Keith Carlson, Registered Nurse and Board Certified Nurse Coach
Thanks for your question!
It's great that you already have your high school diploma, and it sounds like a community/technical college is in your future in terms of nursing education. Excellent choice! I also started my career with an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) from a community college.
Most community college ADN programs are 2 years in length, but that generally doesn't include the prerequisites. You'll need to speak with an advisor at the school in order to ascertain exactly what the prereq's are, but there are often prereq's in English, math, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, psychology, human growth and development, and possibly sociology and a few electives. Based on your high school record, you may be able place out of some of those classes, but again, this is entirely up to the discretion of the nursing program.
I'd just like to make sure you know that there is a slow but steady movement towards requiring all nurses to have a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing, and some facilities are now only hiring nurses with a BSN. Still, many other facilities and institutions are very happy with ADN-prepared nurses. If your career will be a long one (and I hope it is!), I do recommend that you plan on doing a "RN to BSN bridge program" within a few years of completing your ADN and becoming a nurse. This will open many doors for you over the course of your career, but you'll be able to get a good start with the ADN first (although there are some position you will not be eligible to apply for).
All in all, you should be able to earn you'r ADN within three years.
Please let us know if you have any further questions, and good luck!