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How to Become a Nurse in Kentucky, KY

The quickest way to become a professional nurse in Kentucky is through a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) diploma program, which takes a year to complete after high school, and culminates with the NCLEX-PN licensure examination.

However, most Kentucky nurses choose to become Registered Nurses (RN) through either a two year Associate Degree, Nursing (ADN) program or a four year Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN) program. RNs make, on average, 50 percent more wages than LPNs. However, their training is considerably more difficult.

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First, aspiring RNs must take around a semester of prerequisite undergraduate college courses in topics like chemistry, math and English. Then, they must apply to a college of nursing—entry is competitive and not everyone gets in, so it is advisable to excel in prerequisite courses.

Once enrolled, Kentucky nursing education begins with basic patient care skills and knowledge and progresses to principles of nursing management, nursing theory, and research. And after two years are up, ADN students graduate while BSN students take advanced courses in nursing and a variety of electives, which vary from school to school, but cover such topics as pharmacology, third world health, or even things like bioterrorism.

Upon graduation, aspiring nurses take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination as the final step to becoming a Kentucky nurse. Pass rates are close to 90 percent, and successful candidates are ready to enter the workforce as a professional nurse.
Nursing in Kentucky in Detail

For in-depth information about how to become a nurse in Kentucky, Kentucky nursing education programs, jobs prospects for Kentucky nurses, typical nursing duties, and much more, visit our Kentucky nursing state page.