Types of Nursing Degrees: 6 Different Degree Levels to Know

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Nursing is a great career choice for people who want to help others but aren’t comfortable with the idea of becoming a doctor. Nurses have access to the same resources as doctors and can still perform surgery, just on a smaller scale.

There are many different types of nursing degrees available at colleges and universities around the world; each one offers its own unique benefits. You might decide that you want to complete an associate degree instead of a bachelor’s degree or vice versa, depending on your goals. Here’s our guide to understanding some common types of nursing degrees:

Diploma in Practical Nursing

A diploma in practical nursing is a post-secondary certificate that qualifies you to work as an RN. The program consists of a 2-year program and requires you to have taken the NCLEX-PN and be eligible to practice as an RN. The program could ensure you a secure and successful career. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for LPNs (licensed practical nurses) and LVNs (licensed vocational nurses) is anticipated to increase by 6% through 2031, leading to the creation of more than 41,300 new employees. In the last year, the median annual salary for LPNs was $48,070, and the top ten percent made more than $65,520.

Associate Degree

An associate degree is a two-year degree program, typically offered at community colleges, that prepares you to work as an RN. It’s often the first step toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing or other health professions. You’ll need to complete high school requirements and take some prerequisites before applying to an ADN program. Those prerequisites include biology and math courses, as well as general education classes like English composition or speech communication.

Once accepted into an ADN program, you’ll be required to complete clinical rotations at local hospitals throughout your second year of study. These experiences give new nurses real-world practice in their field before they graduate with their ADN diploma or certificate (depending on the school).

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree, which means you’ll be in school for at least four years to complete it. After you finish your bachelor’s program, you may choose to pursue further education in nursing or another field. An registered nurse with a BSN degree will normally make more money on average than an RN without the same qualification. Future chances for advanced education and job advancement are also made available by earning a BSN rather than an ADN/ASN.

A bachelor’s degree is often the first step toward becoming a registered nurse, and receiving an associate’s degree as well as a master’s degree and doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) are also required before you can work as an advanced practice nurse.

Master’s Degree

This is a graduate degree that most people obtain after completing their undergraduate studies. For registered nurses, it can be a great way to advance your career or earn more money by getting more education in nursing. If you want to teach at colleges and universities, you’ll need this degree. You may also want it if you want to work in research, administration, or management – it’s a good credential for those fields.

BSN to MSN Degree

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs, also known as BSN to MSN programs, combine the best aspects of both degrees. The goal of a BSN to MSN nursing education program is to equip you with the skills you need to succeed as a nurse educator. These abilities will enable you to influence patient care, train the next generation of nurses, and enhance local health systems. With the help of an online BSN to MSN program, you’ll be ready to mentor the next wave of nurses, affect patient outcomes, and alter the course of healthcare.

You will create and put into practice life-saving methods as a leader, and these methods will serve as key benchmarks for the nurses you train. The clinical practice experiences included in this online nursing education degree program help the student demonstrate advanced nursing practice competency and curriculum development. Along with your degree, you also should obtain the NAHQ (National Association for Healthcare Quality) HQ Principles credential, which will help you improve your resume before you ever finish school.

Doctorate (PhD)

There are two types of PhDs: one for RNs who want to go into academia; one for those who want advanced research skills but aren’t focused on becoming professors. A PhD in nursing is a research-level degree that takes between four and six years to complete. This course entails conducting nursing research to enhance healthcare services. Candidates must have a Master’s degree in nursing or a related field from an accredited university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 55% in order to be eligible for a PhD nursing program. Based on the candidate’s success in the entrance exams held by the admission authorities, such as JIPMER, AIIMS, etc., admission to the PhD Nursing program will be made. Some colleges may base their decision to admit a student on how well they performed on their postgraduate test.

Post-master’s Certificate

A post-master’s certificate is a type of nursing degree that allows graduates to work in a clinical setting. A one-year program, it’s a good option for nurses who want to become advanced practice nurses (APNs). A master’s degree is typically required for APN certification.

Nursing is a rewarding career, but it’s important to know what kind of degree level you need before starting. If you’re looking for more information on nursing degrees, check out our post on the different types of nursing schools.

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