Nursing Degrees – What’s right for you?
As there are several nursing careers, there are also a number of nursing degrees one can complete to become a nurse. Depending on how much time you are willing to dedicate to school, how much you hope to earn in this career, and what type of nursing work you would like to do, the degrees you are going to attain will vary for each individual, based on their personal choice, and where they want to go with their career.
Associate degree in Nursing
An associate degree in nursing (ADN), is the lowest level degree offered to individuals who would like to work as a nurse, at any capacity. It will require students to receive their education at either a vocational school or through a community college, where they will be required to complete the minimal courses, and it is generally a 2 year program that they will undergo prior to being finished. Although this will allow you to become an RN, in most cases, an associate level degree is less than what most employers are looking for.
Bachelor’s degree in Nursing
Like any 4 year college program, the BSN level degree is generally what is required for most nursing careers that are available to applicants today. The students that choose this degree level will not only do work in the classroom, they are also going to be doing hands on training, and clinical lab work, so that they can gain a better understanding of what is going to happen in the field. The BSN also gives the student more in depth knowledge of the different areas in nursing, and what they entail. Depending on what kind of career you want to follow, and the pay wages you are hoping to earn, a bachelor level degree is an entryway to many top nursing jobs, and is going to present you with more opportunities once you are completed, then an associate level degree is going to offer to students.
Master’s degree in Nursing
If you choose to specialize, or become an advanced level nurse, the degree you are going to have to receive is a master level degree. This will require an additional two years of schooling, once you have completed your BSN. Here you will take on additional courses to learn the specific field you want to work in, and to gain the specialty skills and knowledge required for any specific position. Depending on the type of work you want to do, and where you would eventually hope to land in your career, a master’s level degree is going to provide an individual quite a few opportunities, and they are going to find work in far more facilities, hospitals, and doctor offices, with these degrees. As they are specialized and can provide advanced level care, these individuals have more job openings than lower level degree candidates will.
Graduate Degree in Nursing
There are a number of specialty fields one can choose to branch off into, if they decide to continue their training and education, as well as hands on clinical work, through graduate level course work. A doctorate level degree in nursing will allow you to do more than work as a nurse; it opens the door for research work, training students, and possibly working as an instructor in nursing down the line. It is going to require an additional 2 years, and may possibly require some sort or residency work to be completed as well, but it is bound to pay off, especially if you do want to work in the field of research and advancement of medicine, rather than simply work in a hospital setting as a nurse.
Depending on the amount of time you are willing to put in, nursing career you want to achieve, there are quite a few school options available to you (local nursing schools and online nursing schools). Good luck in earning your degree in nursing!