All About Nursing Degrees
Few careers in the US are as promising in terms of job prospects as nursing. Not only does the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) project a phenomenal growth rate of 26 percent for jobs for registered nurses between 2010 and 2020, the number of jobs to be added during this period is also quite large in absolute terms at 711,900 jobs.
Because of the great demand for this degree, many people are going for Online Degrees In Nursing, which gives them the benefit of not having to bear through lengthy waiting times for admission into a nursing program, the flexibility of studying at your own schedule and continuing your job at the same time.
Nursing Degree Options
Students go for various levels of nursing degrees from accredited online nursing schools. The basic degree requirement for registered nurses is an associate’s degree, which usually takes two years for completion. The bachelor’s degree is the most common nursing degree for registered nurses, which takes 4 years for completion. The Master’s Of Science in Nursing or MSN degree is a more specialized degree for nursing specialties like a clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner.
Professional Levels Available
The most basic professional levels in this field are licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses, which require a 1-year state-approved educational program. A more advanced professional level than LPNs is that of registered nurses. However, with greater competition for jobs, more and more employers now prefer nurses with at least a bachelor’s of science or BSN in nursing. For this purpose, many colleges offer online RN to BSN programs for nurses with associate’s degree wishing to get a bachelor’s degree in the field. One can also go into higher roles such as nursing administration or chief nursing officer (CNO) or clinical nurse educator with a Master’s In Nursing.
There are many sub-fields in nursing that registered nurses can choose to work in. Examples of some nursing specialties include:
- Neonatal Nurse
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
- Orthopedic Nurse
- Pediatric Nurse
- Certified Nurse Midwife
- Certified Nurse Anesthetist
- Cardiac Nurse
- Oncology Nurse
- Correctional Nurse
Licensing Requirements for Nurses
In order to work as a registered nurse or RN, one must have a license to practice in the state they are working. After completing their BSN or ASN degree, nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN. While this is a general requirement for most states, licensing requirements may vary depending on the state one plans to work in.
Salary and Employers
The median annual salary for this profession in 2010 was $64,690. Typically, nurses work in hospitals, though many also work in physicians’ offices, home health care services and nursing care facilities.
Knowing all this, are you considering the option of going for an online nursing degree? Start today, by browsing though some accredited online colleges for this degree.