Next to physicians, nurses are probably the most visible representatives of the healthcare industry. The nursing profession encompasses a very wide range of practice areas and specialties, but generally, their scope of duties include the following.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2012, the median annual wage for Registered Nurses was $65,470*
According to the American Nursing Association, nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations. There are many different types of nurses, including:
A nurse must obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree from a state-approved program. Those who wish to have an associate’s degree must take two years of schooling at a community college or hospital-based program. A bachelor’s degree requires four years at a college or university. Those who receive their bachelor’s degree become Registered Nurses (RNs). If you already have a four year degree but would like to switch to nursing, you can take an accelerated BSN program that you could obtain in 1-3 years, depending on prerequisites. To learn more about a nursing degree, visit our search area to find nursing colleges near you!
Certificate Nursing Degrees are for those seeking to become certified nursing assistants or practical nurses.
Covers general education courses and nursing theory. The associates nursing program are for those who seek to become Registered Nurses.
Includes clinical rotations in health care facilities that could lead to employment after graduation. Graduates can also become advance practice RNs.
If you would like to further your education and become nurse practitioners, nurse educators, clinical nurse specialists or healthcare administrator, you may want to pursue a Master Degree in Nursing.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Programs (PhD) are the highest degree of specialization in the industry. The length of each program varies between 3 to 4 years to complete.