Nursing Career Options: The Choices You Should Know About

When one decides to become a nurse, there are many nursing career options to consider. From where to study, what degree to pursue, where to work, and what specialty to train for, nursing is a simply a world of great possibilities.

As a Nursing Student

The first of the nursing career options one must seriously think about is of course, where to start. More specifically, this means opting for one of three entry-level nursing degrees: a nursing diploma, a 2-year associate’s degree in nursing or ADN, or a 4-year bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN).

A nursing diploma is a two to three year program usually offered by hospital-based nursing schools. While this was a popular option in the 1970s, at present there are only less than a hundred schools offering nursing diploma programs.

The more common routes to becoming a nurse are the ADN and the BSN. As mentioned, the former takes two years and the latter, four years, but the other differences between the two are not quite as apparent – at least at the starting point. Like the diploma course, both degrees can qualify you to take the NCLEX-RN examination.

However, the associate’s degree is known as the entry-level to technical nursing practice while the bachelor’s degree is the entry-level to professional practice. This means in the long run, a BSN degree could be your ticket to the best nursing opportunities. But then again, you also have to consider that opting for an ADN when starting out could impact significantly (in a good way) on the cost of nursing school as well as the length of time that you would need to become an RN and start working.

As a Registered Nurse

Once you are a licensed nurse, the nursing career options that are open to you don’t become any simpler.

The first question to consider is, WWhere do you want to work and what type of working environment would fit you best?” Most nurses start off as staff nurses in hospitals but there other settings open to nurses – doctors’ clinics, nursing homes, private care facilities, schools, hospices, and others. Travel nursing is also a popular choice for those who want to travel to different places on short-term assignments.

Once you have gained skills and experience as a nurse, it is then time to consider if you would like to advance your career. If so, then you can pursue a Master’s level degree and specialize in the nursing area of your choice. Among the more common nursing specialties include becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), and Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).

As you can see, nursing career options abound in the industry and the choices you make will determine the path your career would take.

Latest Posts...

An Overview of Nurse Practioner Programs and Other Advanced Degrees

Nurse Practitioner Programs

NP or nurse practioner programs are for registered nurses who would like to become advanced practice nurses or APNs. Other APNs include the CRNA, the CNS and the CNM. All of these nurses have earned master’s degreee, the difference has to do with [...]

Read the full article →

The Advantages of ADN to MSN Programs

MSN Nursing Programs

ADN to MSN programs may be the right choice if you have your associate’s degree and want to earn your master’s in the shortest period of time possible. Both full- and part-time courses are available from a variety of institutions. Full-time [...]

Read the full article →

All About DNP Programs

Doctoral Nursing Programs

Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP programs provide the necessary education for executives in the field. It is the right career for someone who enjoys administration or research. The time necessary to complete the program is 4-6 years. So there [...]

Read the full article →

Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs Offer Many Options

Nursing Education

Clinical nurse specialist programs include the courses necessary for registered nurses to attain an advanced degree in the medical specialty of their choosing. The fields of study are numerous. Some CNSs specialize in treating specific diseases, [...]

Read the full article →

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: