- The Different Types of Nursing
- The Different Levels of Nursing
- The Different Areas of Nursing
- The Different Paths to Becoming a Nurse
If you want to become a nurse, you’ll need to complete an accredited nursing program. Find out what level of education is required and what you’ll need to do to get started.
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The Different Types of Nursing
There are many different types of nursing, each with their own unique set of responsibilities. The type of nursing you choose will determine the level of education you need to pursue. For example, Registered Nurses (RNs) typically have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, while Nurse Anesthetists have a Master’s degree. Let’s take a look at the different types of nursing and the level of education required for each.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
LPNs, also known as LVNs in Texas and California, care for patients under the supervision of RNs and physicians. They provide basic nursing care, take vital signs, perform selected tests, give injections and monitor patients’ progress. Many LPNs work in long-term care facilities or nursing homes. Some work in physicians’ offices or clinics, while others work in hospitals.
To become an LPN, you must complete a state-approved practical nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). Most LPN programs take about one year to complete, although some accelerated programs can be completed in as little as nine months.
Registered Nurse (RN)
A registered nurse (RN) is a nurse who has graduated from a nursing program and has passed a national licensing exam. RNs perform many of the same duties as LPNs, but they also have more responsibilities. In addition to providing basic patient care, RNs also coordinate care, educate patients and their families about health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their families. RNs work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, and home healthcare services.
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Working as a nurse practitioner (NP) is one way to advance your nursing career. NPs are registered nurses (RNs) who have completed graduate-level education and training in a specialty area of nursing. In most states, NPs must complete an accredited master’s or doctoral degree program and pass a national certification exam to obtain licensure.
NPs provide a wide range of primary, acute and specialty health care services to patients of all ages. They diagnose and treat health conditions, prescribe medications, order and interpret diagnostic tests, counsel on preventive health care and make referrals for other health care services.
There are four main types of nurse practitioners: adult-gerontology NPs, family NPs, pediatric NPs and women’s health NPs. Adult-gerontology NPs focus on the health needs of adults, including older adults. Family NPs provide primary care to people of all ages, from infants to grandparents. Pediatric NPs focus on the unique health needs of children from birth to young adulthood. Women’s health NPs focus on the unique health needs of women of all ages.
The Different Levels of Nursing
Nursing is a field that offers many opportunities for those with the right education and training. There are many different levels of nursing, from certified nurse assistants (CNAs) to registered nurses (RNs) to nurse practitioners (NPs). The level of education required for nursing depends on the type of nursing you want to pursue.
Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)
An Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) is the minimum level of education required to become a registered nurse (RN). An ADN program typically takes two to three years to complete, and includes coursework in both nursing and general education subjects. Upon completion of an ADN program, graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in order to obtain their RN license.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a four-year degree that is the minimum level of education required to work as a registered nurse (RN) in the United States. With a BSN, you will be able to provide direct patient care, educate patients and their families about health and illness prevention, and manage the overall care of patients. You will also be prepared to pursue advanced nursing roles, such as becoming a nurse practitioner or working in nursing management or administration.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is the highest nursing degree you can earn. It typically takes 2-3 years to complete, and some programs may require a thesis. Courses for an MSN include advanced nursing theory, research methods, and clinical rotations in a specialty area.
MSN programs prepare nurses for careers in advanced practice, nursing administration, or nursing education. After completing an MSN program, you will be eligible to take national certification exams in your specialty area.
The Different Areas of Nursing
Nursing is a broad field with many different specialties. The level of education required for each nursing specialty varies. Some nursing specialties, such as registered nurses, require an associate’s degree, while others, such as nurse anesthetists, require a master’s degree. Let’s take a look at the different areas of nursing and the level of education required for each.
Neonatal nursing is a subspecialty of nursing that works with newborn infants born with a variety of conditions, including prematurity, birth defects, heart problems, infections, and surgical problems. Neonatal nurses care for newborns from the time they are born until they are ready to go home from the hospital.
Neonatal nurses work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices. Some neonatal nurses work in home health care or as traveling nurses. Traveling neonatal nurses work for agencies that send them to different hospitals around the country to fill in for other nurses who are on vacation or taking leave.
Most neonatal nurses have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Some neonatal nurses have a master’s degree or higher. To be a neonatal nurse, you must be licensed as a registered nurse (RN).
Neonatal nursing is a demanding field. Neonatal nurses must be able to handle the emotional stress of working with sick and premature babies. They must also be able to work long hours and be on call for emergencies.
A pediatric nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in the care of children from birth to adolescence. Pediatric nurses work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices. They may also work in schools, camps, and other community settings.
Pediatric nurses must have at least an associate degree in nursing, although many pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Some pediatric nurses also complete a pediatrics nurse practitioner program to become a primary care provider for children.
Geriatric nursing is a field of nursing that specializes in care for older adults. Geriatric nurses work with patients to prevent, diagnose, and treat conditions associated with aging. They also provide support and education to families and caregivers.
Most geriatric nurses have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing, although some may have a master’s degree or higher. Geriatric nursing certification is also available from several organizations, including the American Nurses Association and the National Gerontological Nurses Association.
The Different Paths to Becoming a Nurse
There are many paths to becoming a nurse. The most common path is to attend an accredited nursing program and obtain a degree or diploma in nursing. Some nursing programs may require a bachelor’s degree for admission, but many only require an associate’s degree or a diploma. There are also many options for nurses who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. They can attend a nursing program to earn their degree or diploma, or they can choose to pursue a career in nursing through a graduate program.
Traditional Nursing Path
To become a nurse, you have several educational paths you can take. The most common and traditional path is to earn your nursing diploma or degree from an accredited college or university. This route typically takes two to four years, depending on the type of program you choose and whether you attend full- or part-time.
Accelerated Nursing Path
Accelerated nursing programs are designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. These programs allow students to complete their nursing education in a shorter amount of time than a traditional nursing program. Accelerated nursing programs typically last between 12 and 18 months.
Direct-Entry Nursing Path
There are two main educational paths to becoming a nurse: direct-entry nursing and registered nurse (RN) nursing. Direct-entry nursing is ideal for individuals with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree who are interested in obtaining a nursing license. The direct-entry nursing program typically lasts four years and leads to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Upon graduation, nurses must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to earn their licensure.
Direct-entry nurses often find that their prior education gives them an advantage when it comes to taking the NCLEX-RN exam. In addition, direct-entry nurses can pursue advanced nursing degrees and specialize in a certain area of nursing practice.