Degrees in Nursing
Degrees in nursing are being awarded in record numbers. Yet, the demand for qualified nurses continues to exceed the number of nurses available for employment. Interestingly, once considered a “woman’s career”, a record number of degrees in nursing are now being awarded to men. Hundreds of public and private colleges offer degrees in nursing. Degrees in nursing lead to employment in hospitals, clinics, private physician offices, nursing and extended care facilities, and education. Even more nurses are needed in the public health care sector.
A number of nursing degrees are offered by schools across the country. Degrees in nursing can be awarded though traditional on-campus studies and a number of online colleges award degrees in nursing. However, almost every nursing program will demand at least a portion of the education include some clinical, hands-on training. Some nurses choose to enter the nursing field as quickly as possible. One way to accomplish this is to obtain a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certificate or diploma. These nurses typically complete a program consisting of three to four semesters of direct nursing instruction. LPN’s work directly with patients, providing care and reporting to registered nurses or physicians.
Degrees in nursing for registered nurses are available from many community or private colleges. A growing number of trade and technical schools also offer associate degree programs for registered nurses. Registered Nurses must usually possess at least an associate’s degree. The associate degrees in nursing are generally completed in two to three years. They include intense science, health, and nursing related studies, accompanied with hands-on clinical experience. A registered nurse who possesses at least an associate’s degree can enter the workforce immediately upon graduation. Many registered nurses prefer to begin work with the associate’s degree, and then continue to work towards advanced degrees in nursing.
Specialty nursing in areas including surgery, emergency medicine, and anesthesiology require advanced degrees in nursing. Many hospitals require that nurses in these fields possess at least bachelor’s degrees in nursing. In as little as five years, nurses can earn both a bachelor and master’s degree in nursing. These programs, referred to as “bridge programs”, provide the opportunity to earn expedited degrees in nursing. Colleges and universities across the country offer these advance degree programs. Many working nurses find that traditional face-to-face classes are not practical for them. There exist a number of accredited online colleges that award advanced degrees in nursing. Online colleges are popular because of their flexibility and convenience.
Nursing has long been a popular career choice. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of nursing is expected to continue its’ popularity. The demand for those with nursing degrees is expected to rise at a higher rate than most other careers. The outlook for nursing is promising for several years. As health care continues to improve, the demand for qualified nurses is expected to boom.