What Do The Different Nursing Degrees Mean?

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On the internal medicine ward in India Very few careers offer the diversity that nursing does – not just pertaining to specialisation options but also with regards to types of nursing degrees. If you are looking for a way to start working as soon as possible even if it means starting off at a lower salary, you can complete an associate degree in two years that will qualify you to work in this field. If you are looking for a path that starts you off at a higher salary and also opens up more advancement opportunities, you would have to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Those who want to study even further can then opt to complete a master’s degree in nursing.

Take a look at the many different options available to those who wish to pursue an education in the nursing field:

Associate Degree in Nursing

An ADN or Associate’s Degree in Nursing is the minimum qualification required for a person to practice as a nurse. This is usually a 2-year programme offered by a few nursing, vocational and technical schools. It was introduced to bridge the severe nursing shortage during the post war period. While it does offer you a quick entry point into nursing, you should be aware that your earning potential and advancement opportunities will be limited.

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

A bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree is often cited as the minimum education requirement for a lot of nursing job profiles today. This is a four year programme offered by most nursing schools and it combines a mix of practical training along with a specified number of hours of classroom studying. If you are looking for a BSN degree, it is important to ensure that you enrol in a reputed, accredited nursing programme. A BSN degree opens up the scope for you tremendously with improved employability, higher starting salary and greater advancement opportunities.

Master’s Degree in Nursing

An MSN or Master’s of Science in Nursing degree is one that can be pursued only after you have completed your BSN degree. MSN courses are usually two year programmes and you could even study for your degree while working. Some colleges may offer you a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree and this may be completed faster.

If you want to become an Advanced Practicing Nurse, you are required to hold an MSN degree. Nurses who get to this position usually earn much more than nurses who have only completed their bachelor’s degrees. Some employers agree to pay the tuition fees for the master’s degrees if the employee signs a contract to work for them for a specified amount of time.

Doctorate Degree

Pursuing a doctorate degree in nursing will allow you to aim for the skies in this profession. You will of course have to go through the bachelor’s and the master’s degrees before aspiring to obtain your doctorate degree. There are two types of doctorate degrees that you can earn: DNS or Doctor in Nursing Science and DNP or Doctor of Nursing Practice. The first is for those who want to get into the teaching field while the second focuses on the clinical aspects involved in nursing.

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