Making sense of all the different types of nursing degrees available can be a headache. You know you’re ready for a well-paid career helping people, but how do you know what nursing program to pursue? The best option will depend on your long-term goals, but once you understand which nursing degrees are available, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
Associate’s in Nursing
An associate’s degree in nursing is a quick way to enter the field. You can earn an ASN in just two years, which means less time in the classroom and more time doing what you love: caring for patients. Getting your Associate’s in Nursing is also a wise financial move. You’ll start earning a paycheck more quickly than other courses of study, and most employers will pay for the rest of your education. Because an ASN focuses on clinical care, you won’t be eligible for management or specialty positions, but you’ll have plenty of opportunity to grow your career.
Bachelor’s of Nursing
The majority of nurses have a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. This degree is required for management and research positions and highly recommended for specialized clinical areas such as ob/gyn services, surgery or emergency care. If you’re a first-time college student, you will spend at least four years earning your BSN; however, if you already have an Associate’s in Nursing or a bachelor’s in another field, you can enter an accelerated program. Regardless of how you earn the degree, you’ll enjoy median earnings of $65,000 a year and unlimited variety in your career, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree can work in schools, prisons, hospitals, and universities, they can spend forty years at the same institute or travel to a different state every month, and they can pursue a master’s degree to enhance their ability to care for patients.
Master’s in Nursing Degree
All Master’s of Nursing degree programs require a BSN. You’ll hone your clinical and research skills by focusing in a specific area of care, such as pediatrics, midwifery or geriatrics. Once you’ve completed your coursework, you’ll enjoy salaries of more than $100,000 a year as well as respect from the rest of your healthcare team. With a MSN, you can serve the nursing community as a university professor, lead a research team, or care for patients without the supervision of a physician.
Doctorate of Nursing
If an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s of Nursing degree is not enough education for you, a Doctorate of Nursing is now available. You’ll take coursework that focuses on policy, economics, and other macro-level issues affecting healthcare, and you’ll also complete an intensive research project with the help of an advisor. Some universities require this degree for faculty, and soon all nurse anesthetists will need a doctor of nursing degree, according to the New York Times.
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Whether you aspire to earn an Associate’s in Nursing or have your mind set on earning your Doctorate of Nursing degree, you will be making a difference in the world. Despite the varying educational requirements and time for completion, all of the different types of nursing degrees focus on taking care of patients who need the compassionate touch of a nurse.