The Different Types of Nursing Degrees Explained

Health care is a constantly needed part of our economy and a growing one at that. With one out of every six dollars spent on health care in some way, shape or form, it is no wonder that many consider a field in one field of healthcare or another. Nursing is a popular field in which many decide to enter and has a solid future – with roughly fifteen percent annual growth in the healthcare sector as a whole, it is unlikely that it will be difficult to find work in the near future as a nurse. If you are considering a career as a nurse but do not know your current options, then continue reading to find out about the different types of nursing degrees and what they mean for you.

LPN
Beginning as a licensed practical nurse may be the most reasonable choice for those wanting to enter the field and prepare ultimately for taking their CRNA boards. This is the fastest way to get hands-on training and enter the field of nursing, but will usually provide the lowest pay of any nursing profession. That shouldn’t be too discouraging, though, as the median salary for LPNs ranges from $35,000 – $45,000 per year. You will go to school for approximately one year to become an LPN and can continue your training to become a registered nurse from there.

LRN
There are different levels to being a LRN, but you can become a registered nurse in as little as two years. The shortest pathway is through an associate degree in nursing, which still requires testing via one of the CRNA boards in order to become licensed. Passing your tests on the first try can be difficult, but proper testing preparation through a service like Valley Anesthesia can maximize the chances of success. LRNs with two-year degrees do not earn much more than LPNs, but more money can be made depending on scheduling and working conditions. A bachelor’s of science in nursing is the next step, which further increases pay to around $45,000 per year.

Advanced Nursing Degrees
Several advanced nursing degree options also exist, depending on the amount of dedication you wish to apply to furthering your education. A master of science in nursing (MSN) is often used in settings where direct supervision is not required or not feasible. A total of six to seven years from start to finish may be needed for this degree. A post-master’s certificate in nursing is a must-pursue degree for those wanting to move further into administrative work in the nursing profession, while a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) combines scientific backgrounds with clinical experience. Those seeking to move into a specialty field of nursing may wish to pursue a DNP in mind as their end-game.

Conclusion
Nurses can make good money and provide a rewarding, fulfilling service to those in need at the same time. With the economy growing in such a way that healthcare will remain a constant necessity, it also provides job security. Now that you understand a bit more about the different degrees of nursing, you can make an informed decision about the one best suited for you.

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