The Center for Nursing Advocacy defines nurses as those who improve lives as front line members of the health care delivery team. They assess and monitor patients and determine what patients need to attain and preserve their health. If you are an observant, patient person who likes to help and care for others and pays attention to detail, you should explore this industry and all of the programs that are offered. Not only are nursing degrees the most sought-after in online programs, nursing studies are very flexible and rewarding.
When most people explore the types of concentrations offered in nursing, they may think of all the acronyms: LPN, RN, CAN, NP, etc. However, the best way to approach a nursing degree is to consider the different degree levels in nursing.
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is a two-year program that is more of a general education structure designed to prepare a student for a specialized field of study. Most students who earn an ADN return to school to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a four-year program that goes beyond the general studies of nursing. The last two years of this degree is what really focuses on a specialization. Some areas of interest include:
Adult acute and chronic disease
Community health nursing
Psychiatric/Mental health nursing
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is a term given to a registered nurse who has met advanced educational and clinical practice requirements, at a minimum of a master’s level, beyond the basic nursing education and licensing required of all registered nurses (RN). There are four ways that RNs can specialize in advanced patient care. They can choose a(n):
particular work setting or type of treatment (examples include intensive care or operating room nurse);
specific health condition (one example would be a diabetes management nurse);
organ or body system type (an example is a dermatology nurse);
or well-defined population (examples include geriatric and pediatric nurses.
Qualities and Skills
General course requirements for nursing will include studies in anatomy and physiology, biology, human growth and development, microbiology, organic chemistry, nutrition, and psychology. Those who complete a bachelor’s degree receive training in areas like communication, leadership, and critical thinking. Successful nurses are those who are caring, sympathetic, conscientious, and detail oriented. Emotional stability is a must since nurses must be able to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses.
There are many occupations for nursing depending on your specialization. The most common type of nurse is a Registered Nurse, which makes up the largest group of healthcare professionals. Specialized nursing types include Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM); Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA); Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS); and Nurse Practitioner (NP). However, all of these types of nurses must first become a Registered Nurse.
Not only is the average salary range for a Registered Nurse relatively high, many employers offer excellent benefits, such as flexible work schedules, child care, educational benefits, and bonuses.