Aspiring nurse practitioners must follow a series of steps in order to join the field of medicine. The process to become a nurse practitioner starts with earning a 4-year long Bachelor of Science (BSN) in nursing degree. Following this, students will have to obtain licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) by completing the NCLEX-RN exam. Once a licensed RN, you can enter the work force to gain some experience before eventually enrolling in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Students are advised to go for a doctorate program, as most employers prefer advanced education for NPs. After completing this degree, students should earn a certification from a specialty nursing board, followed by getting their Nurse Practitioner state licensure.