For aspiring or current nurses who wish to expand their career options, obtaining a nursing degree is an excellent option. Nurses with a bachelor’s degree are eligible for many more nursing jobs than nurses with only an associate’s degree.
In fact, labor market studies have shown that you would qualify for 88 percent or more of the available nursing jobs if you had a Bachelor’s degree in the field; but that number drops to only 37 percent with an associate’s degree.
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a 4-year degree designed for RNs who wish to perform supervisory functions and qualify for higher paying jobs.
A four-year bachelor’s degree results in an RN designation. Once you have the BSN, you have the option to choose from a wide range of high-demand, well-paid nursing jobs.
With a combination of academic classroom work and on-site clinical training, you will learn about scientific areas such as anatomy, biology, and chemistry, as well as specific tasks related to patient care. You will also manage laboratory testing, design treatment plans, and assist with surgery.
Some schools even offer programs that allow you to earn a BSN in a particular nursing specialty, such as acute care, geriatric nursing, infectious disease, pediatrics, and psychiatry, just to name a few. Specialization can often increase your job opportunities and potential earnings.
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing may be appropriate if you have the time and financial resources to make a 4-year commitment. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is also an ideal starting point if your ultimate goal is to obtain a master’s degree and work as an advanced practice nurse.
However, as the demand for Bachelors of Science in Nursing grows, more and more schools are catering to students beyond the categories mentioned above. Depending on the situation, a traditional or custom-designed program can be found.
Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Traditional Bachelor of Nursing degree programs are intended for recent high school graduates who have little or no professional experience in health care.
The requirements are similar to other degree programs, although specific science prerequisites may be necessary.
Licensed Practical Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs, often called “bridge programs,” allow licensed vocational nurses to earn degree credits for their previous education and experience.
For these students, obtaining a nursing degree generally requires taking liberal arts courses not offered in the Licensed Practical Nurse and Licensed Vocational Nursing programs.
Associate Degree Nurse
The Nursing to Bachelor of Nursing degree programs are designed for nurses who already have an associate’s degree.
Graduates of accredited programs often transfer educational credits to meet some of the requirements of the nursing degree, which means they can earn their degree in less time.
Second Grade BSN
Second-degree nursing degrees are intended for career changers who have a previous degree in a non-nursing field.
These programs allow students to satisfy some of the liberal arts requirements of a nursing degree by transferring credits from their first degree, again reducing time.
Studies in Different Academic Levels
Other Topics of Interest in ALPHAPEDIA
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