There are many pathways to becoming a nurse from making a diploma to a master, and every degree in between. As with most professions, usually the more nursing school qualifications you get, the more chances for advancement you will afford yourself. What is good about nursing, however, is that you can be part of the work force — and be well paid — after just a couple of years of schooling.
Many nurses do wind up going back to the classroom at their own pace as they seem to progress or specialize, while others are content with staying a staff RN for the duration of their career.
Have a look at the educational pathways you may pursue in nursing to select which degree level is perfect for you and your career objectives.
Diploma/Associate Degree for LPN
Licensed practical nurses (sometimes called Licensed Vocational Nurses) are a step under Registered Nurses, but frequently do the very same kinds of patient care. LPN training are available at community colleges in addition to technical and vocational colleges, and typically take about 1 year of classroom study and hands-on healthcare.
Getting an LPN license can get you to the area quickly so that you can start earning valuable hands-on expertise in nursing. This will come in quite handy if you choose to keep moving ahead with your research, and of course give you something to record in your resume when you start searching for RN jobs in two or three years.
LPNs do not have the identical quantity of job opportunities as they once did. An increasing number of nursing employers are searching for RNs nowadays with lower level rankings visiting medical assistants. You may still find work, but if you would like to keep competitive, trying to find an RN license down the line may be wise.
Graduates will need to pass the NCLEX-RN national licensing examination to be able to start practicing.
Associate Degree in Nursing
With an associate as well as the RN designation, it is one of those few high-paying and well-respected positions that doesn’t need a bachelor’s degree. Lots of people choose to start working while they continue for their bachelor’s, but you do not necessarily need to go that route.
Some more aggressive nursing places will give preference to people who possess a bachelor’s degree from the get-go, and so as to pursue advanced positions, you will almost certainly be locked out with no four-year degree.
Whether you start your nursing career with a bachelor’s degree from the beginning, or return later to make it, a bachelor’s degree is becoming the norm for most RN jobs nowadays. They’ve been working in the area, but have come to find that companies are looking for people who have four-year degrees, rather than having one has prevented them from changing jobs or progressing. Such programs are known as RN to BSNs, and are offered by most major universities and colleges.
Bachelors Degree in Nursing
Bachelor’s degrees for RNs would be the best way to go if it is an alternative for you.
Getting a four-year degree is a large investment of time and cash, which can be particularly challenging for adults that are already in the workforce. If you are in that circumstance, you need to attempt and work out whether the return on investment is well worth it for you — like if it may lead to better paying opportunities or make you more marketable.
For nurses who wish to undertake a technical track or pursue a management position, earning a master’s degree can actually help set them apart. In actuality, for some innovative nursing practices – such as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist or Family Nurse Practitioner – a master’s degree is a necessity.
Masters of Science in Nursing
Pursuing an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse degree can lead to a significant salary increase.
Master’s programs are intense and hard, and typically take about two years to finish. To put it differently, you will need to be ready to dedicate a whole lot of time to your research. This can be challenging to do if you are working full-time, but a lot of nurses do precisely that.
Adding specializations to your nursing profession through innovative education can truly open up a whole lot more career doors and offer you further job security. By weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each degree type and considering your own personal objectives, you may select the program of study that is ideal for you.
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