From a nurse assisting in the ER to a senior nurse administrator on a hospital’s management team, nurses make up the bulk of the healthcare workforce and play a key role in assuring the delivery of quality treatment.
Are you unsure about where to begin your nursing career or what your next steps should be? Learn more about the different levels of nursing degrees in our guide on what you can accomplish with them.
- Diploma in practical nursing
Obtaining your practical nursing diploma is the quickest method to begin your nursing profession as a certified practical nurse (LPN). LPNs operate in a range of healthcare settings, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, hospices, and urgent care clinics, providing basic nursing care and collaborating closely with registered nurses (RNs) and physicians.
- Associate degree
With an associate degree in nursing, you can become a registered nurse (RN) in just two years (ASN). In many healthcare settings, RNs are the first line of care, and they are in high demand as hospitals try to accommodate an ever-growing patient population.
Registered nurses are expected to expand by 9% through 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Registered nurses can also specialize in a specific area of nursing, such as pediatrics, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), oncology, surgical/perioperative care, or acute care.
- Bachelor’s degree
- Master’s degree
Some nursing specializations and management positions necessitate further education and training. You can develop your nursing career and broaden your scope of practice by earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). The following are three popular MSN specialties:
- Nurse Practitioner (NP)
- Nurse Educator (NE)
- Nurse Leadership and Administration
- Post-master’s certificate
Working nurses can supplement their graduate education with additional specific knowledge and experience by earning master’s level credentials. A Post-Certificate Master’s in Family Nurse Practitioner prepares APRNs to become board-certified family nurse practitioners, for example. Individuals with an MSN can earn a Post-Nursing Master’s Educator Certificate, allowing them to work as educators.