What’s the best degree to get if I want to be a nurse?

The field of nursing is vast, so there are many degrees to consider if you’re wanting to start your career as a nurse.

There are multiple ways you can get into an entry-level position as a nurse. Your first option is getting a degree as a certified nursing assistant. This certification can be earned in as little as 12 weeks. Certified nursing assistants are responsible taking care of a patient’s basic needs, including bathing, changing bed linens, and checking vital signs.

The next way to break into the field of nursing is by earning a licensed practical nurse and licensed vocational nurse degree in as little as two years. As a licensed practical nurse, your job is to assist registered nurses in caring for parents. This includes checking on patients, filling out help forms, taking vital signs, setting up medical equipment and helping patients bathe.

Becoming a registered nurse takes two to four years of study, depending on the degree track you choose. If you’re wanting to become a nurse in a shorter period of time, an associates degree in nursing would be the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re wanting nursing to be a life-long career and you plan on getting more advanced degrees later on, a four-year bachelor’s of science in nursing would be a better choice for you. No matter which degree you choose to become a registered nurse, you must also pass the National Council of Licensure Examination to be able to practice.

After you become a registered nurse, there are still opportunities for you to grow in your career. This could include going back to school to get your master of science in nursing. With this masters, you can pursue different areas of patient care, including working as a clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse anesthetist, certified nurse midwife, or a nurse practitioner. It can take up to two years of study to earn a master’s in nursing, but this degree also has set requirements before you begin, including clinical experience, a registered nurses license, and a bachelor’s in nursing. However, people coming from other career fields can earn a master’s in nursing if they have bachelor’s degree – they may just be required to take more pre-requisite classes that would have been covered by an associate’s of science or bachelor’s of science in nursing.

Online schools offering a bachelor’s of science in nursing include the Medical University of South Carolina, the John Hopkins School of Nursing, Purdue University Global, and Northeastern University.