A Brief Guide to Nursing Degrees. A person considering a career in nursing will find they have many degree programs to choose from. They must understand each program and what it offers to make the right choice for their needs. The following material provides an overview of the programs offered today.
Certified Nursing Assistant
When a person looks into programs for becoming a nurse, they often consider becoming a certified nursing assistant or CNA first. The program to become a CNA spans anywhere from four to 12 weeks, and the person can begin working in the field quickly.
Many people choose to obtain this certification and work in the field as they pursue a higher degree. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median national pay for CNAs was $30,310 per year in May 2021.
A licensed practical nurse or licensed vocational nurse can take on more tasks than a CNA. For example, they may provide patients with medications or record vital signs. In addition, they may be tasked with overseeing CNAs as they carry out their job duties.
An LPN/LVN program typically takes one year to complete. Upon completion of this program, an LPN/LVN can expect a median annual pay of $48,070.
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
People who enjoy nursing may want to pursue an associate degree in nursing. This is one path a person may take to become an RN, and the program typically takes 18 months to two years to complete.
The student will need to complete the NCLEX-RN exam before they will work directly with patients as a registered nurse. However, they will find they have a wide range of job opportunities with this degree in hand.
The average pay in 2021 for individuals with an ADN was $69,270. However, this individual may choose to specialize in a certain area and earn more pay when doing so.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Individuals who secure a bachelor of science in nursing find they can take on more roles as registered nurses. They receive training in case management, leadership, and more. Students have the option of specializing in a particular area of healthcare.
This program takes four years to complete. Students who choose the BSN option find they receive a higher starting pay and more earning potential over the life of their career.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Men and women who wish to work as advanced practice registered nurses or APRNs will need to take part in a graduate program to secure their MSN. Those who have a BSN will find the program takes approximately two years to complete. For those who have yet to secure a BSN, expect the program to take three years or longer.
Certain individuals choose to pursue an MSN and another complementary degree. Taking part in a joint master’s program allows them to do so in less time than pursuing the two degrees separately. This program takes 18 months to three years to complete.
Individuals find they have several options if they wish to get a doctorate degree in nursing. Options include a Doctor in Nursing Practice, a Doctor of Nursing Philosophy, or a Doctor of Nursing Science. Pay varies based on many factors, including location, position, employer, and more.
A career in nursing is very rewarding. Regardless of which degree a person gets, they will reap the benefits of their choice. Learn more today about the options to determine which one is right for the individual.
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