Confused about the different programs and levels of nurses?
This little guest post may help to answer some of your questions.
It is written by Vera Mosely and you can learn more about Rasmussen College by clicking here.
Enjoy learning how to become a nurse.
And of course you can always email me or post a question in my comment section and I can answer your burning question too ~
Take Care of Your Career and Patients
By Vera Mosely, A specialized educational author with a passion for nursing.
One career sector that has resisted the economic downturn and record unemployment is nursing. In fact the need for nurses has actually grown while other skilled service industries have experienced a decline. People will always need nurses and with the baby boomers flooding into their golden years, well you do the math. The promise of success in the nursing field doesn’t have to be out of reach, there are many online nursing degree programs.
Plan the Future
When considering a career in nursing it is important to know all your options as far as degrees and types of training are concerned. After that you can choose a specialty, whether you are interested in pediatrics, oncology, geriatric care and the list goes on.
Choose a Degree Level
- Certificate which is usually a year or less leading to License Practical Nurse
- Associates Degree in Nursing takes two years and leads to License Practical Nurse and Registered Nurse
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) takes four years resulting in Registered Nurse
- Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) is Advanced Practice Nurse
- Ph. D. in Nursing is Advanced Practice Nurse
Type of Online Nursing Degree Programs
Next you can choose a type of program. Many candidates choose to practice for a while and then return to school to advance their careers. The flexibility of online nursing degree programs make it simple to advance your career when it suites you.
- Community colleges are very popular for nurses earning their Associates degree. These programs are available regionally and offer very affordable, practical curriculums. Decide at a later date you want your BSN and jump right into an Associates-to-BSN degree program available through many nursing programs.
- Four-year programs divide teaching models fairly evenly between classroom theory and hands-on clinical work. BSN degrees offer the widest array of career options when it comes to nursing specialties.
- For nurses that aspire to advanced practice degrees, a university environment is likely where most programs are clustered. Nurses at the PhD level are most likely tracked for educator and research positions.
Choosing a specialty from the online nursing degree programs is where you can really focus on the interests you have developed as a prospective care provider. It’s important to consider the types of patients and environments you prefer to work in and feel comfortable. The categories can be very distinct and depend on patients, staff and conditions.
- Ambulatory Clinic
- Mental Health/Psychiatric Facility
- Long Term Care Facility
- Home Health
- Correctional Facility
- Diagnostic Lab
- Research Clinic
- Private Practice
Or, you may find the types of patience you are drawn to would promise more satisfaction and job stimulation. Many nurse have a personal connection to a certain type of patient which inspires the choice of online nursing degree programs.
- Neonatal- pregnancy and newborn
- Pediatrics- children under 12
- Adolescents- teens
- Adults- usually 18-60
- Geriatric- 60+
Some may be drawn to more specific types of conditions or disorders. From cancer treatment to women’s’ health or respiratory illness, many nurses choose their field based on specific health issues. Here are some examples:
- Labor and Delivery
Staying On Top
Nursing’s biggest downfall is succumbing to stress and burning out in general. Long hours, emotional work and demanding protocol can all take their toll, even on the most energetic and professional of nurses.
Building, maintaining and initiating morale and providing staffing solutions are the responsibilities of nursing leadership. Any level of nurse may turn to his or her own professional associations for support and guidance. Each specialist area requires that nurses seek to continue their training and participate in continuing education practices.