WHAT DO ALL THESE NURSING DEGREE ACRONYMS MEAN
CNA CERTIFICATE / DIPLOMA
Candidates for a CNA certificate need a high school diploma or GED. The program prepares students to perform direct patient care and provides training in areas like first aid, infection control, and general safety.
LPN / LVN CERTIFICATE / DIPLOMA
A one-year program, an LPN/LVN certificate serves students who wish to enter the nursing profession without committing to a bachelor's program. Graduates learn how to provide patient care tasks, such as measuring vital signs, administering medications, and tracking medical histories.
ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN NURSING (ADN) • 2-YEAR DEGREE
A two-year associate degree in nursing prepares graduates to take the NCLEX-RN to become a registered nurse. ADN programs serve students who plan to earn a bachelor's or master's degree later in their career but wish to start working in the nursing field right away. ADN programs usually require students to complete college-level introductory coursework in microbiology, chemistry, psychology, and medical terminology. ADN credits often transfer to four-year BSN programs.
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING (BSN) • 4-YEAR DEGREE
A four-year program that positions graduates for supervisory nursing posts and provides a foundation for graduate study. Successful completion of a four-year undergraduate degree program in nursing prepares graduates to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination and become licensed registered nurses (RNs). A bachelor's degree will prepare students to become registered nurses through study of chemistry, nutrition, pharmacology, and nursing management. Current hiring trends in nursing favor RNs with a BSN degree.
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING (MSN) • ADDITIONAL 2-YEARS AFTER A BACHELOR'S DEGREE *
The biggest difference between a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in nursing is the skill level achieved. Nurses holding a graduate degree have received more intensive and specialized training and have a deeper foundation of knowledge than nurses with an undergraduate degree. This generally leads to greater job responsibilities and higher salaries. The biggest difference between an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree in nursing is the skill level achieved. Nurses holding a graduate degree have received more intensive and specialized training and have a deeper foundation of knowledge than nurses with an undergraduate degree. This generally leads to greater job responsibilities and higher salaries.
NURSING CAREER ACRONYMS AND WHAT THEY MEAN
REGISTERED NURSE (RN)
Registered nurses work with doctors and other healthcare practitioners to provide coordinated patient care. They also assist with diagnostic tests, teach patients and families how to manage chronic illnesses, and help set up patient care plans.
CERTIFIED REGISTERED NURSE ANESTHETIST (CRNA) * MASTER DEGREE REQUIRED
An RN must pass the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Exam to earn the CRNA credential. In addition to administering anesthesia, the duties of a CRNA often include inserting central lines and epidurals, monitoring a sedated patient, and ensuring proper patient recovery after a procedure.
CERTIFIED NURSE MIDWIFE (CNM) * MASTER DEGREE REQUIRED
To become a CNM, an RN must pass the certification exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board. CNMs assist surgeons in C-section deliveries and provide wellness and prenatal care to women.
NURSE PRACTITIONER (NP) * MASTER DEGREE REQUIRED
Nurse practitioners carry out many of the same duties that physicians perform, including prescribing medication, diagnosing illnesses, ordering tests, and creating treatment plans. Some states grant NPs full practice authority, meaning they can practice without the supervision of a physician.
CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST (CNS) * MASTER DEGREE REQUIRED
Clinical nurse specialists' responsibilities vary by the facility they work in and the healthcare services offered. They often coordinate and optimize patient care, decide how to allocate staff and resources, and evaluate current practices and alternatives.
Shay the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects faster-than-average growth rates for registered nurses and advanced practice nurses: 15% and 31%, respectively. Graduates of accredited nursing programs enjoy a robust job market with plenty of opportunities for professional growth. A nursing degree provides healthcare professionals with diverse job opportunities and high potential salaries. This guide covers potential nursing degrees, program requirements, and types of nursing jobs available.
John recommends the following next steps:
Yolonda recommends the following next steps:
Yes it would be beneficial to obtain your BSN after, if your are considering ADN initially.
This will allow you to be more marketable as a nurse. Most jobs are requiring this or at least preferring it at this point. The demand is only expected to grow in the future. There are also schools that offer BSN degrees that you can go straight through and eliminate the extra steps(Going for ADN and then BSN later). Its all up to you, it really depends on what will work best for you.
