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Nursing Degree

One of the hottest careers in the USA today is a Nursing Degree. The longer lifespan of people as a result of advancements in medical research has seen the demand for qualified nurses skyrocket along with their salaries. A degree in nursing comes in many types: a diploma in nursing, an associate in nursing, a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. There is also the licensed practical nurse. These types are determined by the coursework involved and the length of time it takes to complete the degree. All types of nursing degrees may be obtained as an online degree or from a campus education.

A licensed practical nurse degree can be taken right after graduation from high school. It takes one year to 14 months to complete and teaches the student about basic nursing care. To practice as a licensed practical nurse (also called a licensed vocational nurse), one must pass a licensure exam known as the NCLEX-PN.

A diploma in nursing is gradually being phased out. Linked to hospitals, this degree takes 2-3 years to complete, and combines clinical and classroom settings.

An associate in nursing degree is a two-year course that is broad-based in concept and practice. It equips its student with technical skills and nursing theories based on both clinical experience and classroom setting. A graduate of an associate degree needs to pass the NCLEX-RN, a licensure exam that qualifies the nurse to practice the profession and earn the title of Registered Nurse.

A bachelor’s degree in nursing is a four-year program that develops technical nursing proficiency, critical thinking and leadership qualities. Courses in nursing are more advanced and in-depth and this degree is a pathway to graduate studies in nursing.

Work opportunities and salaries increase in direct proportion to the higher level of Nursing Degree pursued. Jobs for nurses are in great demand and in May 2008, the BLS reported median annual wages of nurses working in hospitals at $63,880. Salaries range from $43,410 to $92,240.