Types of Nursing Programs

Types of Nursing ProgramsFor an aspiring would-be nurse, any number of nursing programs and affordable nursing education options are available. However, before enrolling for a course, it’s best decide which nursing programs works best for you and your future career in the field of nursing. Here’s a list of the various nursing degree options that you can evaluate against your needs and budget.

1.LPN or LVN Education Degree

The Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) and Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) programs comprise of a year’s training, which can be had at a hospital, a community college or even a vocational technical school. LPN and LVN graduates can obtain their licenses after clearing their LPN or LVN certification examinations. LPN nursing students need to pass the state-administered NCLEX-PN® examination in order to obtain the LPN license.

2.Associate’s Nursing Education For LPN Graduates

The Associate’s Nursing Education Program is designed for LPNs to earn a degree, enabling them to sit for the NCLEX® examination. This degree provides credit for nursing skills that the student has already obtained via either work experience or an LPN nursing program.

3.Associate of Science in Nursing

The 2-year Associate of Science in Nursing program applies more focus on technical skills than theory. For a quarter of graduates who clear this program, the next step is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. After completing the ASN program, students can become Reregistered Nurses (RN) and earn money quicker than they would with a 4-year BSN program. Many students do the ASN, work for some time and then specialize, as this is the quickest way to becoming a nurse.

4.Licensed Practical Nurse to Bachelor Of Science in Nursing Program

By doing this degree program, the LPN or LVN gets an opportunity to obtain the BSN degree in just four academic semesters.

5.Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The BSN degree course spans 4 years; this program is preferred by most nursing leaders. Nurses with a BSN have the best advantage in the nursing job market as well. Most nursing job postings ask for a BSN degree. While the first couple of years of your five-year BSN degree is devoted to fulfilling general education requirements, the last three years are spent on nursing education courses.

6.Registered Nurse to BSN Degree

This nursing program is designed registered nurse graduates who’ve completed their associate degree or diploma programs to do their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. This program provides credit for the nursing skills obtained via school or work experience. Working nurses take up this program for the most part, which is why the schedules are very flexible.

The start dates are also flexible for these nursing programs, with several start dates throughout the year rather than just one date in the Fall. You can also take this program online. You can look for these programs under different names such as BSN for RNs, Completion Programs, Bridge Programs, Advanced Placement, Nursing Mobility in Education Programs, Transition Options and Advanced Standing programs.

7.Second Degree BSN Program

Second Degree BSN programs are designed for the benefit of people who have regular bachelor’s degrees in fields unconcerned with nursing. Taking a second degree BSN program will avail you the credit you’re due for your liberal arts requirements, allowing you to take up only the nursing portion of your coursework for your BSN degree for less than two academic years.

8.Accelerated Degree BSN Program
The Accelerated BSN is a variation of the Second Degree BSN. Just like the second degree BSN, you get credit for your liberal arts requirements while you complete the nursing portion of the course in 12 months. Some Accelerated BSN programs run for 16 to 20 months. You’ll need a 3.0 GPA to enter the Second Degree BSN and Accelerated BSN programs.

9.Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree

This is an 18 to 24 month nursing program, in which you can specialize in a specific area, such as advanced clinical training or research. Some nursing students study for joint degrees in related fields such as public health, hospital administration or business administration. Most of the people that take up MSN studies already possess a BSN.

For students wanting to take up MSN, the minimum requirements are a BSN from an accredited nursing school, Registered Nurse license, minimum GPA and GRE scores, and some amount of clinical work experience. Note that the requirements are different for each school so study them clearly before applying.

10.RN-to-MSN Degree

This nursing program is for Registered Nurses who already have associate degree in nursing and want to do their MSN after completing their BSN. This program’s courses are tailored accordingly, ensuring that the student’s BSN credits are taken into consideration while ensuring that their BSN and MSN courses don’t overlap in the same credits.

11.Direct Entry MSN Degree

Those who hold bachelor degree in non-nursing programs can opt for direct entry MSN programs. The students will get the appropriate credit for the liberal arts they’ve already completed. The course allows the students to complete a brief schedule of undergraduate nursing coursework before taking up the graduate nursing coursework. This combines RN licensure preparation with advanced training in a master’s specialty area. The first two years of the direct entry MSN program are devoted to entry-level nursing coursework, while the last two years are devoted to master’s-level study.
The Accelerated MSN is a variation of the Direct Entry MSN, where the course can be completed in about two years than three years. Note that a 3.0 GPA is often an entrance criterion for both Direct Entry and Accelerated MSN programs.

12.Post-Master’s Certificate Nursing Degree

The Post Master’s Certificate Nursing Degree is a professional certification, which is a specialized exam a student can take to prove expertise in a specific field of nursing. This program calls for skills beyond those of a Registered Nurse. The program’s exams are conducted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

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