These days a strong plan of action will really help you attain your goals, as nursing schools usually are competitive to get into, require prerequisites, and want some work and volunteer experience for you to show on your application (e.g., working as a CNA, volunteering at nursing homes, shelters, outreach programs, etc).
The RN licensure is a test that you actually take from the Board of Nurse Examiners after graduating from an accredited school of nursing either with an ADN or BSN degree. This is called the NCLEX and is required to work in any setting as an RN. After you pass the NCLEX, then the RN licensure is kept up every 2 years with continuing education and a fee per the individual state's requirements (e.g., I live in Colorado and I renew this year for a fee of $138 but no continuing education is required).
I have worked in a hospital for 25+ years, and I went back to attain my MSN about 10 years ago and became and Perioperative Clinical Nurse Specialist, which I love. There was a report that came out from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2008 and was reannounce in 2015 that outlined that nurses should be working at the top of their licensure and so most hospitals in most states are requiring that nurses entering the workforce in a hospital (acute care setting) have a BSN. The couple of hospitals I worked in both WI and CO had put a process into place where they were phasing out ADNs at the bedside and only hiring new grads with BSNs and asking any currently working ADNs to have a BSN by 2020 of they would be asked to work in a different setting than patient care. I would suggest that you focus on getting a BSN if at all possible right off the bat as this degree will serve you the best at the beginning of your career.
I would do some research and find out if your local or state is hiring new nurses with ADN degrees, then you can make a decision from there about what makes the best-educated decision for you at your career path. I would also check out the colleges you want to attend and check out the costs, length of time of programs, and see which is the best fit for you. Most nursing programs have advisors that are happy to make an appointment to talk over the phone where you can ask questions to see which is a good fit! Some programs also offer a bridge form ADN to BSN and even to MSN if that is your ultimate desire.
Kerrie recommends the following next steps:
To determine if that is your best path you need to determine what it is you want to do with your career. My motto is always a more educated nurse always leads to better patient outcomes, so I will always encourage furthering your education when possible. However, there are more pieces to the puzzle than just getting an alphabet behind your name such as:
* What do your finances look like? (i.e can you take on additional loans reasonably or will your employer help you)
* Do you have time for a BSN program?
* Do you need to make that investment to keep or obtain a role?
There are many areas where you can work and thrive with an ADN alone such as:
* Clinic setting
* Administrative roles (clinical chart review, informatics, utilization management, case management)
* SNF and long term care both in direct patient care and in supervisory roles
* Most hospitals in patient care and lower level management (nurse manager, charge nurse)
Where you will have difficulty finding roles is:
* Upper level management in any setting (Director, Nurse Admin, CNO)
* Magnet hospitals in any role require you to have a BSN
I worked in an ICU for 4 years before obtaining my BSN so I can tell you from experience it is not necessary, but if you want to open the door to additional opportunities it is helpful.
I appreciate all the previous answers. If you have done your homework; volunteered in a health care setting, studied the sciences, or other activities that would lead you into a nursing career then I think it is absolutely best to obtain your BSN and then enter practice.
Let me tell you why.
I earned my Associates Degree first and then entered the workforce. I knew that I wanted to earn my Master's in nursing and move into advanced positions.. But I was working full time then married and had children. It took me over 15 years to achieve my ultimate goal. I would work all day, go home, take care of the kids and house, then at the end of the day, sit at the computer and study or drive to class. I cannot emphasize how exhausting all of this was for me. I was working in oncology research and carried a pager 24/7. So I was working two jobs almost all day long. I did it and I am very happy that I accomplished my goals. But there just might have been a better way to go.
With a BSN you will be able to work in an acute care setting (major hospital) and receive the training to work in specialty units such as ICU or neonatal units. You will receive the education to develop the critical thinking skills required to work in a supervisory or managerial capacity. You will gain insights into nursing philosophy which will give you a deeper understanding of why and what nurses do which enriches all aspects of patient care and administrative duties.
Of course, if you believe you will be satisfied with practicing with an Associates degree, this would be fine. But this degree will greatly reduce your ability to advance in your career. In many areas of the country, you will only be able to work in nursing homes or rehab facilities. This is wonderful work as well and I support all those front line workers.
You are very young. You have plenty of time to research nursing programs, volunteer, get your CPR training and certification, and take the courses in high school needed to enter into a nursing program. But keep in mind, if you decide to work towards your BSN while working, you will essentially be working 2 full time jobs. I did it. It was very hard.
I hope this information is helpful.