The requirements you will have to meet to become a nurse trainee will generally depend on your jurisdiction and the type of training program in which you want to participate. Typically, clinical training is included as part of a nurse education program, and to gain admission to one, you will usually need a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some programs also specify courses you will have to complete in high school to gain admission. Once admitted, you will likely have to take and pass a selection of degree program courses before you can begin the more advanced nurse education and start clinical training.
You will typically need a high school diploma or a General Educational Development® (GED®) to become a nurse trainee. This requirement can vary among different training programs and in different jurisdictions, however. Taking advanced health, math, and science classes in high school is often important as you prepare to become a nurse trainee. In fact, some nurse programs will specify the high school courses you have to complete to gain admission. Some will only accept students who have passed high school algebra, taken at least one other secondary school math class, and successfully completed biology and chemistry courses that include labs.
In most cases, you will also need to complete a certain amount of nurse education before you can become a nurse trainee and begin to care for patients with supervision. Most nurse education programs include a clinical training component through which you will have hands-on contact with patients and the opportunity to perform nursing tasks under the supervision of licensed health professionals and program instructors. The amount of education you will need before you become a nurse trainee may depend on the program, however.
If you choose to enroll in a bachelor's degree in nursing program, you may have to spend a couple of years taking mandatory courses toward your degree before you can become a nurse trainee and begin providing hands-on, supervised care. In the last two years of this type of program, however, your studies will likely become more closely focused on nursing-related topics, and you will probably spend a significant amount of time in clinical practice. The amount of time you will have to wait to start clinical training may be less with an associate's degree program. Instead of taking a couple of years of classes first, you may only have to complete two semesters of nurse education before your clinical training begins.