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The field of nursing continues to grow at a rapid rate, so it's not surprising that many people find themselves considering earning a nursing degree. However, with so many different nursing programs to choose from, it can sometimes be tricky to figure out what is the right choice for you. Search for great nursing test study tips here.
If you want to get to work as soon as possible, earning a practical nursing diploma in one year or less will qualify you to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). If you aspire to become a registered nurse (RN), however, you will need to earn an Associate in Nursing (ASN) degree from a community college. These programs can be completed in two years. With an associate's degree in nursing, you will often qualify for entry into an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program if you decide to return to school at a later date.
For a student who is fresh out of high school and eligible for a significant amount of financial aid, earning a bachelor's degree immediately is typically the recommended option. While it's true an associate's degree from a nursing program will qualify you for an entry level RN position at a hospital or healthcare facility, most employers prefer applicants with a BSN. If you already have a bachelor's degree in another area and are looking for a career change, you should look for a school that offers accelerated programs that allow you to transfer many of your previous credits to earn your degree in less than four years.
Earning a graduate degree in nursing allows you to specialize in a specific area and qualifies you to teach at a postsecondary level or work as an administrator in a healthcare setting. Some schools have programs that allow you to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree at the same time you are completing a Master of Public Health (MPH), a Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
Last Updated: 04/01/2013
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