A Guide on Choosing the Right Nursing Program

As with many other college graduates, nursing graduates often enjoy a range of opportunities not open to others. Here Is a brief overview of the various nursing programs available in the present day:

Practical Nursing Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) take care of sick, injured, convalescent, and disabled with the guidance of doctors and registered nurses. LPNs provide basic care and often are made to take vital signs, temperature, blood pressure, and pulse of patients and assist in bathing them, monitoring catheters, and applying dressings. These LPN or LVN courses are only one year long and graduates often find work in nursing homes, clinics, home care and hospice care.

Associate’s Degree in Nursing Associate Degree in Nursing (AD) programs take 2 years to finish but centralize more on technical skills of patient care. An AD program is like a typical starting place for those aspiring to become a Registered Nurse (RN). Graduates of this 2 year course most likely can find work in multiple health care settings including infirmaries.

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is typically four years in length and comprise of general education and nursing courses. About 30-40% of AD nurses chooses to obtain a BSN, and is preferred by most employers in today’s job market. Unsurprisingly, the BSN degree is a requirement for many positions in most healthcare organizations. To become a registered nurse, one is required to pass the NCLEX examination. Graduates often go through an NCLEX RN review and study NCLEX review questions in order pass such exam.

Master’s Degree in Nursing A Master of Science in Nursing (MS) degree goes a step further in specializing in a particular area. This MS program is an additional 2 to 4 years long and is taken by some students who wish to have advanced degrees in nursing administration or public health. Typically, people taking MS already have a BSN. BSN graduates have to go through the NCLEX exam and most often graduates choose to take an NCLEX review which prepares them with NCLEX review questions. There are however accelerated programs for non-nursing college graduates or AD nurses to earn a BSN and MSN together.

Doctorate of Nursing Practice is also known as DNP and is an rising doctoral program nowadays. DNP programs take 3 years of full-time study with the goal of preparing students for leadership positions in research, clinical care delivery, patient outcomes and system management. Graduates of the DNP are skilled in running the complex balance between access to care, its quality, as well as fiscal responsibilities.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing is a PhD degree that creates students that are ready to become nurse researchers. As with many PhD courses, graduates are trained to the theoretical foundation of nursing practice and healthcare delivery and are qualified to engage in all dimensions of professional and scholarly life which often include conduct of scholarly inquiry, leadership in healthcare delivery systems, and public policy formation. Graduates of this program find themselves in jobs in the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. (NCSBN). The NCSBN updates the NCLEX exam and in turn encourages change in the NCLEX reviews, or the NCLEX RN reviews.

With all of these mentioned options, nursing is truly one of the most flexible careers one can have.