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What are the different kinds of nursing programs and should you go to a 4 year?

Im a junior in high school thinking of my major before senior year and college applications and I want to become a pediatric nurse . #high-school #college #science


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John’s Answer

Before you get started Jayelyn, it’s always a good idea to make an appointment with your school’s guidance counselor to discuss your future plans. He or she will work to ensure that you’re taking all of the classes you need to take to prepare you for your nursing school journey. Those who are unsure about a lifelong nursing career may pursue a Licensed Practical Nurse qualification (LPN) or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). Others who feel confident in their decision may move directly to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

• LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE (LPN) – This is a 1–2 year program, offered at many community colleges and technical schools. This is an attractive option for students who wish to pursue more limited higher education, and/or to begin working sooner after high school. The disadvantages of this degree include a more limited scope of practice in comparison with RN’s, lower pay, and perhaps a shrinking number of jobs due to increases in healthcare educational standards and ongoing changes in healthcare regulation.

• ASSOCIATES DEGREE IN NURSING (ADN) – This is a 2–year program, offered at many community colleges. This degree will prepare you to take the nursing licensing examination (the NCLEX-RN) to become a Registered Nurse (RN). This can be a cost-effective option for many students. However, because it is not a 4 year degree, it will not prepare you as well to assume management or leadership positions later in your career. (RN to BSN “bridge” programs, for RN’s who hold an Associates Degree in Nursing and wish to earn a Bachelors of Science in Nursing, are also available, and may be attractive to RN’s already in the workforce).

• BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING (BSN) – This is a 4–year undergraduate degree, offered at many public and private colleges and universities. It will prepare you to take the nursing licensing examination (the NCLEX-RN), to become a Registered Nurse, and to assume management and leadership positions later in your career, if you so choose. This is a longer, and usually more expensive, route to becoming an RN, albeit one that affords greater long-term opportunities. While many RN’s do not hold a BSN, for younger nurses the BSN is becoming a national standard, and RN’s without a BSN may find their career opportunities more limited both employer preference and possibly by future regulation.

Hope this is helpful Jayelyn

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Andy’s Answer

Hey Jayelyn,
So great that you choosing such a career during these times. Healthcare is very important, and this recent pandemic has greatly exposed that.
As John mentioned above, I would suggest getting with your school guidance counselor to see what programs are available in your community. I know that here in NC where we have plenty of Community Colleges as well as universities such as UNC and Duke. UNC offers a C-step program where you enter into community college under the stipulation of maintaining at least a C and above in all classes for your first 2yrs while achieving even something as standard as an General Ed Associates degree. The largest reason I offer this advice is that if you can get into a program like this you are very likely to succeed and generate a lot less student loan debt. Wouldn't it be great to walk away from your education career with only 30k or less in debt...? :)

I hope you find the right programs to get in and enjoy whatever it is you decide.

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Lorraine’s Answer

There are several options / types of programs for becoming a nurse. There are diploma programs which allow you to become a LPN (licensed practical nurse) which is the lowest level nurse. If you are all about the shortest distance between point A and B, this might be your preference. There are also diploma programs for registered nurses (RN's). This level of nursing allows you to perform higher level tasks than an LPN, such as starting IV's. I would recommend anyone who wants to specialize in an area of nursing to get an RN, BSN, at a four year nursing school / university. Eventually a masters level of nursing / nurse practitioner degree would be helpful, in order to become a mid-level practitioner known as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner or PNP.

Lorraine recommends the following next steps:

Do some volunteer work at a health care facility, so you can be sure that you are interested in pursuing this career path.
Saved!

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Lorraine’s Answer

There are several options / types of programs for becoming a nurse. There are diploma programs which allow you to become a LPN (licensed practical nurse) which is the lowest level nurse. If you are all about the shortest distance between point A and B, this might be your preference. There are also diploma programs for registered nurses (RN's). This level of nursing allows you to perform higher level tasks than an LPN, such as starting IV's. I would recommend anyone who wants to specialize in an area of nursing to get an RN, BSN, at a four year nursing school / university. Eventually a masters level of nursing / nurse practitioner degree would be helpful, in order to become a mid-level practitioner known as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner or PNP.

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rakesh’s Answer

In addition to John's very thorough and thought out answer, I'll like to second that a four year degree is almost a must especially to become a pediatric nurse.

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