5 Types of Nursing Degrees and What You Can Do With Them

Going to nursing school can be one of the best decisions you make for your career in the medical field. No matter what kind of nursing your want to do, the kinds of patients you want to care for or the types of facilities you want to work in, there are many types of nursing degrees and specialties you can pursue.

What’s more is that you can now pursue online nursing programs to complete your education at your own pace and from the comfort of your home. Here are five levels of nursing education you can earn, the patient care fields you can specialize in and the jobs you qualify for at each level to help you determine which nurse program is best for your career.

Diploma in Practical Nursing
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A diploma in practical nursing is the lowest level of nursing education you can complete, but it can qualify you for a wide variety of important patient care roles. There are two general types of practical nursing diplomas:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant: A CNA provides basic health care and patient care services, such as taking vitals, updating patient records, safely transferring patients from their beds to other areas of the facility, bathing and feeding patients, and maintaining a sanitary patient room. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these professionals earn a median salary of $30,830 per year.
  • Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse: An LPN and an LVN are the same role, but you might find that employers use this term interchangeably. This type of nurse is responsible for taking vital signs, updating patient records, changing dressings, administering medications, inserting catheters, and collecting samples for testing. The BLS reports that LPNs/LVNs earn a median salary of $48,820 per year.

Both programs prepare you to take state certification or licensing exams, such as the National Council Licensure Examination for LPNs (NCLEX-LPN) and work in entry-level nursing roles in hospitals, assisted living facilities, and more.

Diplomas and certifications in practical nursing are typically offered by community colleges vocational schools. These programs vary widely in how long it takes to complete them, from a few weeks to over a year. That’s because LPN programs are more intensive and teach you technical nursing skills required for certain practical nursing roles. For example, a CNA certificate or diploma can take between 4 to 12 weeks to complete. An LPN/LVN certificate or diploma typically takes at least one year to 18 months to complete.

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By Admin