Nursing Education Degree
Finding a career in the healthcare field has long been one of the most enjoyable and reliable careers an individual could embark upon. There are always going to be individuals who are sick or injured, meaning the need for individuals who are qualified to work in various fields within healthcare is always high. Perhaps the most in-demand career field within healthcare over the last decade has been nursing. During the past decade nearly every state in the United States has experienced a shortage at times of qualified nurses, making the career field an attractive option for many students looking for a career. Earning a nursing education degree will prepare an individual for a rewarding career in one of the many various jobs within the nursing career field.
Nursing is currently one of, if not the most, in-demand career fields within the larger field of healthcare. Nursing is a very large career field in which individuals can work specifically with children, the elderly, those with specific diseases, or in roles designed to help shape the future of healthcare. While individuals can earn a nursing education degree that will prepare them for a general career in nursing, pursuing a degree program that offers specialized training in certain in-demand areas within nursing is often the best way to ensure a secure future in nursing.
There is a wide variety of nursing education degrees that students can earn, each of which will open different doors and different career tracks for students. The various degrees available in nursing include the following:
- Nursing Diploma Programs
- Associate’s Degree in Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- Doctor of Nursing (ND)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
- Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc)
- Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)
Each of these nursing education degree programs provides students with different skills that will prepare them for various careers within the nursing field. Nursing diploma programs and Associate’s degree programs offer the fastest track from classroom to the hospital. The diploma program is offered by hospitals and last two to three years. The program prepares students for general, entry level nursing positions within hospitals and clinics. Associate’s programs are two year degree programs offered by community colleges that provide students with all the technical skills required for general nursing. Both the Diploma program and Associate’s degree qualify individuals to provide general patient care at inpatient facilities.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a four year program offered by universities and colleges and prepares students for more advanced careers in nursing. Many Bachelor’s degree programs offer Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Registered Nurses (RN) the chance to enhance their education beyond a diploma program or Associate’s degree, while at the same time continuing to work in the nursing field. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a prerequisite for students looking to move into more advanced nursing fields such as Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).
Individuals considering an advanced nursing career will need to complete a Master of Science in Nursing program. Master’s programs in nursing education provide students with advanced theories and practices in nursing and can take two or more years to complete. Individuals must have completed a BSN program and usually need to be licensed as a nurse already in order to enter the program. While this may seem like a tough set of prerequisites, the payoff comes in the form of a more stable career field and higher earnings potential. Upon completion of an MSN program, individuals can pursue a job as a Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Anesthetist, Clinical Nurse Specialist, or Certified Nurse Midwife.
The nursing education degrees offered at the doctoral level are designed to prepare students for top-tier positions in health administration, clinical research, or advanced nursing practices. The four doctorate degrees and their areas of study will vary by institution, but the purpose of all four programs is to prepare nurses to lead. Nurses with a Doctorate are prepared to take charge in a variety of fields ranging from research and clinical advancement, to policy change and organizational transformation.