend are at the University of Rochester, SUNY-Binghamtom, and LeMoyne College, though there are numerous other programs available in New York and other states.
Option #2: The other route taken by SLU students is a combined program that includes both the BSN and training to become a nurse practitioner (now typically a master’s degree, but moving to a Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP degree by 2025). These are sometimes referred to as Direct Entry programs and take typically 3-4 years to complete.
*Students who choose Option #1 typically work for several years as an RN and can often get financial assistance from their employer if they choose to go on to complete studies to become a nurse practitioner or other advanced nursing specialty.