Levels of Nursing Degrees: The journey to becoming a trained nurse is both rigorous and exhilarating, providing you with a sense of accomplishment and the opportunity to serve people in need. Keep reading!

Levels of Nursing Degrees

The nursing profession is growing in importance, especially as the majority of people begin to take better care of their health.

There are several levels of nursing degrees, each with particular specialties and tasks, so much study is required before making a firm decision. Although it may appear confusing at first, the level classification is rather simple to grasp.

6 Different Levels of Nursing Degrees

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice are the five nursing levels (DNP).

Each level has its own set of prerequisites, educational requirements, and compensation rates. You may choose your appropriate nursing level and begin working toward your goals based on your budget, hobbies, and overall career goals.

We’ve listed, evaluated, and discussed the many sorts of nurses below:

1. Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

A common level of education required to become a Registered Nurse is an associate degree in Nursing. Registered nurses, sometimes known as RNs, are the most popular type of nurses in the medical industry.

Over three million Registered Nurses are now working in hospitals, private clinics, schools, and other clinical institutions across the United States.

Registered nurses offer direct patient care. They have the authority to treat patients, dispense prescriptions, do health evaluations, operate medical equipment, and coordinate care plans.

Because of the broad breadth of their profession, Registered Nurses must have at least an associate degree to practice.

Associate degree programs teach students the principles of nursing practice as well as the practical skills required to flourish in a patient care setting.

Career Outcomes:

  • Registered Nurse

2. Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN)

Because of the advanced skill sets they may obtain in a longer-term program, several Registered Nurses prefer to earn their Bachelor’s in Nursing.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree might also prepare Registered Nurses for more work prospects in the industry.

BSN-educated nurses, for example, are better competent for leadership positions and can apply for specific posts (like a U.S. Military Nurse, which requires a BSN).

A BSN degree can be obtained through a variety of routes. A typical, four-year bachelor’s degree program is the greatest option for people fresh to college and just beginning out in the nursing sector.

If you hold a degree in a field other than nursing, an accelerated BSN (ABSN) program may be an option for you.

Career Outcomes:

  • Registered Nurse


3. Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN)

A Master’s degree in nursing is required to become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). MSN programs train students for advanced practice positions such as Nurse Practitioner and advanced leadership positions such as Nurse Administrator.

There are several types of MSN programs available, with completion times ranging from one to three years.

Most MSN programs are designed for individuals who already have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and want to pursue a master’s degree.

These MSN programs are also the shortest choice, requiring only one to two years to finish. Coursework will differ depending on the sort of MSN program you choose.

Most MSN programs in nursing are dedicated to a certain field or specialty. It is critical to select an MSN degree that can help you achieve your career objectives.

4. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) & Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

A Doctor of Nursing Practice is a postgraduate degree that trains nurses for positions of leadership. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is another postgraduate option for nurses who want to work in research and academia.

Depending on the level of nursing degree you already have, these programs might take an additional two to four years to finish.

Doctorate programs, which are considered the highest levels of nursing degrees offered, are less popular than MSN programs.

DNP nurses have an increased understanding of healthcare policy, patient advocacy, health information systems, and healthcare leadership.

As a result, completing a DNP degree can qualify you for executive-level jobs in clinical organizations and healthcare environments.

Nurses with a Ph.D. have been trained to be nurse researchers and educators. Those holding a PhD are frequently seen instructing the next generation of nurses in universities.

Some PhD-educated nurses, on the other hand, will work in research, investigating the most recent therapies, technologies, and achievements in the area. The majority of students in these programs already hold APRN licensing.

Career Outcomes:

  • Nurse Administrator, Nursing Professor, Nurse Researcher

Non-Degree Nursing Credentials

Of course, people with postsecondary degrees are not the only ones who can work in the nursing sector. You can also obtain a degree or certification in nursing to advance your career in the area.

While these jobs have narrower scopes of practice and hence lower earning potential, they might be a good starting point for nursing study.

5. Certificate in Nursing Assisting (CNA)

Those who want to be a part of the healthcare team but are unable or unable to commit to a full-time nursing job might benefit from becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

CNAs, as the name indicates, assist other registered nursing professionals in providing care to patients. They are often employed in long-term care institutions such as nursing homes.

CNAs can be seen feeding and washing patients, moving patients between rooms, and ensuring each person is comfortable throughout their stay on a regular basis.

Because the scope of work for CNAs is restricted, getting started in this career path does not need a big investment. To become a CNA, you must first finish a postsecondary certificate program rather than a nursing degree.

CNA programs generally last 4 to 12 weeks and prepare prospective caregivers to gain certification.

Career Outcomes:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant


6. Diploma in Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN)

Patients and Registered Nurses communicate mostly through Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). They do clinical activities such as collecting vital signs, beginning IV infusions, and changing dressings.

An LPN’s primary responsibility, however, is to ensure that the whole care team is up to speed on each patient’s status and that the patients’ requirements are satisfied by their care team.

LPNs offer basic patient care and are not licensed in most jurisdictions to administer treatments or do patient examinations.

They provide assistance to Registered Nurses and other members of the medical staff. As a result, LPNs need less schooling than Registered Nurses.

While state standards vary, LPNs normally need a diploma in practical nursing to be licensed. LPN programs are normally completed in one year.

Career Outcomes:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse

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