There are several degree options available to individuals who wish to enter a nursing career. It’s important to get the right education required for the type of career you want. The more degrees a nursing student acquires, the more specialized the jobs will become that they are qualified for.
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
One degree option, for individuals who are just entering the nursing field, is an associate in nursing. An associate degree in nursing is often referred to as an ADN. An ADN takes two years to finish. Curriculum usually consists of numerous health and science subject areas, including microbiology, anatomy, physiology, etc. After successfully completing an ADN a student can then sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and, if successfully passed, will then be certified as a registered nurse.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
The Bachelor of Science in nursing, which is often referred to as a BSN, is another degree option available to nursing students. This degree takes about four years to complete and is much more in-depth than an associate in nursing. A BSN includes a high level of exposure to liberal arts and a broader education overall. A significant amount of coursework includes direct exposure to nursing clinical experiences in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, etc. Consider online RN to BSN programs to increase your career options, and your pay.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
A Master of Science in nursing, which is often referred to as a MSN, is an additional degree available to all those who already have a bachelor degree. The MSN is a highly specialized nursing degree. It builds on the foundation of a BSN or both an ADN and BSN. Some common nursing occupations that require a master’s include nurse anesthetist, nurse administrator, nurse educator and nurse practitioner. Acquiring a master’s in nursing can also lead to becoming an advanced practice registered nurse. An advanced practice registered nurse certification is available to those who have successfully fulfilled a specific state’s requirements in terms of clinical hours and successful completion of an advanced practice certification exam.
An associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s are all degree options available to a nursing student. Both an associate’s and bachelor’s degree in nursing can be used to qualify for the NCLEX-RN test. If successfully passed, the test leads to becoming a registered nurse. A master’s degree can also be acquired, after a bachelor’s degree, if more specialized and more lucrative employment is desired. Depending on where you want to end up in your health career, these options can help you get there.