The nursing position holds special significance in the healthcare sector as they play a vital role in the recovery of patients. Nurses have to fulfill different responsibilities, from coordinating with doctors to keeping an eye on patients’ conditions. As a nurse, you need to mentally prepare yourself to handle the pressure of professional life. You have to take responsibility for patients, which means many lives will be in your hands.
To gain professional competence, you must attain relevant qualifications per your interest. Getting a high-level nursing degree can not only help you sharpen your skills but also help you succeed in your professional career. The first step of becoming a professional nurse is to look for the right degree options.
Without further delay, let’s find out some degree options that you can consider to become a nurse.
1. Master of Science in Nursing
The Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an advanced-level nursing degree. It prepares you for top positions such as nurse practitioners, nurse educators, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Furthermore, earning an MSN degree makes you eligible for leadership and managerial roles. Individuals with MSN degrees earn higher salaries as compared to a diploma or Bachelor’s degree holder.
Also, after earning a Master’s degree in any respective nursing discipline, you can consider getting a post-master’s certificate. By earning this certification, you can advance your expertise and skills that can positively impact your career. For example, if you have earned an MSN as a nurse practitioner, you can also opt for a relevant post-master’s certificate. To manage things with ease, you can leverage virtual education platforms.
In that case, a post master’s certificate nurse practitioner online would be the perfect fit for you. It will help you enhance your knowledge and skillset, adding real value to your professional profile. Completing an MSN degree can take around one to four years, according to the type of degree. You must know that a BSN (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing) is the prerequisite for an MSN degree.
2. Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing
As an aspiring nurse, you must know that a BSN (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing) is the basis of nursing education. It makes you eligible to offer your services in healthcare organizations and enables you to opt for further qualifications.
Courses in the BSN degree programs usually focus on nursing ethics, informatics, and legal issues. The courses primarily emphasize research work, so nurses can develop the ability to learn on their own. Also, BSN courses help nurses to improve their communication, critical thinking, and organizational skills. These skills are crucial for nurses as it helps them to perform their daily tasks efficiently.
After earning a BSN degree, you can consider opting for high-level degrees such as MSN and DNP (doctorate of nursing practice). Getting BSN is the first step to having more employment opportunities. After competing for BSN, You can apply in hospitals and healthcare centers looking for fresh graduate nurses. It will help you gain professional experience and develop relevant skills that will open the gates to new opportunities.
3. Doctorate in Nursing
After completing an MSN degree, you can consider getting a doctorate degree, such as a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) and a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.). These are the common degrees that professional nurses mostly look to get after earning a master’s degree.
The doctor of philosophy in nursing is also called Ph.D. in nursing. It focuses on research and theory, and courses in this degree are designed to produce researchers who can help in the development of nursing science.
As a Ph.D. in nursing graduate student, you are supposed to do clinical research to improve the overall quality of the healthcare systems. You have to do research work throughout this graduate program that will develop your leadership capabilities.
If you want to earn a research-based degree to offer your services as a researcher, then you should opt for a Ph.D. degree. It can also make you eligible to teach in universities, so you can establish your career as a nursing professor. Individuals with doctorate degrees can demand higher salaries and work as chief nursing officers and nurse practitioners.
4. LPN to RN
This degree program is suitable for LPN (licensed practical nurses) who want to get a degree to become registered nurses (RN). It requires one to two years to complete this associate degree program, also known as a bridge program, because it fills the gap between RN and LPN. This degree is the perfect choice for licensed vocational nurses who want to earn their desired position in the shortest time.
5. Associate Degree in Nursing
You can access associate degree in nursing (ADN) programs through community universities and colleges. It requires two years to complete this degree program, but as a part-time student, you can plan to complete this degree in four years.
You need to have a relevant diploma to become eligible for this degree program. The courses in this program mainly focus on clinical skills and chronic diseases, mental health nursing, and child health. You have to complete around 700 clinical hours to earn this degree. It can also make you eligible to appear in the NCLEX (national council licensure examination).
6. MSN/Ph.D. Dual Nursing Degree
It is a dual degree program that allows nursing students to simultaneously cover the concepts of MSN and Ph.D. nursing degrees. The prerequisite of this joint degree program is the BSN degree, and you must be an experienced registered nurse. It requires four to five years to complete this degree program, so you can plan this degree according to your convenience.
Nursing is one of the most challenging professions. You need to maintain your composure in different situations and make the right decision accordingly. It can be only possible if you have relevant and high-level qualifications that will help you nurture skills and give you hands-on experience to fulfill your duties perfectly. Different degrees require different levels of effort, so you need to be one hundred percent sure that you are choosing the right degree program.
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