While it may seem obvious that you ‘ll need a nurse department of education to become a nurse, there are few things to know about how to proceed. nurse is a field with many pathways. The command degree floor and other qualifications you ‘ll need to break into and advance in the profession depend on your career aspirations.
fortunately, there is a range of options : from the bedside to the boardroom, hospitals to hospices, schools to specialty niches, and opportunities in between .
Some types of nurses and their necessitate level of department of education admit :
- Surgical Assistant Registered Nurse: Associate in nursing (bachelor’s in nursing preferred)
- Critical Care Registered Nurse: Bachelor’s in nursing
- Nurse Case Manager: Bachelor’s in nursing
- Clinical Nurse Specialist: Master’s in nursing
- Nurse Practitioner: Master’s in nursing
Whether you have a certain patient population in judgment or you know you want to become a harbor practitioner, the winder to achieving your goals is to identify your interests and aspirations and then build on your credentials and experiences along the way .
How to Become a Nurse
Most nurses begin with an consociate or knight bachelor ‘s degree in breastfeed. Some will then earn an advanced degree, further specializing their commit and gaining greater industry expertness .
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Nurse?
Regardless of which educational nerve pathway is right for you, you ‘ll need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN, to become a license register nurse ( RN ) .
Earning this certificate is the minimum reservation needed to become a nurse. To sit for the examination, you ‘ll need an Associate Degree in Nursing ( ADN ), nursing diploma or Bachelor of Science in Nursing ( BSN ) .
The ideal way to achieving a nursing academic degree should align with your professional goals while besides building on your experience in the healthcare field. With that in mind, let ’ s search at the unlike harbor degree options available to you, should you want to become a nanny or grow your nurse career .
So, What Are the Different Types of Nursing Degrees?
There are several levels of nursing degrees to consider as you map out your career way, from undergraduate options that can help you establish your career to advanced degrees that can get you where you want to go .
Associate Degree in Nursing or Nursing Diploma
One educational pathway, and possibly the first footfall to becoming a read nanny is earning an ADN from a biennial program at a community college or vocational school or a diploma from an approve nursing program.
“ While a BSN is the optimum way to go, some second degree or non-traditional students might choose one of these options, ” said Dr. Peggy Moriarty-Litz, head nursing administrator at Southern New Hampshire University ( SNHU ) .
An ADN or diploma is besides an educational step stone for license virtual nurses ( LPNs ), the health services professionals who provide basic breastfeed caution under the steering of RNs. If an LPN aspires to become an RN, this incremental access “ is a great room to earn some money while going to school, ” Moriarty-Litz said. “ It besides lets LPNs build upon their foundational educational cognition. ”
While the nurse profession embraces nurses from all backgrounds and levels, “ we encourage them to continue on their education to earn a baccalaureate degree, a dominate ’ s degree and even beyond, ” said Moriarty-Litz .
To this end, many colleges and universities offer academic degree programs that build on a scholar ’ s existing credentials, such as the :
- LPN to BSN
- RN to BSN
- RN to MSN
These bridging degree programs let you develop your professional identity as an RN. At the lapp time, you progress in your career by opening doors to nursing positions in an array of settings, from hospitals and doctor ’ second offices to schools and long-run care facilities .
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
“ A baccalaureate education is the prefer road for preparing person to take the licensure examination in breastfeed, ” said Moriarty-Litz. A bachelor ‘s degree in nursing can take about four years to complete and is offered at accredited colleges and universities .
“ A nurse prepared at the baccalaureate level is required to have the cognition, skills and attitudes to deal with the increasing complexity of affected role worry, which is the result of increase life anticipation, a more diverse patient population and rapid patient turnover in hospital admissions, ” Moriarty-Litz said .
In addition to the necessary skill education, BSN-prepared nurses learn soft skills that are, in fact, full of life skills in the profession. According to Moriarty-Litz, these skills include :
- Communication: This means being able to converse clearly and effectively with people (patients and colleagues) from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
- Collaboration: Working as part of inter-professional teams, including doctors, pharmacists, medical technicians and caseworkers, has become the standard of nursing and all health professions education, according to the National League for Nursing (NLN PDF source).
- Critical thinking: Problem-solving through interpreting, analyzing and evaluating is deemed an essential skill for nurses by an “Acta Informatica Medica” journal article.
- Organization: “It’s important for nurses to be organized and methodical in how they approach their responsibilities, especially since many aspects of nursing care are time-sensitive,” Moriarty-Litz said.
ultimately, hospitals employing larger numbers of BSN-educated nurses are associated with decreased affected role deathrate rates, according to research by Dr. Linda H. Aiken and her co-authors.
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For these reasons, a 2010 Institute of Medicine ( IOM ) report recommended that 80 % of nurses have a bachelor ‘s academic degree by 2020. Yet as of September 2020, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing ( AACN ) found that the current nurse work force “ falls far short of these recommendations with only 64.2 % of registered nurses prepared at the bachelor’s degree or graduate degree degree. ”
In other words, nurses holding a bachelor ’ s degree will be sought in the work force. many employers of nurses require or prefer new hires to have a BSN, according to a 2021 AACN survey. Sometimes employers will provide read nurses a specific timeframe to earn the degree .
