The Department of Labor projects that the number of RNs will grow from 2.71 million in 2012 to 3.24 million in 2022, an increase of 19%.

Nurses promote health, prevent disease and help patients cope with illness. They have a unique scope of practice and can practice independently, although they also collaborate with all members of the health care team to provide the individualized care needed by each patient.

Nurses advocate for their patients and patients’ families. They develop and manage nursing care plans and instruct patients and their families in proper care. As educators, they help whole communities by teaching individuals and groups how to take steps to improve or maintain their health.

The services nurses provide are linked directly to the availability, cost, and quality of healthcare services. The contributions made by the practice and science of nursing are significant and help to improve the overall quality and safety of America’s healthcare system.

Nursing is the nation’s largest health care profession with more than 3.1 million registered nurses practicing nationwide in a variety of settings. Despite its large size, many more nurses will be needed in the future to meet the growing demand for nursing care.

Become a nurse or advance your career in nursing through education, apply to programs today.

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UNDERSTANDING YOUR NURSING DEGREE

There are multiple paths to become a nurse or advance your career as a nurse. Some know they want to be a nurse from a very young age, while others come to the field as a second or even third career. Browse the following degree types to find the right option for you. To become a Registered Nurse (RN), you must earn a degree in nursing and pass the NCLEX Licensure exam in your state.


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DNP (Post-Bachelor’s)
Admits nurses with a baccalaureate degree who want to pursue a doctoral degree that focuses on practice. This program prepares graduates for the highest level of nursing practice beyond the initial preparation in the discipline and is a terminal degree. Also known as BSN to DNP.
LPN/LVN (Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse)
A program that requires at least one year of full-time equivalent coursework and awards a diploma or certificate of completion as a LPN/LVN.
LPN/LVN to BSN/BS (for Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses)
Admits licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and awards a baccalaureate nursing degree.
Post-Bachelor’s Certificate
Admits students with baccalaureate nursing degrees and awards at completion, a certificate.
Post-Graduate Certificate
Admits nurses with a graduate degree in nursing, and, at completion, awards either a certificate or other evidence of completion, such as a letter from the program director.
RN Diploma
A program that is typically housed within a hospital based structural unit and awards a diploma or certificate of completion as a Registered Nurse (RN).
Associate Degree in Nursing
A program that requires at least two academic years of full-time equivalent college academic work and awards an associate degree in nursing.
BSN/BS (2nd Degree) for Non-Nurses with a Bachelor’s degree
An accelerated program that admits students with baccalaureate degrees in other disciplines and no previous nursing education and awards a baccalaureate nursing degree.
BSN/BS (for Non-Nurses)
Admits students with no previous nursing education and awards a baccalaureate nursing degree.
RN to BSN/BS (for Registered Nurses)
Admits RNs with associate degrees or diplomas in nursing and awards a baccalaureate nursing degree.
Master’s (Entry-Level) for Non-Nurses with a Bachelor’s degree
Admits students with baccalaureate degrees in other disciplines and no previous nursing education. Program prepares graduates for entry into the profession and awards a master’s degree in nursing. Although these programs generally require a baccalaureate degree, a few programs admit students without baccalaureate degrees.
Master’s (MSN/MS/MN)
Admits students with baccalaureate nursing degrees and awards a master of nursing, master of science with a major in nursing, or a master of science in nursing, respectively.
RN to MSN/MS/MN (for Nurses without a Bachelor’s degree)
Admits RNs without baccalaureate degrees in nursing and awards a master’s of science degree in nursing. Typically these programs require students have an associate degree to be admitted.
DNP (Post-Master’s)
Admits nurses with a master’s degree who want to pursue a doctoral degree that focuses on practice. This program prepares graduates for the highest level of nursing practice beyond the initial preparation in the discipline and is a terminal degree.
DNS (Doctor of Nursing Science)
Admits RNs with master’s degrees in nursing and awards a doctoral degree. This program prepares students to pursue intellectual inquiry and conduct independent research for the purpose of extending knowledge.
DNAP (Doctor of Nursing Anesthesia Practice)
Admits nurses with a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing or an appropriate major with an unencumbered license as a registered professional nurse and/or an APRN in the United States or its territories or protectorates who want to pursue a doctoral degree that focuses on practice specializing in anesthesia. This program prepares graduates for the highest level of nursing practice beyond the initial preparation in the discipline and is a terminal degree.  A minimum of 1 year full-time work experience, or its part-time equivalent, as a registered nurse in a critical care setting. (Source: The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs).
PhD (Post-Bachelor’s)
Admits RNs with baccalaureate degrees in nursing and awards a doctoral degree. This program prepares students to pursue intellectual inquiry and conduct independent research for the purpose of extending knowledge.
PhD (Post-Master’s)
Admits RNs with master’s degrees in nursing and awards a doctoral degree. This program prepares students to pursue intellectual inquiry and conduct independent research for the purpose of extending knowledge.

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