There are a lot of benefits of becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) but one of the major benefits is that you can work in any type of environment that you want.
Nurses have different roles and they get to work in different environments. As a registered nurse, you can either work at a patient’s bedside or you can work with those who have an addiction problem. You can work directly with the patients or you can work indirectly and collaborate with the teams that are working around the clock to make healthcare better. There is a nursing specialty for virtually every individual temperament and every type of personality that exists.
Knowing the various benefits of becoming an RN is just the start. You also have to know your exact career path. You have to know where to go, what to do, and which specialty to go for. All of this depends on your preference. You can opt for an MSN online degree or go for on-campus classes. There are various specialties that you can select from. The options are nearly endless.
So how to go about becoming a nurse? Read on to find out.
Multiple Nursing Certifications
Once you have completed your RN degree you can opt for various certifications that can help you along the way and increase your education, skills, and knowledge. For example, you can go for the Nurse Practitioner certification (NP). When you go for this certification you can choose from any of the following specialties:
- Women Health
- Mental Health
If you don’t want to go with these, you can also select your specialty according to a certain disease type or the practice setting like hospitals, hospices, adult homes, etc. You can also earn additional certifications in areas like anesthesia, midwifery, or a clinical specialty.
The best part about becoming a nurse practitioner is that you can easily enter the field and then work on upgrading your skills and knowledge while you gain some experience. Once you have the experience that you want, you can move your career forward with a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree online.
Entry Level Nursing Degrees
The best way of becoming a registered nurse is to give your exam and get your associate’s degree in nursing. You have to register yourself with an accredited college and complete a 2-year program in nursing. The major benefit is that it takes less time than a bachelor’s degree. All you have to do is to complete your 1.5 years or 2 years program and you can be an RN. If you want, you can go for a bachelor’s degree later. You also have the option to complete your BSN and your MSN degrees at the same time. This is called a bridge program.
There are three ways that you can become a nurse without doing your bachelor’s. They are:
- Diploma in Nursing
- Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Bachelor’s Degrees in Nursing
For people who want to become nurses or people who want to advance their careers, they can look at a bachelor’s degree in nursing as the next step. If you have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, you have more options to select from than an ADN or an LPN. In fact, according to various studies, you have access to 88 percent more jobs if you have done your bachelor’s degree in nursing. If you have an associate’s degree then you can opt for 37 percent of the jobs available in the market. That is a huge gap.
Usually, a BSN degree means that you have to complete a four-year program that will include learning knowledge as well as clinical training, but if you already have an associate’s degree in nursing or a diploma then this time can be reduced.
Based on the certifications and diplomas, there are various options available for you. You can either go straight for the bachelor’s degree of Science in Nursing or you can go from LPN to BSN by completing four semesters. You can also go from RN to BSN.
Master’s Degrees in Nursing
One of the best ways of advancing your career and going for the managerial position is to complete your Master’s Degree of Science in Nursing.
According to statistics, more than 90 percent of active nurses have their master’s degree and they earn up to $82,000 per year. If you want to work in advanced fields then a Master’s degree becomes mandatory for you. The same is true for clinical specialties. If you want to pursue the field of pediatrics or even oncology, there are specialized MSN programs for that too.
If you want to do your MSN and don’t have a BSN then you don’t have to worry. You can just opt for a bridge program like the RN to MSN program that bypasses the BSN and saves you a lot of trouble and time. If you have a bachelor’s degree in some other field and want to do your Masters in the field of nursing you can do that too with a Direct Entry MSN program.
Other MSN programs include MSN Nurse Practitioner (NP), MSN Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) as well as MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), among others. With a Master’s degree under your belt, you can even go for a teaching position and teach other nurses to become better nurses and work wonders in the field as well as the lab.
Doctorate in Nursing
If you aspire to become even better and advance your skills more then you have to go for a Doctorate in nursing. This is the highest level that you can achieve in nursing. You can opt to become a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) after doing your MSN or you can opt for a bridge program and go for a DNP after doing your BSN.
Doing your doctorate in nursing really opens up the options for you and you can go further than you have ever imagined. You can apply for a teaching position in a university or you could conduct your own research and work for all humanity. The sky is the limit.
If you had any confusion about your career path in nursing, we hope that it is gone now. Now you know exactly what you need to do to get to where you want to go.