As a licensed nursing practitioner, you can serve the patients with extra training and expertise. You can choose from many nursing programs as there are several options available, but you need to consider your needs, goals, affordability and pocket before you decide which program suits you best. Here are various nursing degree options available from which you can choose:
1. LPN or LVN Education Degree
Licensed practical nursing (LPN) or licensed vocational nursing (LVN) programs:
These programs offer one year of training at a hospital, vocational technical school or community college. You can pursue the licensure as an LPN or LVN after receiving their diploma or certificate and passing a state administered nursing examination called the NCLEX-PN® examination.
2. Associate of Science in Nursing Program
This is a 2-year associate degree nursing program which allows a student to become a registered nurse (RN) and serves as a stepping stone to technical nursing practice. This nursing degree is one of the fastest ways to become a nurse.
3. RN-to-BSN Education Degree Program
These nursing programs offer flexible schedule designed to meet the needs of working nurses. Classes might meet only evenings or weekends. Some schools also offer multiple start dates each year for these nursing programs, rather than just one date in the Fall. These nursing programs are also known as Bridge Programs, BSN for RNs, Completion Programs, Nursing Mobility in Education Programs, Advanced Placement, Advanced Standing or Transition Options.
4. Accelerated Degree BSN Program
Accelerated Degree BSN Program happens to be a variation of the Second Degree BSN. This program usually takes 12 months to complete, though some programs may run for 16 to 20 months. A 3.0 GPA is often an entrance requirement for both Second Degree BSN and Accelerated BSN programs.
5. Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree Program
This 18 to 24 month nursing program allows a nurse to specialize in a particular area, such as an area of advanced clinical training or research. Candidates require a BSN from an accredited nursing school, an RN license, minimum GPA and GRE scores, and some period of clinical work experience to pursue this degree.
6. LPN-to-Associate’s Nursing Education Program
This program gives the candidates a degree which enables them to sit for the NCLEX® examination.
7. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program
This is a 4-year BSN degree (also called a “Prelicensure BSN” program) in which the first 1- to 2-years of the nursing program are spent fulfilling general education requirements, while the last two to three years are spent on nursing education courses.
8. RN-to-MSN Degree Program
This nursing program is for RNs who have an associate degree in nursing and want to earn an MSN immediately after earning the BSN.
9. Direct Entry MSN Degree Program
Non-nurses who hold bachelor’s degrees in non-nursing fields can pursue this program to complete an abbreviated schedule of undergraduate nursing coursework. This is a three year course with the first year being devoted to entry-level nursing coursework and the last two years to master’s-level study.
10. Non-Degree Studies Nursing Education Programs
These programs are also known as “Extended Studies” or “Non-Matriculated Studies,” and offer courses in specialty areas at the master’s level for students who are not seeking a degree.