Those hoping to enter the thriving field of nursing have plenty of options when it comes to obtaining the education, training and licensing required by the field. Those on track to become a registered nurse typically take one of three paths: they earn 1) a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, 2) an associate degree in nursing, or 3) a diploma from an approved nursing program, in addition to the required licensing.
Many students attend a two-year program at a career college to earn their associate degree in nursing, which prepare students to take the NCLEX-RN for licensure as a registered nurse. Others may opt for a bachelor’s degree. Regardless, all nursing students are not only required to take courses in nursing, but also anatomy, physiology, microbiology, nutrition, chemistry, psychology, and other social and behavioral sciences. A strong background in sciences is emphasized.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing find entry-level positions upon receiving their diploma or license. From there, many take advantage of tuition reimbursement benefits and work towards a bachelor’s degree.
For those interested in expanding their education past a bachelor’s degree, those who earn a Master of Science degree in nursing are able to specialize in an area of advanced practice. Those options include a nurse anesthetist, a nurse practitioner or an educator or nurse administrator. Doctoral program graduates are often employed as nurse researchers and nursing faculty.
Regardless of the education path you choose, earning an associate’s degree in nursing from a career college is a great place to start.
For more information on the different education options as a nursing student, click here.