Nursing is one of the most rewarding careers on the planet, and it allows individuals to be an integral part of the medical field. As a nurse, you can have the chance to work directly with patients and make a true difference in the lives of many.
There are numerous paths that can lead you to becoming a nurse, and all will require some formal education at the college level. Since there are so many different nursing degrees available online as well as on college campuses, use this guide to learn a little more about each before as you decide on the best program to help you meet your career goals.
Diploma in Nursing
One of the more basic training programs offered to aspiring nurses is the Diploma in Nursing. Typically, these diplomas are affiliated with hospitals, and they are a hands-on program designed to teach entry-level high school graduates how to take on simple nursing tasks. Some nursing diplomas are available online, and their total length varies from institution to institution.
Licensed Practical Nurse: LPN
A licensed practical nurse is sometimes also called a vocational nurse. Without the credibility or pay of a registered nurse, an LPN can still enjoy many career opportunities around the world. To become a licensed practical nurse, you will need to enroll in a 12 to 18 month training program and pass the NCLEX-PN licensing examination.
LPN to Associate Degree: ADN
If you already have your LPN and work experience in the field, but you’re ready to tackle new things and eventually become a registered nurse, then an ADN program is ideal. This degree bridges the gap between work experience and a full associate degree. It will take you less than the typical two years to complete, saving you time and money.
Associate Degrees in Nursing: ASN
To earn a nursing degree in under two years, the ASN is perfect. It can be a fantastic stepping stone to a successful career, and it is available online from a variety of accredited colleges. Many professional nursing employment opportunities ask for an ASN as a minimal requirement for hire.
LPN to BSN Degrees
Those who already have their LPN and who want the legitimacy of a full bachelor’s degree can take a degree program specifically designed for this purpose. By utilizing your previous education and experience, you can bypass many of the traditional courses in the BSN curriculum and graduate in less time.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: BSN
For perhaps the greatest range of career opportunities in the medical profession, consider a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The BSN takes an average of four years to complete, but it more than prepares you for a position as an RN as well as advanced education opportunities to become a nurse practitioner or a nursing specialist in a number of different fields.
Master of Science in Nursing: MSN
Anyone interested in career promotion or exploring related fields like healthcare administration or a specialty like gerontology can do so through an MSN. This graduate program typically takes one to two years to complete, and a BSN is a prerequisite.
If you want to pursue a career in nursing, one of these degrees can be your path to success in the medical field.