There are plenty of options when it comes to nursing degrees. There’s schooling that requires just a few weeks to get a nursing degrees and some that require several years. There are degrees that teach basic nursing skills to degrees that specialize in training. Nursing degrees are one of the most diverse degrees you can attain.
There are a number of ways to pursue a career in nursing. Some require very little schooling while others require an undergraduate degree or graduate degree in nursing. Below you will find more details about each educational path to a nursing degree.
LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse)
Licensed Practical Nurses (AKA licensed vocational nurses in certain countries) help registered nurses and physicians. They measure vital signs, monitor patients signs and symptoms, and provide basic care for sick or injured patients. This can include gathering samples for lab tests, administering injections or other medications, dressing wounds, bathing, delivering babies, newborn care and feeding. Experienced LPN’s often help manage nursing assistants and other LPNs.
In order to become an LPN, you will need to receive a license by passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) in your state. In order to take the exam, you must complete the state-approved training program. This program takes 1 year and requires a bit of clinical experience.
Experienced LPNs can enroll in an LPN-to-RN bridge program in order to get their registered nurse certification.
In 2012, the median annual salary for LPN’s was $41,540.
RN (Registered Nurse)
Registered nurses do the following:
- Collect data on patient’s clinical histories
- executes lab work
- administering different therapies and drugs
Registered Nurses provide patient care and also educate patients regarding different health conditions and treatments.
RN’s work closely with physicians to assist in the introduction of treatment plans. Some RN’s choose to specialize in a specific field of expertise. RN’s are involved in deciding the plan of care for a patient. Whereas LPN’s do not. In some cases, RN’s will oversee LPN’s.
At a minimum, you should definitely get your associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a diploma from an approved nursing program. These programs usually take 2-3 years to complete. They also incorporate a supervised clinical component. After completing these programs, you have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to receive your license.
In most cases, individuals return to college for their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). In 2012 the median annual salary for a registered nurse was $65,470. Nursing jobs are estimated to grow 19% in the next 10 years.
BSN (Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing)
A BSN is not technically a different nursing position, but rather a higher-level allowing for a higher position as an RN. If you’re ready to become a certified RN after successfully passing NCLEX, you might just get your BSN in a college or university. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing generally requires 4 years to complete, even although you will find RN-to-BSN programs for people which are working as licensed RNs.
The advantages of pursuing a BSN is the sorts of positions and duties that are available. Registered nurses with a BSN are normally able to move into larger administrative positions, operate together with physicians conducting studies, and occasionally hold clinical education positions. Getting a BSN allows you to get innovative nursing positions. These positions require additional certification and education, such as clinical nurse specialists (CNS) and nurse practitioners.