A nursing career can be a rewarding, challenging, and exciting one. For many nurses, the goal is to provide quality patient care daily. However, choosing the right program is important for you to succeed in this field.
Nursing students who enroll in online nursing degrees have the same opportunities as those who attend traditional schools. The average salary for nurses nationwide is $75,330 per year and can range anywhere from $61,500 – $93,500, depending on location and experience level.
Additionally, graduates with nursing degrees have access to jobs at hospitals, medical centers, private practices, research labs, and other healthcare facilities across the country.
The Healthcare Sector Is Booming, and So Is the Demand for Skilled Nurses
The U.S. healthcare industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in America. It employs nearly 14 million people and generates more than $3 trillion annually in revenue, more than any other industry in the country. It means that millions of nursing jobs are available every year, making it an extremely lucrative career option if you want to earn more while working fewer hours per week. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobs in the healthcare sector alone are expected to grow by 16% from 2020 to 2030, adding approximately 2.6 million more job opportunities.
If you’re looking to pursue a career as a nurse, there’s never been a better time than right now. The future in nursing looks bright.
Registered Nurses (RN)
Registered nurses (RNs) are the most common type of nursing professional. They earned a nursing degree and passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). RNs work in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools, and private homes. The average annual pay for RNs is about $77,600 annually.
As you can imagine, there is a lot to learn when becoming an R.N. First-year students will study anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and pharmacology. They will also take classes on nursing theory, such as leadership or management principles, for nurses who want to become leaders within their organizations. After graduating from an accredited school with a diploma or associate’s degree program, students must pass the NCLEX. NCLEX is a test required for licensure in all 50 states to practice at any facility that provides patient care services under state law.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Several schools and colleges offer the LPN program. This program provides the skills to work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals and nursing homes. The average annual salary for LPNs is around $48,070. The coursework includes:
- Medical terminology.
- Human anatomy and physiology.
- Patient care skills like taking vital signs or administering medications.
You’ll also learn about infection control procedures and safety practices for working in an oncology unit or operating room setting. Then, when it comes time to find work after graduation from this program, you will be qualified for jobs such as community health nurse assistant at a hospital or geriatric care manager for nursing home patients with dementia issues.
Diploma in Nursing
If you already have a bachelor’s degree but want to go on to become a registered nurse (RN), then the diploma program is for you. They are usually one year long and are offered at community colleges and university campuses. This option best suits those who want to pursue a nursing career immediately after graduating high school.
While most diploma programs can be completed within 12 months, some may require up to 18 months of full-time study. In addition to classroom lectures and hands-on clinical training, prospective students will gain valuable knowledge by participating in online courses that cover everything from anatomy to pharmacology.
Associate Degree in Nursing
Associate degree nursing programs are designed to be completed in two years. These programs offer students the opportunity to become registered nurses after completing their coursework and clinical hours. Those who already have a diploma in another field may also be eligible to enter an ADN program though it is advised that you check with your home state’s requirements before enrolling.
ADN programs prepare students for entry-level positions within the healthcare sector, including working as a staff nurse at hospitals and clinics or as a nurse educator.
Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)
BSN programs are available in both online and on-campus formats. They prepare you for a career in nursing and provide the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in an ever-evolving healthcare environment. BSN courses cover various topics, including medical ethics, leadership, communication skills, and pharmacology.
BSN programs are offered by universities and colleges as well as online schools. The cost of these degree programs varies based on location but can be around $5,000 per semester at public four-year schools or $10,000 per year at private institutions.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is a graduate-level program that typically lasts two years. It’s a terminal degree and is generally considered the highest level of education for nurses.
A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can lead to various career options, including clinical practice, research, or administration. Many people pursue an MSN after working as a registered nurse for several years, so they have the experience to draw upon during their studies. The curriculum will be based on your area of interest, whether administration, clinical practice, or research, and will prepare you with the skills needed to move forward with your career goals.
Doctorate of Nursing Practice
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the highest degree you can earn in nursing. It’s also a terminal degree and has to be completed after your R.N. license has been obtained. Since it takes at least two years of full-time study to complete this degree, DNP programs typically require that students be able to commit themselves to spending significant amounts of time on campus.
The benefit associated with this type of program is that it offers more flexibility than other options such as an MSN or Post-Master’s certificate program. In addition, if you have already earned an MSN or are considering pursuing one, applying to a DNP program will provide additional coursework and clinical experience. This added training can help set you apart from other job candidates who may not have been able to limit their search geographically due to their lack of specialty certification. DNP program ensures you’ll be able to do everything they can and more.
Online Nursing Programs Give Flexibility
You can study online at your own pace, which is convenient if you want to fit your studies around a busy schedule. For example, you might want to do some reading or writing on the train home from work, or perhaps there’s an afternoon when you’d rather spend time with the kids. There are no restrictions placed on where or when you study. You can do it at home, in the library, at a coffee shop, or even while people watch T.V.
It’s not just about what time of day you choose to learn. The flexibility extends into how long it takes for each lesson as well. If something comes up and you must put things off until later in the week, that’s fine. The course doesn’t force students into rigid deadlines for assignments like some traditional university courses do.
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