Nursing Degrees, Programs and Certificates

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According to the U.S Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS), by the year 2018 their
will be tens of thousands of new nurse job
openings, and the demand for registered
nurses will exceed one million. Students
and working professionals who earn a
degree in nursing, or received advanced
training in the field, will be prepared to
take advantage of tremendous career
advancement and job opportunities.
In order to become a licensed practical nurse
, also known as licensed
vocational nurse (LVN), students should
earn a nursing degree or certificate from
an accredited nursing program or school.
To launch a career as a registered nurse (RN)
students can earn an associate’s degree in
nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s of science
in nursing (BSN). While an associate’s
degree is sufficient for becoming a
registered nurse, more and more students
are opting to earn a bachelor’s degree in
nursing, as it provides greater job
opportunities, career mobility and
education opportunities than an associate

Most students who pursue a certificate in
nursing do so because its the easiet and
quickest path to becoming a nurse. It only
takes about one year to earn a certificate
in licensed practical nursing. Nursing
certificates are offered at community
colleges, 4-year colleges and by select
hospitals via on-the-job training
programs. After graduating from a
certificate program and passing a
licensing exam, students will be able to
provide direct patient care and assist RNs
and doctors in their patient care duties.

An Associate’s Degree in
Nursing (ADN)
is probably the most
popular path to a career in nursing.
Earning an ADN is the quickest way to
qualify to become a registered nurse (RN).
An ADN can be completed in just two to
three years. Typical coursework in and ADN
program will include science, math,
anatomy, microbiology, pediatric nursing
and geriatric nursing. An ADN program
requires that students spend substantially
more time in a classroom than a
certificate program. Associate degrees in
nursing are offered at community colleges,
technical schools, and four-year higher
education institutions.

While earning a certificate or associate
degree is a viable path to becoming a
nurse, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in
Nursing (BSN)
provides students with
much greater job options upon graduation
and career advancement opportunities down
the road. A BSN degree requires about four
years of study and is offered at four-year
colleges and universities across the
United States. Upon graduation, students
will be prepared to pursue RN licensure
and qualified to work in a large variety
of medical settings. They’ll also meet the
prerequisites to earn a Master of Science in
Nursing (MSN)
, Doctor of Nursing Practice
, or other graduate degree in
nursing. The BSN is also the degree of
choice among employers seeking to fill
entry-level positions.

There are literally thousands of schools
that provide nursing programs. However,
you’ll want to make sure that you earn
your degree from a school that is
accredited. Accreditation assures that a
school meets a certain level of academic
and professional standards. The two major
accrediting agencies for nursing include
the National League for Nursing
Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
(CCNE). While there are many good programs
not accredited by these organizations, the
advantages of earning your degree from an
accredited education institution include
the ability to transfer your credits to
another accredited school, ability to
qualify for scholarships and financial
aid, and increased employment
opportunities–many employers want to hire
nurses with degrees from accredited
institutions. You’re also better off
earning degree from a school that is regionally accredited.

While the majority of nursing programs are
campus-based, there are a growing number
of schools that now offer Internet-based
distance learning nursing degrees that can
be completed entirely online. Online and
distance learning nursing degrees are
designed for working students and nurses
who are unable to enroll in a full-time
nursing program. Online nursing degree
programs provide students greater
flexibility than traditional programs and
can be completed from the comfort of a
home or office.

Learn about various nursing careers and their education requirements

Types of Nursing Degrees

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