Different Types Of Nursing Degrees – Many people enjoy the diversity of nursing jobs. That said, regardless of their medical background, there are many potential opportunities for people looking to make a difference in the medical field.
So whether you want to specialize, move up the ranks, or start a business, nursing offers a variety of degrees or certifications to prepare you for your career goals.
Different Types Of Nursing Degrees
Plus, the opportunities don’t stop once you’re hired. By continuing to advance in nursing, you can tailor your career to your strengths and passions.
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In general, nursing degrees are divided into three categories: bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, and advanced degree. The first group, non-degree nurses, includes licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).
Nursing degrees include those who have earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing, such as a baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN) or an associate degree in nursing (ADN). Finally, advanced practice nurses have a graduate degree in nursing, such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
This article explores the different levels of nursing, giving you a detailed understanding of the educational requirements and growth rates for each, from entry-level positions to master’s and doctoral nursing roles.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are also called Nursing Assistants or Nursing Assistants. They typically work in home care and long-term care settings and are the primary point of contact between patients and medical professionals.
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Nursing assistant roles can be a great starting point for many people who want to become nurses.
Nursing assistants assist patients with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, eating, and emergency care. They also accompany their patients with compassionate care.
Depending on the training and state regulations in which they work, CNAs may measure vital signs, administer medications, use electronic medical software and other tasks that do not require advanced training to fill out patient records and charts. In addition, they listen to patients’ problems and transfer them between locations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), CNAs are often the front-line caregivers in nursing homes and health care facilities and have more direct contact with residents than other medical professionals.
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Those who want to become a CNA must have a high school diploma or GED and complete a state-approved CNA program.
Nursing assistant training programs typically take several weeks to complete with classroom time, practicum hours, and laboratory or clinical practice.
After completing the program, aspiring nursing assistants must pass a state-approved exam to earn their CAN or related degree and obtain state certification.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are interchangeable depending on where you practice in the United States. The term LVN is used in California and Texas while other US states use LPN.
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LPNs and LVNs are responsible for a variety of patient support tasks. First, it provides patient care as the primary communication between the patient and the health care team.
They monitor patients’ health and manage basic care tasks such as catheter placement, blood pressure control, dressing changes, and setting up IV drips.
LPNs and LVNs work in nursing homes, hospitals, and other medical facilities under the supervision and direction of an MD or RN.
To become an LPN or LVN, you must have a high school diploma or GED and complete a practical nursing program.
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These programs are available at community colleges, technical schools or technical colleges and are usually completed in one year.
After successful graduation, you must pass the National Licensing Examination (NCLEX-PN).
Additional certification is available for nurses at the LPN level. This credential indicates that the LPN or LVN has advanced knowledge related to the subject.
To gain a competitive edge in the job market or obtain specialized training, LPNs and LVNs can obtain certification in specific areas such as developmental disabilities, IV therapy and obstetrics.
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Registered nurses (RNs) provide ongoing patient care, performed in a variety of settings, including medical centers, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities. This level is what most people associate with the word “sister.”
RNs are responsible for taking patients’ medical histories, administering medications, monitoring symptoms, initiating or contributing to treatment plans or services, performing diagnostic tests, and monitoring medical supplies.
Registered nurses work with doctors, physicians, and other members of the medical team to provide the best care for patients.
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According to the BLS, some RNs may supervise LPNs, CNAs, and other health care professionals. It also helps educate patients and their family physicians about health issues.
Specific duties and job titles will vary depending on the position and the type of patient needed. RNs also have many opportunities outside of direct patient care. For example, they may work for health screenings or blood drives, promote public health, or staff school health clinics.
Additionally, they may focus on patient care responsibilities, but also specific populations such as emergency, pediatric, infant, or psychiatric nursing.
To become an RN requires an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
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After graduating from any program, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become an RN. This exam should not be confused with the NCLEX-PN for Practical Nursing.
When choosing which program to take, it is important to consider and determine the educational benefits of each job you want in the future.
Some employers, especially hospitals, prefer RNs with a bachelor’s degree. Below is more information on how the two degrees differ and their long-term impact on your career.
Completing a master’s degree in nursing program and becoming an RN is ideal for people who do not want to go through a four-year program. Previously, these programs were available through community colleges. However, some four-year institutions offer ADN programs, also known as ASNs.
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BSN brings the best opportunities and pay in today’s job market. A BSN degree program typically takes four years to complete and may require a full-time commitment. But the hybrid BSN program is open to those who need to study while working.
RNs are now required to complete a BSN program in some states, such as New York. This trend is supported by multiple studies that show better patient outcomes when RNs become BSNs.
Becoming a registered nurse (RN) is a step toward becoming a nurse practitioner. NPs perform all the usual tasks of an RN and prescribe medications (under the supervision of physicians in some states), diagnose and treat health problems, provide advanced interventions, and advise on public health issues.
They work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and private community clinics. As an RN, you can continue to have more responsibility and independence as an NP with graduate education.
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The first step to becoming an NP is to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. You must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain your RN license.
The next step is to complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) role. Along with the FNP, MSN, or DNP, students can choose other roles depending on what is offered at the university, including nurse practitioner, pediatrician (PNP), nurse educator, and mental health practitioner (PMHNP).
To qualify as a nurse practitioner, you must take a national certification exam through any national certification board, including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), or the National Association of Nurse Practitioners. of Certificates (NCC). .
Each board’s exam is different, so you should research the format and focus of each exam and consider your personal preferences and goals when deciding which exam to take. Additionally, some schools require applicants to have clinical experience before applying to graduate nursing programs, so it’s important to check each university’s requirements before applying.
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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for nurse practitioners is expected to increase by 28.2% from 2018 to 2028, creating approximately 53,300 jobs.
Nurses who complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) are prepared to become Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).
As an APRN, you take on more of a leadership role in patient care. These nurses have many career options. They can perform their duties independently or in collaboration with doctors.
APRNs manage all RN duties as well as broader responsibilities such as referring patients to specialists, ordering and evaluating test results, and diagnosing and treating health problems.
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There are other notable career paths that APRNs can take outside of their traditional roles as nurse educators to help train the next generation of nurses. APRNs may also develop leadership roles such as director of nursing.
To become an APRN you must first be an RN. Applying to an MSN program requires candidates to first obtain an active RN license, and most prefer a BSN.
There are graduate programs specific to each type of APRN.
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