Learn more about what a BSN is and why it pays to advance with one .
Advanced Degrees in Nursing
According to the IOM report, nurses with alumnus degrees are needed to “ assume roles in advanced commit, leadership, teach and research. ” The IOM continues :
“ While 13 % of nurses hold a graduate degree, fewer than 1 % have a doctoral degree. Nurses with doctorates are needed to teach future generations of nurses and to conduct research that becomes the footing for improvements in nursing skill and practice. ”
Advanced degrees in nursing include :
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Advanced practice nurses like nurse practitioners (NPs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNAs) and certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) require an MSN degree and are helping to extend the reach of primary care, according to the AACN. You may elect to narrow your focus within an MSN program – perhaps with an MSN in Healthcare Quality and Safety, Population Health or Nurse Executive Leadership.
- Master’s in Nursing Education: For nurses with an aptitude for teaching or mentoring, a master’s in nursing education lets you train and educate current and future nurses. While the demand for nursing programs is great, many institutions lack prepared nurse educators, according to Moriarty-Litz. According to the AACN, 80,407 qualified nursing school applicants were turned away in 2019 due in part to a faculty shortage. An advanced degree in nursing education can prepare you to work in educational settings, such as schools of nursing or universities, while clinical educatortracks train you to work as a staff educator in long-term care or acute care settings. “Nursing education is a wide-open field with needs for instructors in face-to-face as well as online educational programs,” Moriarty-Litz said.
- Dual Degree Programs: These programs let you specialize by combining an MSN with a second advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Health Administration (MHA) and other related master’s degrees.
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): The former trains scientists and researchers, while the latter targets practitioners. Yet both advance nursing practice, wrote Shaké Ketefian and Richard W. Redman in their journal article examining the programs.
If you want to explore the role a alumnus nursing plan can play in your nursing career, learn more about what an MSN degree is .
Is Nursing School Difficult?
Succeeding in a nursing program takes campaign and a capital cover of determination. If you ‘re already practicing in the field as an RN or working in another career, you may consider attending an on-line nursing school that can offer you greater flexibility than you might get on a traditional college campus .
Taking on-line courses that operate on unretentive term lengths with weekly requirements can allow you to advance your nursing career on your schedule, and there are many meter management strategies you can practice to keep yourself on traverse .
If you ’ ve ever considered the field of nursing, the current nursing deficit indicates that now is the clock to change that circumstance into a firm disturbance. A lot of factors, from a changing healthcare system to aging Baby Boomers and many Registered Nurses ( RNs ) nearing retirement, are contributing to a “ critical deficit for nurses ” in the U.S., according to the American Nursing Association ( ANA ) .
The dearth means RNs are projected to see employment growth of 9 % by 2030, faster than the average for all occupations, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( BLS ) reports .
How Long is Nursing School?
The length of nursing school depends on the degree you choose. For exercise, an ADN is typically considered a biennial degree, while a BSN normally takes four years. ultimately, the type of degree you need to become a breastfeed depends, in part, on the kind of nanny you want to be .
The numeral of terms your school offers each year, coupled with the number of courses you can take, can besides adjust your timeline. If you have any remove credits from an unencumbered RN license or previous college experiences, you may be able to finish faster if you attend a transfer-friendly school .
How Long Does it Take to Become a Registered Nurse?
If you pursue an consort degree in nursing, that ‘s typically a biennial program that prepares you to sit for the NCLEX examination. The timeline all depends on your pace and the institution in which you begin your nurse education .
Some nurses obtain their RN license before moving on to a knight bachelor ‘s academic degree. If you choose to become an RN first, you can start practicing in the field while working toward your next certificate – pairing your experience with your education .
How Many Credit Hours Does it Take to Become a Nurse?
The program you are pursuing determines the number of credit hours it takes to earn a nurse degree. If you ‘re wondering what a credit hour is, the U.S. Department of Education ( DOE ) defines it as one hour of class prison term and two hours of scholar preparation time per week over the class of a semester or quarter.
A BSN at SNHU, for exemplar, is 120 credits, but your unencumbered RN license counts toward 45 of those, and you can transfer in up to 45 more. so, that would leave precisely 30 extra credits you would need to complete .
Should you wish to earn an MSN, you ‘ll find that many tracks are 36 credits in distance – or about 12 courses. Some colleges offer RN-to-MSN programs for those who want to accelerate their educational timeline.
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Whichever nursing path you choose, you ’ ra positioning yourself to make a deviation in healthcare and the lives of others while creating a career with incredible opportunities .
Discover more about SNHU’s online RN to BSN Degree: Find out what courses you’ll take, skills you can learn and how to request information about the program.
Sofia Tokar is a freelance copywriter and editor in higher education. Follow her on Twitter @ stokar or get in touch on LinkedIn.