Different Levels Of Nursing Degrees – Whether you want to become one, or you’ve already been an APRN for several years, it’s important to understand the levels and hierarchy so you know what options you have in your career. In general, the higher the degree level, the more education and experience they have.
Between starting as a beginner and the higher ranks of nursing, there is a wide range of positions. Read on to understand the ranks and levels of nursing.
Different Levels Of Nursing Degrees
A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, assists patients with activities of daily living and other health care needs under the direct supervision of a registered (RN) or licensed practical (LPN).
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Certified nursing assistants must complete a state-approved training program. These programs are usually found at local community colleges, high schools, vocational or technical schools, or local hospitals.
LVN and LPN are interchangeable titles depending on where you work in the US. California and Texas use the title LVN, while the rest of the US uses LPN.
LPNs and LVNs work in hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities and are usually responsible for more basic types of patient care and comfort measures. Typically, they work under the guidance of an RN or MD.
To become an LVN/LPN, you need a high school diploma or GED and must graduate from an accredited LVN/LPN program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination. LPN programs typically include a year of coursework and training at a hospital, community college, or technical school. There are also LPN to RN programs where LPNs can return to school to become an ADN RN or BSN RN through accelerated programs.
Levels Of Nursing Degrees
Care is provided to patients in a variety of settings, including registered hospitals, medical offices, nursing homes, and other facilities.
RNs work with physicians and other members of the healthcare team to provide the best course of treatment. They also help educate patients and their families about health issues.
To become an RN, you must complete an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, followed by your NCLEX-RN.
An APRN is a graduate-prepared RN with a post-master’s certificate, or DNP in one of the following four roles:
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APRNs are licensed by the state board of nursing in which they practice. In many states, APRNs can prescribe medication and practice independently, while in other states, they do so under the supervision of a medical doctor (MD).
Many APRNs have a DNP, but you can get by without one. An APRN, along with a DNP, is considered practicing with a doctorate.
By pursuing a non-clinical advanced nursing career they can increase their earning potential and take their career away from the bedside.
An RN diploma is another path to becoming a registrant. Like the ADN, these programs typically take two years to complete and both prepare students to take the NCLEX-RN. The main difference is that an ADN is a college degree, not a diploma. Diploma programs are usually offered in hospitals, but may also be available at technical or vocational schools.
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The ADN is a 2-year degree and is the minimum amount of education required to obtain a license to practice as an RN other than the RN diploma (see next section).
Most RNs begin working directly at the bedside providing patient care. This experience is usually preferred for those looking to advance their careers and eventually earn a BSN, MSN, APRN or DNP. However, there are many career paths an RN can take outside of a hospital setting, including case management or aesthetic nursing.
The BSN is a 4-year nursing degree for RNs who wish to register (RN), or currently hold only an associate degree in nursing (ADN). Many people who begin their careers with an ADN eventually advance their careers by earning a BSN.
Graduates trained in nursing specialties work in hospital settings. For example, cardiac, neuro, pediatrics, labor and delivery, emergency room, ICU etc.
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They are encouraged to become certified in their chosen specialty after gaining at least one or more years of direct nursing experience. For example, one can study in ICU neuro/trauma and sit for the Certified Neuroscience Registered S-certification (CNRN). Acquiring certification in your chosen specialty shows that you are an expert in a particular nursing field. Also, many institutions will pay more if you are certified in your specialty.
ADN and BSN graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed to practice as an RN.
There are different types of master’s degrees in nursing. The Advanced Practice Registered Degree prepares registrants for an advanced clinical role. Other types of MSN degrees focus on preparing you for non-clinical roles such as public health or nursing informatics.
The Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the highest level of nursing education and specialization in the nursing profession. DNPs work in nursing administration or provide direct patient care as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). As thought leaders, DNPs also implement health policy and influence health care outcomes.
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Education to earn a DNP requires three to six years of study, depending on the level of nursing education you currently have. Most DNP programs require you to have a master’s degree in nursing, although some begin at the BSN level and require additional years of study.
In the coming years, there will be more opportunities in nursing jobs than ever before. The nationwide employment of RNs is expected to increase by 6 percent from 2021 to 2031. This is due in part to an increase in preventive care, high rates of obesity, chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, and an aging baby boomer population.
Your education has never been more accessible, especially with the rise of online education. Some educational opportunities you may consider are RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and MSN to DNP programs. Everywhere you look these days, the benefits of nursing work for the entire community are evident. Frontline health workers have never been more important in peacetime than at the time of this writing in the United States. As Covid-19 hits some communities harder than others, nurses everywhere are one of the nation’s most essential workers.
In addition to the skills and resources to join this massive, all-out fight against a microscopic virus, nurses are always in demand, as are the training to manage uncertainty. A good nurse never wonders if their skills are relevant or if their job is right. Nurses can work anywhere, and the more experience they have, the more money they need for their skills. Nurses often have better health insurance, retirement plans, and sometimes pension plans. Nursing is more understood than ever for its important place in this society. Nurses are respected.
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There are many things that being a nurse cannot teach. One of these things is having love and dedication to caring for others. It’s another to have the kind of work ethic that gets you through days of major illness and bad behavior. Showing up every day regardless of the season, the weather and the terminal illness that awaits you is beyond hard work. It’s heroic, nurses are heroes.
Will teach This is one of the main reasons why nurses demand higher education. One day in the near future, COVID-19 won’t just be in the news. We would learn a lot and lose a lot. Nurses who gave their lives to care for the sick may have gathered important information that will continue to care for patients after this dark time. This data is what medical researchers need to prevent future epidemics or fight the coronavirus, God forbid a second wave. But first, how do you know a nursing school is legitimate? The answer is nursing school accreditation.
Without a way to standardize and measure the training new nurses receive, it is impossible to know that patients are receiving the best possible care. Establishing and enforcing those standards across the country is the job of a few different accrediting bodies. Without this work, new information about how to save lives, or prevent disease and injury, may not be available in some areas of the country. As shown by the coronavirus in 2020, when the Titanic went down 100 years ago, there were not enough resources for the number of people on board (lifeboats and respirators in New York City at the time) and the potential for massive loss of life. Nursing school accreditation ensures that nurse training remains one of the most abundant strengths in that system.
Colleges and universities are institutionally accredited, usually by regional accrediting bodies. The national body responsible for overseeing the work of these accrediting bodies is called the Higher Education Accreditation Council.