The healthcare system is among the leading growing industries worldwide. Apart from being the highest paying industry for nursing specialists, the nursing field is considered to be a rewarding career at every level of education — including diploma, bachelor, master and doctorate. Every stage of education has its worth at its own level.
Want to Continue Your Studies?
If you are already working as a nurse, you must be planning to continue your education to boost your career. First of all, you need to prepare yourself mentally and encourage yourself to manage time. Studying nursing needs a strong commitment to stay updated on new technologies and as medical science is a rapidly evolving field. It also requires continuous development of your skills and knowledge for practical implementation. Your choice for a suitable degree program will depend on the level and type of nursing you do. Further studies with the relevant degree program will tremendously improve your skills and build your career.
A research shows that most nurses have keen interest to enhance their skills and education — especially online nursing programs and degree programs. The actual reason why most working nurses continue nursing education is to build or improve their career. In other words, most nurses planning for higher education are driven by the industry’s demand and the need of specialists. The conclusion of the research is attached below.
Types of Nursing Degrees
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) provides nurses with the opportunity to pursue further education to grow their skills. The organization assists students and nurses with comprehensive details on the course outline and the stope of various degree programs. Researchers believe that education, information technology and healthcare sector tend to grow in any scenario. These industries don’t depend on recession and other economic factors. In addition, availability of number of resources to continue studies is an important factor that encourages you to pursue your education further with a nursing program. We have come up with 6 extensive degree programs that help working nurses climb up the career ladder.
|Nursing degree Program||Length of Program||Minimum Requirement|
|LPN-to-BSN Program||2-4 years||LPN|
|RN-to-BSN Program||2 years||RN|
|Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN)||4 years||High school diploma|
|Accelerated BSN||1 years||BSN with non-nursing major|
|Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN)||2 years||BSN|
|Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)||4-6 years||MSN|
Let’s brush up a little on what these programs have to offer.
LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program is quite favorable for those who want to continue working in the field of nursing before completing bachelor’s degree to become a RN (registered nurse). However, a student having LPN is eligible to be a part of the workforce. LPN to BSN usually takes 2 years to complete, but it may exceed up to 4 years — depending on the credit hours you want to transfer. LPN to BSN graduates have an open scope for more career opportunities. LPN with BSN can comparatively give more opportunities, higher salaries and competitive positions in the field of nursing.
Another option to have your bachelor’s degree in nursing is RN (Registered Nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) Program. This program is actually designed for the students who have already earned an associate degree. Besides, the program targets the nurses who have been practicing as a RN. This program takes about 2 years and the graduates find more career opportunities and get higher salary offers.
Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN)
BSN makes you highly competitive and well-known in the market of nursing. It prepares you for advanced and specialized positions of RN. The positions for which BSN degree holders are eligible and not available for associate degree holders. It is recommended by the Institute of Medicine that 80% of nurses should have BSN degree by 2020. It is also compulsory to pass an exam called NCLEX-RN after the completion of BSN in order to be a RN. BSN degree takes 4 years to complete and it includes nursing management, research, public health and surgical nursing. BSN is necessary for those students who want to pursue their master’s degree in future.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
MSN vs DNP – when it’s about comparing Master of Science in Nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice, both are strikingly different stages and levels of degree. We can’t pursue DNP without having MSN. Both of the programs take RNs to an advanced level of nursing. MSN prepares RNs for clinical nurse specialist and nurse practitioner, while DNP prepares them for the role of nursing education, administration and nursing research. Nevertheless, DNP program also contains additional training of specialized roles, such as health care policy maker, systems leadership, evidence-based practice and inter-professional collaborations. Conventionally, MSN was considered as an entry-level degree program for Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). In recent years, the concept of APRN has been changed and DNP is the minimum requirement to be APRN.
Second Degree Nursing (Accelerated BSN)
Accelerated BSN degree program is specially designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in another program, who want to be RN. It usually takes 1 to 2 years to complete, depending on the credit transfer option by the institute. Like BSN, students are required to take an NCLEX-RN exam after completion of this degree program to become a RN.
Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN)
The student must be a BSN degree holder before they attempt to pursue a master’s degree in nursing. The master’s degree allows students to experience the clinical practices and specialize in a particular area as per their interest. For instance, specific areas offered in MSN include anesthesia, midwifery and management. MSN programs comprise of coursework in their curriculum and students need to submit their complete thesis on a specific topic of their interest.
Several career options are available in the field of nursing for MSN degree holders. Degree holders can pursue various positions. You can see the wide variety of options available on this list showing types of nurse practitioners, though an MSN degree also qualifies you to be a nurse educator or a clinical nurse expert.
Nursing is a huge responsibility, as you have to check up on every patient and make sure their health is improving. Nurses must know information about the instruments doctors use for surgeries, check-ups etc. This field includes several things, which is why one must enroll themselves in a program.
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