There are many reasons why you might want to become a nurse. There's a good chance one of those reasons is because you want to pursue a career that is personally fulfilling that will allow you to help people. It also helps that a career in nursing is relatively stable, especially since the demand for nurses is expected to grow significantly over the next decade. However, figuring out exactly how to become a nurse can be a bit of a challenge. This is especially true once you begin researching different nursing programs. You'll quickly find that there are a lot of different types of degrees that you can pursue. The following is a rundown of the main nursing programs to help you better identify which one is right for you:
An ADN (Associate of Science in Nursing) program focuses on the technical side of nursing rather than theory. Many LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurse) or LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurse) will enroll in an ADN program as a way to advance their career as an RN (Registered Nurse). An ASN program usually takes around two years to complete and can be found at a community college or vocational school. It's a good option for those who want to become an RN as quickly as possible.
A BSN degree is a four-year commitment. Expect to spend significant amounts of time in the classroom as well as in the lab. You'll be doing lots of lessons at local hospitals as well. A BSN degree is often required for many nursing positions and is considered the main entry point for professional nursing practices.
An MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) can help with the next stage of your nursing degree. It's essentially a nursing program that allows you to specialize in a specific area; for example, advanced clinical training or research.
LPN or LVN Degree
It only takes about a year to obtain an LPN or LVN degree. It's a convenient way for students to become a nurse who have other obligations outside of school. Basic nursing skills are taught in LPN and LVN programs and will prepare you (and make you eligible) for passing the NCLEX-PN, which is the state-administered nursing exam.
The LPN-to-Associate program is a bridge program. Students are required to take some liberal arts courses in addition to the regular nursing courses. It's a good program to enroll in if you're thinking about obtaining a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) at some point in the future.
If you are an LPN and you want to pursue your nursing education further, the LPN-to-BSN is a good option. You won't have to take the normal four-year route of completing a BSN program by enrolling in this bridge program. You will, however, still receive a liberal arts education as well. As a full-time student, it will take roughly four semesters to complete an LPN-to-BSN bridge program. Having a BSN degree will allow for positions in which you'll manage other nurses. You'll need a BSN degree as well if you plan on pursuing your education even further in the future.
If you're an RN already and you want to complete your BSN degree, an RN-to-BSN bridge program is your best option.
These are some of the different nursing programs that you can enroll in if you're interested in becoming a nurse. For more information about the nursing programs that we offer here in Toledo, OH, be sure to contact us at the Athena Career Academy today.