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Nursing is one of those noble careers which offers you an opportunity to positively influence the lives of people in need. Besides providing primary care, nurses are first responders and play a critical role in healing and curing patients in a variety of settings.
Why Should I Opt for a Nursing Degree?
If you are keen on pursuing a career in nursing, here are a few benefits that you should know about:
Great Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that Registered Nurses (RN) employment is expected to increase by 12% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Rising rates of chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes, increased emphasis on preventive care, and demand for healthcare services from the baby-boomers can open significant opportunities for future nurses.
High Earning Potential
A degree in nursing helps you reach the full potential to earn as a nurse. Stats show that in May 2019, the median annual wage for licensed vocational and licensed practical nurses was $47,480, while the median yearly wage for a registered nurse was $73,000 during the same period. By increasing your education, you can take on more lucrative roles with significantly higher salaries.Nursing is one of those careers which offers you an opportunity to positively influence the lives of people in need. Besides providing primary care, nurses are first responders and play a critical role in healing and curing patients in a variety of settingsClick To Tweet
Career Advancement Opportunities
A degree in nursing helps you qualify for leadership positions like a registered nurse supervisor, charge nurse, and nursing director. With an advanced degree, you can aim to move into higher roles, become a nurse educator, or even a leadership position, including clinical research specialist and chief nurse executive.
The Chance to Make a Difference
A degree helps you improve your nursing skills, which can make a considerable difference when it comes to caring for patients – the noble cause for pursuing this field.
How Can I Decide the Right Nursing Specialty?
You have to select the specialty of your choice, and the options are enormous. There is a wide range of nursing specialties, including:
- neonatal nurse
- pediatric nurse,
- dialysis nurse
- nurse educator
- geriatric nurse
- nurse administrator
- travel nurse
- psychiatric nurse
When it comes to the selection of the right specialty, your personality and interests speak for you. For example, if you are organized and detail-oriented, you are an ideal candidate for clinical research. On the other hand, if you are one of the types who love constant challenges and thrives on an adrenaline rush, the emergency department or trauma center team would be ideal for you.
If you are an extrovert, you can explore the specialties, including an emergency nurse, pediatrics nurse, critical or intensive care unit nurse, family nurse practitioner, or medical-surgical nurse. If you are an introvert, specialties like informatics specialist, nurse researcher, forensic nurse, and legal nurse consultant suit you the best.
What you perceive as your ideal day-to-day work also decides your nursing specialty. If you like to work closely with patients, you can opt for high-touch nursing specialties such as emergency, critical care, geriatrics, diabetics, and family nurse practitioner. If you prefer to work away from the bedside, nursing education, nursing informatics, case management, and infection prevention and control are your forte. If you feel comfortable as a leader, you can become a great nurse manager.
Besides these, you can decide on the specialty based on the job setting you like, your inclination towards technology, educational qualifications, the job market where you want to live and work, and more.
Types of Nursing Degree Program
There is a wide range of nursing programs with varying durations and prerequisites. These programs enable higher roles and income potential with their increasing duration and credibility.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
A certified nursing assistant works under the direct supervision of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN) to help patients with daily living activities and other healthcare needs. Many CNAs are already in the nursing school program and utilize this career as a chance to gain additional healthcare domain knowledge and real-world application. You can complete the CNA certification in 4 to 12 weeks.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
You can complete your postsecondary non-degree award or diploma as an LPN in around 12 months. With LPN, you can work under the supervision of registered nurses or doctors to offer primary nursing care. LPN is also a great stepping stone for some nurses to continue their education and become BSN-RN or Nurse Practitioner (NP) to earn better salaries.
Associates of Science in Nursing (ASN)
Associate of Science in Nursing or Associate Degree in Nursing (AND) is a two-year program that is the shortest route to get an Registered Nurse (RN). It prepares students for the National Council Licensing Examination for registered nurses’ exam (NCLEX-RN).
After becoming an RN, you can operate specific medical equipment, perform diagnostic tests, administer medication, and consult with a doctor on the course of treatment. RN can work in general healthcare practice or can as well specialize in areas like pediatric oncology, diabetes management, pre-operative care, dermatology, ambulatory care, and geriatric care.
Diploma in Vocational Nursing
A diploma in a vocational nursing program is a great way to get your nursing license and start the path to becoming an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse). In this program, you’ll go through detailed, hands-on training with state-of-the-art training and educational materials, including virtual reality and advanced training facilities. The path to becoming a licensed vocational nurse starts here, and can eventually lead to a rewarding career in the field.
Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a 4-year degree program in nursing. Hospitals that are seeking Magnet status are increasingly hiring and encouraging current nursing staff to avail BSN degree. Earning BSN is increasingly becoming the new standard, and if you are already an RN, you can opt for an RN to BSN program for better career opportunities and growth.
Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN)
For getting MSN, you should have your BSN degree. Once you have an MSN degree, you may provide primary and specialty healthcare and coordinate patient care. This degree provides you with a higher opportunity within the nursing field and beyond where you have the credential and ability to work in clinical and non-clinical settings as a part of a team or as an individual and to make critical healthcare decisions.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
This degree is intended for advanced nurse practice. DNP is a terminal degree in clinical practice.
D. in Nursing
Ph.D. prepares you for science and research-focused career and delivers knowledge that is vital for nursing education and nurses at all levels.
You can become a nurse through either LPN or an RN. Even though you have BSN, you still need to pass the NCLEX to earn an RN degree.
Once you identify your specialty and decide
A nursing career not only provides you with decent income potential but also helps you serve the community by supporting the patients in need. As the need for well-educated nurses is set to grow exponentially, nursing offers promising potential and is becoming one of the sought-after career options with significant career growth.