The nursing profession is one of the noble professions that are serving humanity. A nurse is considered an important element of a health care team.

Overview (1)

The nursing profession covers different practice areas such as pediatrics, oncology, mental health, and geriatrics. Specialization in nursing requires advanced training and a postgraduate degree. Online graduates can pursue their careers in non-practice areas like research, hospital administration, and nurse education.

Types of nursing degrees (2)

There are several types of nursing degrees with distinct roles. Candidates opt for the one that best suits their interests. The decision that was taken also determines the future lifestyle, financial resources, and goals of the candidate. A candidate can earn any of the following types of nursing degrees in college as well as online.

  1. Diploma or CNA certificate

A non-degree diploma “Certified Nursing Assistant” is offered at vocational schools and community colleges. A CNA student learns various patient-associated services such as shifting a patient from one bed to another, feeding and bathing a patient, getting vital indications, recording data, and informing family members regarding the patient’s health. GED or high school diploma is the prerequisite of this program. This program is suitable for those:

  • Who are high school graduates and want to pursue a nursing career without going to college
  • Who wants nursing experience before entering advanced nursing services
  • Who explore multiple fields in the healthcare industry

According to federal guidelines, a student needs to complete 75 hours of education and clinical training of 16 hours. With a CNA certificate, one can find a job in institutions where patients are being served. According to BLS, almost 37% of nursing assistants find a job in nursing care facilities. Other areas for working include hospitals, assisted living facilities, home healthcare services, and care retirement societies. The average yearly salary of a nursing assistant is $30720.

  1. LVN/LPN certificate

A non-degree certificate “Licenced practical nurse” is offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and hospitals. This program is also known as “Licenced Vocational nurse” in California and Texas. An LPN/LVN certified provides his services to patients including taking vital indications, reporting patient conditions, inserting catheters, changing wound dressing, assisting in taking samples, administering injections or medications, and improving patient comfort. This program is appropriate for those:

  • Who wants to pursue a nursing career without attending college
  • Nurses who want to expand their job opportunities and responsibilities
  • Who want to pursue their career as a registered nurse

With this certificate, a candidate can take NCLEX (National Council of State Board of Nursing’s National Council Licensure Examination) for LPNs. BLS has stated that the majority of LVNs and LPNs deliver their services in residential and nursing care facilities. They can find a job in other locations as well such as hospitals, diagnostic testing centers, assisted living facilities, home healthcare services, clinics, and government agencies. The average yearly salary of LPN is $48500.

  1. Associate degree in nursing

This is the minimum requirement for a candidate to become a registered nurse. As a registered nurse, a candidate gains all those credentials that are necessary to get a job in clinics and hospitals. Four-year institutions and community colleges offer this degree. Some institutes also deliver online lectures to students. With the ADN program, a candidate can deliver his/her services in assisting a physician during surgeries and exams, dressing scars and notches, analyzing diagnostics tests, evaluating patient’s treatment strategy and progress graph,  supervising CNAs, LVNs, and LPNs, and providing education to the patient on self-care. This degree is appropriate for this:

  • Who wants a long-term career in the nursing field
  • Parents or caregivers who want a nursing career with financial security and flexible scheduling

The completion time of this degree is two years. According to the BLS half of registered nurses start their jobs in hospitals. Other areas of services include clinics, ambulatory healthcare services, military, and government agencies, travel nursing organizations, educational institutions, and health insurance companies. The average yearly salary of a nurse with this degree is $77460.

  1. Bachelor of Science in nursing

A BSN degree allows a registered nurse to get a high-paid job and supervisory roles. Along with clinical training and academic classwork, a candidate gets to chance to learn the basics of chemistry, biology, and physics. A candidate with a BSN degree in hand assists a physician in surgery helps in developing treatment plans, laboratory testing, and patient care. The completion time of this degree is four years. This degree is suitable for candidates who have the potential to earn a Master’s degree in the future. More than half of BSN graduates apply for the job in hospitals. However, with specialized abilities and additional clinical training, one can find a variety of other roles as well. Such as forensic nurse, case manager, home health nurse, parish nurse, school nurse, public health nurse, nursing informatics specialist, and mid-level nurse administrator. The average annual salary of a nurse with a BSN is $77460.

  1. Master of Science in Nursing

This graduate program is designed for those nurses who want to continue their career as APRNs (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse).A student has to study advanced subjects such as research, management, healthcare policy, and leadership.Candidates of the following group can qualify for this degree:

  • Candidates who have a BSN degree and RN license
  • Extensively trained RNs

The competition time for this degree is two years. But those without BSN credentials may require three years. An APRN can work as a nurse practitioner with an average annual salary of $111840, a clinical nurse specialist with an average annual salary of $77460, certified nurse-midwife, with an average annual salary of $108810, and a certified nurse anesthetist with an average salary of $181040.

  1. Doctoral degree in nursing

It is a terminal degree in the nursing field. A student with this degree gets enough knowledge to start a teaching career in university. Only MSN graduates are allowed to get enrolled in this degree. The completion time of this degree is two years. A student with this degree can work as adoctor of nursing practice, doctor of nursing philosophy, and doctor of nursing science. A Ph.D. graduate can earn $83240 per year.