What Degree Do You Need To Become An Accountant – Many consider nurses to be the backbone of healthcare. Society trusts nurses more than any other profession — according to the Gallup Ethics Poll, they’ve been rated as having the highest ethical standards for the past 17 years.
They are in demand, they can work in a variety of settings, and most importantly, they make a significant difference every day.
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With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why you should seriously consider a career in nursing. But things can get confusing quickly when you start delving into nursing roles and credentials and the alphabet soup that comes with them (LPN, RN, DNP, CNS, BSN, CNA). You need a simple answer about what kind of education you need to become a nurse, and we can help you clarify it.
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What makes this question difficult to answer is that there are many types of nurses with different levels of education required for these roles. The most common types of nurses, and what most people think of when they think of nurse, are registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs).
There are also advanced practice nurses such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists and clinical nurse specialists. Take the nursing role of Nursing Assistant and you will get a comprehensive list of roles with different levels of knowledge to fulfill them.
What degree do you need to become a nurse? Read on to learn more about where different types of nursing credentials fit into the nursing career landscape.
While not technically a nurse, a nursing assistant position is one way to dip your toes into the healthcare field. CNAs assist patients with personal care tasks such as bathing, feeding, and taking vital signs. Although it’s not the most glamorous job, CNAs are needed in all healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and especially nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Patients in nursing homes or long-term care facilities often have limited mobility, dementia, and often need assistance with check-in and basic tasks.
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Although these positions do not require technical certification, becoming a certified nursing assistant requires candidates to complete a short educational program and pass a state qualifying exam that allows them to use certain titles such as CNA (certified nursing assistant or certified nursing assistant). ) and apply for the respective posts.
A diploma in practical nursing is another great educational option for future nurses who don’t want to spend years studying full-time. A practical nurse diploma can be earned in up to 12 months, although the exact time to study, apply, and obtain licensure may vary depending on the individual’s schedule and program.
This option prepares students to take the NCLEX-PN exam and work as a licensed practical nurse or a licensed vocational nurse in Texas or California. Although they work closely with RNs, they have an expanded scope of practice compared to CNAs. They are on hand to change dressings, insert catheters, maintain patient records, monitor vital signs, and educate patients about medications and treatments.
If you’re looking for a short time to compete but don’t want to become a registered nurse, becoming an LPN may be right for you. Learn more about the demand for LPNs and how you can help fill it in our article Why LPNs Are Still in Demand (and What It Means for You)
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Here’s where things can get confusing – the degree options that lead to becoming a registered nurse. You can become an RN with an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, and even a master’s degree.
Earning an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing are two common ways to prepare you for a career in registered nursing, but there are some notable differences. Because an associate’s degree requires fewer credits, ADN nurses typically complete their education earlier than BSN nurses.
Registered nurses conduct patient assessments, create care plans, administer medications and treatments, and educate patients and families about treatment and next steps. ADN nurses learn all of these skills and the science behind them while taking classes and doing lab work. They hone their skills in real life by completing clinicals, usually in a hospital setting.
After they graduate, they can apply to work in a variety of settings and specialties, although BSN nurses may compete with ADN nurses when applying to specific clinics or departments.
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But if an ADN nurse wants to pursue a leadership role or transition to a BSN-only nursing profession, their experience and associate degree will allow them to seamlessly transition their BSN into their RN-BSN program.
Think it might be right for you? Find more reasons to consider ADN in becoming a nurse: Becoming a Nurse: Why It’s Right for You.
Like an associate degree in nursing, a bachelor of science degree in nursing prepares students to become registered nurses. Why choose this path? First, BSN graduates are generally qualified for a variety of positions. Additionally, BSN students are asked “Why?” Take more courses answering questions. Behind the responsibilities of a nurse, while also covering topics that help prepare them for clinical leadership roles. These courses cover topics such as emerging health technologies, global health, public health, and the impact of law and policy on health.
Another factor to consider when weighing your options at the registered nursing level is that some state policymakers and employers are trying to recruit more nurses with a BSN. The Institute of Medicine’s 2010 Future of Nursing report called for at least 80 percent of the nursing workforce to be bachelor’s degree nurses by 2020.
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Many employers and states currently qualify, although not require, all RN positions. For example, New York lawmakers recently passed a bill requiring all nurses in the state to obtain a BSN within 10 years of licensure, unless they are grandparents.
Between a broader knowledge base and opportunities for further specialization, there are clearly many benefits to earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Learn more in our article BSN Nursing: 5 Benefits of Earning a Bachelor’s Degree.
A Master of Science in Nursing can take registered nurses to the next level of nursing education and practice. An MSN can provide a nurse with more income, more qualifications to apply for more jobs, and more job satisfaction.
When it comes to choosing an MSN program, your choice depends on the position you pursue. For example, if you want to become a director of nursing or CNO, you might consider an MSN with an emphasis in leadership and administration. If you’ve always wanted to work as a nurse anesthetist in the OR, you’ll need a dedicated MSN program. Or, if you have a passion for educating the next generation of nurses, you should enroll in an MSN program focused on nursing education. With specialized MSN programs, you can become a certified midwife, clinical nurse practitioner, or work in the healthcare field.
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Many MSN-level nurses are interested in becoming nurse practitioners (NP). Future NPs often enroll in MSN programs that focus on preparing graduates to work as NPs in a specific medical specialty, which can include anything from mental health to orthopedics to primary care.
There is a need for highly educated nurses to advance the nursing profession and educate the next generation of nurses. Find more reasons to pursue a master’s degree in nursing in our article, 5 Signs You Should Consider an MSN.
Whether you find yourself working as a nurse on the hospital floor, in the ER, in the classroom as a nurse educator, in the boardroom as a nurse manager, or as a researcher in the lab, the key is to identify your abilities, interests. , and goals. And pursue a degree that will help you achieve this.
With a wide range of nursing titles and expected nursing vacancies, you’ll be sure to find an in-demand nursing position that appeals to you. Our top 25 types of nurses employers want to hire.
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Completion time depends on the number of transfer credits taken and the number of courses completed each quarter.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Improving Health [Accessed January 2020] http://www.natalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2010/The-Future-of-Nursing-Leading- change-promote-health.aspx
Kirsten is a content writer for collegiate education who enjoys researching and writing on behalf of universities. She understands the difference education can make and hopes to inspire readers at every stage of their educational journey.
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