Different Types of Nursing Degrees

Are you planning to take a nursing degree? As you know, there are different types of nursing degrees. Choosing the right program that best suits your career goals is very important. Choosing the right course on your nursing education will help your professional growth and set your career up for success.

To help you choose what nursing field, you need to know the different educational options for you and what best options fit your goals. There’s a wide array of education paths you can choose from, whether you want to become an RN, LPN, or another advanced practice nurse degree. Your career choice all depends on your goals, want you want to do, and how much money you want to make.

Here are the various types of nursing degrees available:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This is the most basic type of nursing degree. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is typically a four-year course in a college or university. This nursing degree can be obtained from an accredited university or school that offers specific nursing programs.

The BSN degree prepares future nurses for a wide choice of nursing roles and graduate study. This degree includes course topics such as leadership, research, nursing science, and other related nursing topics. The BSN is often required as a prerequisite for administrative, research, teaching, and consulting roles.

  • Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN)

A Licensed Practical Nursing or simply LPN, takes the duties of long-term care facilities, basic duties in hospital settings and the nursing home. This type of nursing degree is also known as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). Overall, the role of LPN is to take the overall well-being of the patient and provide them the quality of care they need.

If you love to work hands-on with the patient each day and passionate about healthcare, this career path might be the right choice for you. This nursing path can often be finished in a year or less. Since an LPN can be obtained fast, students usually learn the basic skills first to prepare them for their first actual hospital-setting job. Obtaining this degree makes you qualified and eligible for licensure after you pass the NCLEX exam. 

  • Associate of Science in Nursing

Associate of Science in nursing program is a step between a bachelor’s degree and a high school diploma. Students who wish to take up an Associate of Science in Nursing need to take subjects like nursing, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, chemistry, microbiology, and other relevant science courses. 

An ADN course can be completed over a two to three year program. The curriculum for an Associate of Science in nursing not only includes nursing subjects but also liberal arts courses. If you want to have a solid foundation on the health care field, this is the type of nursing course you should choose. Popular among nursing professionals, ADN gives you more opportunities to get into the field of nursing.

  • Masters of Science in Nursing

You must first finish a nursing degree or other related field to get this degree. If you are aiming to become an advanced practice nurse, this type of nursing degree is best for you. Registered nurses who finish this degree are likely to earn more than an RN or LPN. Finishing Masters of Science in nursing means more authority and autonomy in a hospital-setting since you are trained with advanced nursing skills. When you take this nursing path, you can expect a specialized track for certain medical types of nursing care, such as a clinical nurse or a forensic nurse specialist track.

Typically, Master’s degree in nursing can be earned over one to two years. When getting this course, you don’t have to resign from your work since you can take this one while working. In other cases, other employers help some of their employed nurses to pay for their master’s degree. 

  • Doctorate Degrees in Nursing

This is the highest degree you can obtain as a nurse. In order to get a doctorate level degree, you must have first earned a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Nursing. When you finish this degree, you will then be referred to as Doctor Nurse. 

There are actually two types of Doctorate Degrees in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc) and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). 

  • Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc)

This type of doctorate degree focuses on the clinical aspects of nursing. DNSc is actually a research-based focus degree. 

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

This is the type of doctorate degree that is practice-based. This focuses more on the system leadership, quality improvement, organizational management, and other related areas. Nurses who finish this degree develop skills in decision-making, enhanced leadership, and analytical methods. Graduates are trained to improve clinical patient care in the hospital setting. 

There are a wide array of degrees available to those interested in nursing. The key is to evaluate the type of day-to-day responsibilities you want to undertake and the focus your degree that bet fits your interest.

Top 7 Nursing Degree Programs

The demand for nurses has and continues to be very strong. It’s a highly skilled field always in need of talented individuals. It offers the chance to travel (many hospitals will hire for set periods of time) and a wide array of flexible working options (hours, location, etc.). Demand for nurses is only increasing due to the aging of the population. For that reason, many Americans are now looking to nursing for a long and stable career. 

To help you narrow down your options, here are a list of the top nursing universities. Keep in mind that although there are many excellent schools that offer nursing programs, we believe these top 7 schools best illustrate the qualities you should consider when deciding where to get your degree.

  • The University of Pennsylvania. (Average Net Price: $22,944)

Top on the list is the University of Pennsylvania. In 2019 rankings, this university is ranked as fourth in Best Nursing Schools: Master’s. This University in Philadelphia is known to be the home of the best nursing programs in the US that contributes hundreds of top-caliber nurses every year. 

One good thing about this university is that this school allows students to take dual degrees, for instance, a dual degree in Healthcare and Nursing. Students who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania are eligible for admission into any of the master’s degree programs available at the school of nursing. For this reason, this school is your best choice if you want to get concurrent degrees.

  • Duke University (Average Net Price: $19,950)

Second on the list is Duke University. In 1931, the school first opened its doors to its undergraduate nursing students. School of Nursing of Duke University offers many pathways to BSN programs. The most popular option program is their accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing. With this option, students can finish the program in just four semesters. The University is also the leader in nursing and health care curriculum and has a high percentage of passing rates in the NCLEX exams.

  • Ohio State University (Average Net Price $17,971)

Ohio State University is known to be the home to variety of BSN programs. This university is popular in providing students with several nursing program options. The Ohio State University provides a solid foundation in both clinical areas and academic for adult professionals who are seeking to further their careers as nurses. Because of their maintained reputation, most of their students are often offered employment even before graduating.

  • University of California Los Angeles (Average Net Price: $14,236)

The University of California Los Angeles is considered one of the top nursing schools in the US. It is nationally heralded as the home of the top BSN programs. UCLA is also highly rated at both graduate and undergraduate levels for its academic excellence.

Their bachelor degree programs focus on those students who want to become nurses in clinics and hospitals. Their syllabus reflects this by requiring clinical courses that focus on management of patient populations, demographic-based statistical models on population, and advancement on technological healthcare.

  • University of Pittsburgh (Average Net Price of $23,572)

The University of Pittsburgh offers traditional BSN programs. Just like Duke University, University of Pittsburgh also offers accelerated nursing programs that are geared toward students who already earned a graduate degree or bachelor’s degree. In addition, students have also have the option to pursue honors and join the research program.

Students who graduated from the University of Pittsburgh are trained with skills to change the world of hospital leadership to bedside care.

  • University of Maryland Nurwing School (Average Net Price: $26,894)

The University of Maryland is considered to be one of the most respected schools that offers BSN programs. Since it was established in 1893, the university has maintained its high standard of excellence for all its faculty and students. 

As to their faculty members, the University of Maryland only hires real nurses to teach the courses. In that way, BSN pursuers can always be sure that they are taken care of and taught by professionals who fully understand the field.

In addition, UMB students are exposed to clinical and laboratory situations to get a real-setting experience for what actual field hospital work looks like.

  • Emory University (Average Net Price: $24,804)

Emory University is considered one of the nation’s leaders in producing excellent nurses. The Emory University differs from other nursing schools in such a way that it combines traditional nursing values with latest clinical theory.

BSN students are exposed to actual clinical and healthcare works. In addition, Emory provides joint degree options, such as BS to MS option or RN to BS option for students who wish to take their degrees concurrently.

There are numerous universities with nursing degrees but the above are some of the premier options to consider. They all feature high quality education, varying degrees to choose from and a track record of success.