There are few professions on Earth as noble as nursing. For thousands of years, these medical professionals have been aiding people in a number of different ways. This includes providing support both mentally and physically.
For those interested in becoming a nurse, there are multiple avenues worth exploring in order to make this dream come true. This piece will look at the types of degrees one can get in the nursing world, and how that impacts career paths moving forward.
As one will soon learn, a large increase of available nursing positions in said to be in play within the next decade. The high demand nature of the profession is something alluring and exciting all the same.
Types of Nursing Areas
Four specific vessels of nursing exist from underneath the umbrella of the profession. Each of them have their own set of specifications. These include Registered Nurses (RN), Nursing Assistant (CNA), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN).
Like many jobs, the pay level will be enhanced by further education/degrees accrued. For example, someone with an Associates or Bachelor’s degree might not necessarily make as much as someone with a Master’s.
All in all, it makes sense to overturn all possible rocks when finding the best nursing program. Talk to any people you may know within the profession, research each individual program thoroughly, and compile said information. This will allow you to then make a more sensible choice with the newfound information at your disposal.
Option 1: RN School
A nursing assistant is the lowest level nursing job one can get. Fortunately, its a profession where one doesn’t need a ton of money or formal education. Any individual can become a nursing assistant through trade schools, community colleges, and technical colleges. Once the requisite coursework is finished, one will need to pass the CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) exam in order to get the NA certification.
Becoming an RN involves a lengthier spell in school — though the monetary rewards down the line might be worth it. RN’s (registered nurses) have enhanced responsibility when it comes to CNA’s. RN’s are able to come up with individualized plans for each patient. This involves the doling out of medications in certain instances.
Educationally, most programs require a Bachelor’s degree in a related field. One can strictly get an Associate’s — though this might not be enough (particularly for more prestigious hospitals). The average salary for an RN in the state of California is $102,700 (the highest annual salary for any state). On the other side of the spectrum, RN’s in South Dakota make an annual average of $57,010 (the lowest of any state).
Lastly, one could also opt into becoming an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. In order to achieve this status, the individual must have accomplished a Masters of Science in Nursing. The further steps include first becoming an RN before delving into this advanced field of nursing. Whereas other programs are more sweeping as it pertains to the general field, many APRN’s specialize.
Option 2: Licensed School
Another avenue for those interesting in the nursing field is to become an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse). Similar to a nursing assistant, individuals can utilize the resources of a community college or a technical school in order to get a Practical Nursing Degree. The year-long program is followed by the National Council License Exam. If passed, one will have the certification needed to be called a Licensed Practical Nurse.
Image Source: Nurse.org