Discover a Career in Nursing With an Online Bachelors in Nursing
People who wish to discover a career in nursing now have many options available to them. While each nursing degree program differs from school to school, most nursing degree programs include six different tracks: licensed practical nursing (LPN), registered nurse (RN), online bachelors in nursing (BSN), RN to BSN, second degree BSN and accelerated nursing degrees.
Licensed practical nursing programs are usually located at community colleges, and students can usually complete them within a year. People in these classes receive hands-on training in patient care at hospitals and nursing homes and, upon completion, receive their LPN/LVN (licensed practical nurse) status. LPNs must pass their state’s NCLEX-PN nursing exam to work as an LPN.
Registered nurses have more education and training than LPNs. Three routes exist to attain licensure as an RN: the two-year associate of science in nursing (ADN) degree, a three-year hospital diploma program and a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. Many colleges and universities offer online bachelors of science in nursing degrees to allow more students to earn their BSN. In all three tracks, students gain hands-on experience working as a nurse, but traditional and online bachelors in nursing programs include a more academic approach than the other two. The ADN degree is the most popular track to becoming a registered nurse in the United States. Upon graduation from this program, RNs must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to work as an RN.
The RN to BSN track is for those who already have their registered nurse licensure but want to continue their education to advance their careers. This is the most common online bachelors in nursing degree. A second degree BSN is for people who have their bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. This degree usually takes two years to complete, and, before enrolling, students are usually required to take a certified nursing assistant course.
A track for accelerated nursing degrees also exists for people who want to attain their nursing degree as quickly as possible. Most accelerated programs are for people who already have their bachelor’s or nursing degrees and want to continue their education.
Career Diversity in Health Care
A nursing degree can position graduates in a variety of positions within the broad field of health care. Some schools also give you the freedom to choose your own curriculum when pursuing your nursing degree. This means that you can decide in which areas of nursing you want to gain expertise. The ability to design your own curriculum gives you a unique educational background that allows you to stand out from the competition and attract potential employers. Some concentrations for online bachelors in nursing programs include nurse practitioner, health care education, leadership and management, and nurse midwifery.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have completed advanced training, usually a master’s degree. By concentrating your nursing degree curriculum in this field, you will gain the knowledge necessary to become a nurse practitioner. Among others, these skills include performing physicals, ordering tests, diagnosing and treating non-life-threatening illnesses, and performing minor surgeries. Many nurse practitioners are the primary health care providers for their patients.
Health care education courses will help you gain essential knowledge about how to teach in the health care industry. By concentrating on health care education for your online bachelors of science in nursing degree, you will learn about different teaching and learning strategies, responsibilities of an educator in the health care field and how to prepare a curriculum. Graduates who have their nursing degrees in this field go on to work as nursing instructors and health teachers in secondary and postsecondary school settings.
A leadership and management concentration in nursing will help prepare you for a career in health care management. Students enrolled in online bachelors in nursing programs with a concentration in leadership and management learn about leadership skills, fiscal management, marketing, strategic planning and organizational structures. Nurses who have a degree concentration in leadership and management have careers as nursing directors, medical and health services managers and health care administrators.
Nursing degrees in nurse midwifery are required for those who wish to provide obstetric care to women from puberty through menopause. Most nurse midwives specialize in obstetrical and gynecological care and work closely with obstetricians. Nurse midwives usually have their master’s degree in nursing and can prescribe medication. Nursing degrees with a concentration in nurse midwifery are good educational backgrounds for those pursuing employment in hospitals, clinics and birthing centers.
These are just a few examples of the areas of nursing that you can study for your online bachelors in nursing degree. All the courses in these fields will provide you with the skills you need to be a successful nurse.