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Have you considered a career in nursing but are intimidated by the complex relationship between education, training, and certification in this field? We are here to help.
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Aspiring nurses can use this guide to explore the different fields, roles, and other opportunities available to nurses, as well as education and training.
Why Should I Get A Master’s Degree In Nursing?
To keep hospitals running smoothly, each nurse must perform a variety of patient care tasks. Nurses begin their careers by earning nursing degrees and performing basic patient care tasks that allow them to gain clinical experience. Duties may include developing and implementing treatment plans, administering medications, and recording vital signs. Basic nursing positions include nursing assistants or full-time/staff nurses.
Eventually, after completing hundreds of clinical hours and earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, they will be able to work as registered nurses (RNs). Many RNs continue their education, including a master’s degree, and become registered registered nurses (APRNs).
Once a nurse has advanced, they can pursue a career or continue their education to work in education, leadership, or policy.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are not nurses. Instead, they are professionals who help nurses provide medical care to patients, such as putting them to sleep, feeding them, and changing them.
Obtaining Your Master’s Degree In Nursing Infographic
CNA certification does not require a college degree. Instead, CNA candidates must complete a 3-8 week CNA program that includes 75 hours of clinical experience. Candidates apply to state boards to take the CNA exam and become certified.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), also known as licensed practical nurses (LVNs), have more complex patient care responsibilities than CNAs, such as administering medications and taking patients’ vital signs. They interact with doctors and nurses on a daily basis and often work in hospitals, nursing homes and hospitals.
This position requires 500-750 clinical hours completed in a state-approved program, followed by passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
Registered nurses (RNs) provide high-quality patient care by performing health assessments, counseling, and providing a variety of medical services. They often work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and day care centers. In some areas, they must work under the supervision of an APRN or physician.
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RNs require at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ADN), although employers prefer candidates with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Medical hour requirements vary by state, but most RNs complete 200-400 medical hours. Must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to qualify.
APRNs have more responsibilities than RNs, often working independently and developing treatment plans. They also see many patients in hospitals, doctor’s offices and other medical facilities.
Becoming an APRN requires a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and 500 hours of clinical work, as well as passing an examination by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The actual test is based on experience, which may include one of the following:
The lowest degree, the associate degree in nursing, can take up to four weeks to complete and prepare graduates to enter the pre-RN level. Now, an MSN typically takes two years to earn, more than the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree. A master’s program offers more career opportunities with a higher salary than a nursing degree.
Master Of Nursing
The “best” nursing degree is one that meets your educational needs and meets your professional and personal goals.
Nursing degrees usually take less than a year to complete, with some offering several weeks. Most nursing diploma programs include at least 100 clinical hours. Earning a degree prepares candidates to work as a CNA or LPN/LVN, performing essential nursing tasks and acting as a bridge between patients and nurses. Nurses at this level often work in hospitals, nursing homes, or nursing homes.
The ADN takes two years and requires students to complete approximately 300 hours of clinical experience. This degree provides the minimum training required to work as a doctor in hospitals, clinics and schools. An associate’s degree prepares people for more roles in patient care than a diploma.
It takes about four years to earn a BSN, although some programs allow students to complete their degree in as little as two years. Programs typically require 300-400 clinical hours. Having a BSN is an advantage when looking for a job as an RN, especially in a job market where many employers prefer candidates with a four-year degree. Nurses with a BSN often work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and hospitals.
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The MSN usually takes two years. As part of the MSN program, students complete at least 500 clinical hours. The MSN prepares graduates to work as APRNs, which include specialty roles such as registered nurse practitioner (NP) or certified nurse midwife (CNM). Master’s degree nurses often work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, or private practices. In some countries, they can open secret systems.
A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree takes 3-6 years and 1,000 hours of clinical work. This degree enables graduates to work as APRNs, professors, or nurse researchers. DNPs often work in hospitals, medical clinics, or their own independent practices, but they can also serve as faculty and researchers at leading law and medical institutions.
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.) takes 3-6 years. As part of the degree, students also complete 1,000 clinical hours. These nurses work as educators, researchers, and policy makers. A nurse with a doctorate degree can find specialized employment in colleges, universities, and health care organizations.
Professionals can use nursing certificates to pursue a specialized and patient-centered nursing career. Most nursing certifications are for APRNs, but some certifications only require a BSN or RN license.
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The HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board (HANCB) certifies nurses who provide physical and psychological care to patients with HIV/AIDS. This certification covers requirements such as laboratory testing, disease prevention and HIV treatment.
RNs who work in the field of caring for patients with HIV/AIDS can be certified by the AACRN, which is also provided by the HANCB. This certificate emphasizes psychological and emotional support for patients with HIV/AIDS.
CDN certification certifies 2,000 hours of clinical nursing experience in nephrology (kidney care), specifically dialysis patients. The CDN exam consists of 150 questions.
The CHPCA is a credential for hospice or palliative care nurses. However, this certificate is only issued after re-accreditation, which means new nurses cannot qualify.
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Nurses often follow these guidelines. It certifies that the employee can perform basic patient care tasks in a wide range of clinical settings.
CNE certification is designed for doctoral nurses who wish to teach nursing at colleges or universities. Nurses who hold CNE status have experience in educational design, training and counseling, as well as nursing skills.
CNL certification for clinical APRNs demonstrates skills in quality control, risk assessment, and care coordination. CNL certified nurses use their leadership skills to improve healthcare.
CENP, sometimes referred to as Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) certification, is a credential available to APRNs who have extensive experience as a Chief Nurse Officer.
Levels Of Nursing Degrees
CRNA certification qualifies APRNs who provide care to patients undergoing surgery, obstetrics, or trauma.
The OCN designation certifies RNs to provide care and counseling for cancer patients. Certification requires RNs to accumulate 1,000 clinical hours in oncology practice.
Nurses often choose a population or clinical specialty, such as clinical or clinical care. Getting more attention in your nursing career can lead to more money and offers, especially if you get certified. The list below represents some of the more common types of nursing practices followed, although it is not exhaustive.
Potential RNs can take a number of steps to enter the workforce. They can go from getting their ADN to the RN exam, or they can go to online, hybrid, or on-campus programs. Many students choose the traditional route, completing only BSN programs as preparation for exams and certifications.
What Are The Different Levels Of Nursing?
Some students can work as CNAs, which allows them to gain more experience on the job. After that, they can enroll in CNA-to-BSN programs to prepare for advanced certifications.
All RNs and above must take the NCLEX-RN exam at some point in their nursing journey. The NCLEX is a comprehensive exam required for RN certification. The NCSBN administers the exam through each state nursing agency, which may also have their own exam requirements.
APRNs can fill a variety of nursing roles, often with higher salaries. Specialty positions available for APRNs are Nurse Practitioner (NP), Clinical Nurse Practitioner (CNS), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), and Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). All of these jobs offer high wages and unique professional skills.
Licensing requirements for each of these areas vary by state, and only a few states support uniform agreements.
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