Nursing Careers and Education Requirements

College Degree Finder

Before you can decide which nursing certificate, diploma or degree to pursue, it’s important know what the educational requirements are for each different nursing career path. Below we’ve compiled a a comprehensive list of the most popular nursing fields and career specialties. To learn more about a specific nursing career just click on the title in the left hand column. Directly to the right of each nursing career we’ve listed the minimum education requirements for entry-level nurse positions. However, the education requirements for different nursing careers may vary by state – so you’ll want to check with your state nursing board before deciding on a particular nursing program.

Clinical Nurse Specialist BSN, MSN and CNS Certificate
Critical-care Nurse ADN or BSN (Preferred), CCRN Certificate
Emergency Nurse Diploma, ADN or BSN (Preferred)
Hospice/Palliative Care Nurse ADN or BSN (Preferred), Palliative Care Training
Labor & Delivery Staff Nurse Diploma, ADN or BSN (Preferred), Neonatal Training
Neonatal Nurse Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Nephrology Nurse ADN or BSN, MSN (Preferred)
Nurse Anesthetist BSN, MSN in Nurse Anesthesia
Nurse Educator BSN, MSN (Preferred)
Nurse Executive BSN, MSN, Doctorate (Preferred)
Nurse Midwife BSN and CNM Graduate Program
Nurse Practitioner BSN, MSN, Doctorate (DNP) Preferred
Nurse Researcher BSN, MSN, Ph.D.
Occupational Health Nurse ADN or BSN
Oncology Nurse ADN or BSN, MSN with Oncology Specialization
Orthopaedic Nurse Diploma, ADN or BSN (Preferred) and ONCB Certification
Pediatric Nurse Diploma, ADN or BSN
Perioperative (O.R.) Nurse ADN or BSN
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse BSN and MSN
Public Health Nurse ADN or BSN (Preferred)
Registered Nurse (RN) Diploma, ADN or BSN
School Nurse BSN and School Nurse Certificate
Staff Nurse ADN or BSN
Licensed Practical Nurse Diploma
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner BSN and MSN (WHNP Program)