Should You Pursue Getting A Nurse Degree? Trying To Decide Which Nurse Degree To Pursue?

NIZ is glad to see that you are seriously considering a career as a nurse.

Of course you would have to enter and complete a nurse degree program to be allowed to take and pass the test required to become a registered nurse, the NCLEX-RN Test.

Pursing a nurse degree allows you to work in an industry where there are many positive benefits that include financial improvement, career growth and personal satisfaction.

  • The personal satisfaction gained from being able to truly help people is immense and unmeasurable 
  • Your job is safe from being shipped overseas 
  • The demand for nurses in the United States is expected to grow 23% by the year 2016 
  • You can choose to work in over eleven (11) different specialties within the nurse profession 
  • A nurse shortage aggravated even more by not having enough instructors makes it a nurse's market which helps keep salaries higher and benefits better than found in many industries in the United States 
  • Nurse salaries range from $38,974 to over $190,000 annually depending on the specialty chosen, degree pursued and local cost of living 
  • Single working moms and dads can provide better financially for their children 
  • Use a traveling nurse position to see the United States and other countries while having your housing accommodations paid by the employer as one of your benefits 

Nurse Degree Types

There are five main degree designations within the nurse profession in the United States.

To become a registered nurse, you will need to acquire least one of the first four nurse degrees listed below to do the following:

  • Be allowed to sit for the NCLEX-RN test 
  • Be allowed to apply for and take a state test to receive a license to practice as a registered nurse. 

Some states have reciprocal license agreements where you can work in multiple states as a licensed RN. Some states require you to take a test specifically designed for their licensing requirements. A person can also take the national licensing exam for a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocation nurse (LVN).

The last degree listed below is the Doctorate in Nursing Degree program designed for advanced level training to allow nurses the opportunity to pursue research and practice aspects within the nurse discipline.

Associate of Science in nurse (ASN)

Typically a two (2) year college degree obtained at a community college or nursing school that can take up to 3 to 4 years to complete depending on the prerequisite courses required by where you are wanting to work

Diploma in Nursing

Typically a two (2) year college diploma obtained at hospital based nurse schools. While not as numerous as they once were, hospital based nurse schools are still operating in some areas of the United States.

Depending on the hospital school, a person may be required to take non-nurse prerequisite courses at local colleges prior to admission or in conjunction with nurse courses.

The time frame for completing this diploma may be 3 years depending on the school's course requirements.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Four (4) year academic degree that may take 5 years to complete.

While the first 2 years are used to complete similar course work required for an (ASN) degree or Diploma in Nursing, the degree is designed to take a registered nurse away from regular bedside duties to prepare her or him for a career in a nurse leadership position, as a researcher, or involved in nurse informatics.

Master of Science in nurse (MSN)

An entry level degree for nurse educators and managers. May be a prerequisite required to enter the Doctorate in nurse program to become Advanced Practical Nurses (APNs).

Individuals can pursue a career in one or more advanced nurse specialties that include nurse practitioner, neonatal, geriatric, adult, family, pediatric, clinical nurse specialist, acute care, certified registered nurse anesthetist and certified nurse midwife.

Note: A Master of nurse (MN) is a fast track program designed for an individual already possessing a Non-nurse Bachelor's Degree who wants to be a nurse. Courses taught include clinical reasoning, theoretical perspectives, and research.

Doctorate in Nursing

With the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) replacing the Doctor of Nursing (ND), individuals will have to pursue and obtain the DNP to become Advanced Practical Nurses (APNs).

The individual can pursue one or more advanced nurse specialties that include nurse practitioner, neonatal, geriatric, adult, family, pediatric, clinical nurse specialist, acute care, certified registered nurse anesthetist and certified nurse midwife.

Individuals can also pursue the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing, the research side of the Doctorate in Nursing.

As you can see above, the options to pursue in the nurse profession are varied, numerous and interesting.

You can also master many nurse specialties during your career which adds further stability to your job security while increasing the potential for a higher income.


Where Can I Work As A Registered Nurse?

The list of where you can work is as varied as the many specialties you can pursue.

Hospitals give a registered nurse the best opportunities for a  flexible  work schedule and overtime pay.

Maybe you're not wanting the stress generated by the dynamics of a hospital.

Don't worry, you can be a registered nurse for schools, drug companies, cruise ships, occupational health centers, home nurse, HMO's, doctor offices, mental health centers, lawyers as legal nurse consultants and corporations.

What Other Type of Nurse Positions Are Out There? 

NIZ wants you to know the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)is one position, within the nurse profession that is currently available in high demand that does not require a nurse degree or nurse diploma.

Use the (CNA) Position to start earning money within a few weeks to a month.

The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is available for a person to pursue as a career choice.

You can also use the position as a source to sustain you financially while attending a college or hospital based nurse school to pursue a nurse degree.

To receive the credentials to work as a CNA, a person is required to receive a minimum of 75 hours of training in addition to 16 hours of supervised clinical training. The position also requires a person to complete 12 hours of continued education annually.

A certified nursing assistant provides basic patient care under the direction of nurse staff while performing varied duties such as feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, moving patients, or changing linens.

Try the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Program to make money sooner

Another vehicle to use to have money coming in to sustain yourself while pursuing a nurse degree is the licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) program which takes 1-1/2 to 2 years to complete.

You must pass state or national board license exams to obtain a license which has to be renewed at specific intervals as decided by the state.

NIZ wishes you much success in obtaining a Nurse Degree that can help create a new exciting adventurous world for you.