Nursing is a profession that requires extensive education and training. Apart from the standard nursing program, aspiring nurses will also have to accomplish prerequisite courses, and undertake continuing specialist education.
Nurses today typically have the option to choose from three educational paths to nursing: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN), an Associate nursing degree (ADN), and a diploma program. BSNs are available via college and university programs, and normally take four years to accomplish. ADN programs are available from community and junior colleges, and will require two to three years of study. Diploma programs are typically administered in a hospital setting, with the program typically lasting for three years. Aspiring nurses who successfully pass through any of these programs will be qualified to work in any entry-level position in the nursing industry.
Registered nurses that have earned an ADN or a diploma may opt to enroll in a bachelor program in order to undertake a broader range of roles within the nursing profession. Nurses who have already managed to obtain an entry-level position may be eligible for a tuition reimbursement program, which will give them the opportunity to work toward a BSN degree. There are also nursing programs that provide the opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree in nursing by way of a combination 1-year accelerated BSN program and a 2-year graduate course.
For those who already have a degree, accelerated BSN programs offer the most efficient path into the nursing industry by far, with courses typically lasting from 12 to 18 months. Those with a degree in another field may also opt to pursue an MSN program. There are many reasons for aspiring nurses to pursue such programs, as they offer a wider range of opportunity with regard to career advancement. In fact, some of the more specialized areas of the nursing profession require the candidate to have earned a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree at the very least. This is the case with administrative nursing positions, such degrees are even prerequisites for admission into graduate nursing programs, particularly in the fields of research, consultancy, and education.
Nurses that have earned a Bachelor’s degree will have undergone education and training in the specific areas of communication. They may also have undergone leadership training, as well as instruction in critical thinking. Although these aspects do not typically fall into the clinical definition of the nursing profession, they have become more integral to the practice of nursing as the profession grows and expands.
Nowadays, more and more Bachelor degree programs involve clinical work in a variety of non-hospital environments. These programs have been instituted with the goal of addressing a growing number of health care related concerns in an increasingly broader variety of settings. As the need for quality nursing care increases, nurses can expect to work and train in an increasingly wider range of educational settings as well. Even today, more and more programs have begun to encompass training in nursing facilities, public health organizations, and even mobile clinics.