Nursing Schools

While all nursing schools are required to meet certain educational mandates, programs do differ in a variety of significant ways. Choosing the right program to suit your career aspirations can be a challenge, but a working knowledge of the basics of each type of program and the credentials that will be earned can make choosing to your advantage easier.

The shortest course of study for entrance into the nursing field is a licensed practical nurse program. These are offered in a variety of vocational and technical schools and are generally a year in duration. While this route is the fastest way to gain licensure and enter the employment market, LPN positions are not as plentiful as opportunities in other nursing categories, and the pay scale can be significantly lower than that of a registered nurse.

Nursing schools that train registered nurses have programs that vary from two years to four, depending upon the credentials awarded upon graduation. The shortest programs are diploma courses, ranging from two to three years in length. Nursing schools that offer an associate’s degree in nursing are most often three year programs, while those that offer a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing are the longest at four years.

If your career goals are geared towards direct patient care in your local hospital, nursing facility, or doctor’s office, the faster graduation time of the shorter nursing schools programs may be the way to go, giving sufficient credentials for your chosen field in a quick and efficient manner.

Registered nurses who graduate from nursing schools that award a bachelor’s degree will have the widest range of career choices, meeting the qualifications for more positions than nurses who have earned an associate’s degree or a diploma. If a high tech specialty is your aspiration, this may be your best option to gain the credentials you will need for advancement in your chosen path.

Many options are available to launch your nursing career, ranging from formal college programs to online and distance learning programs. No matter your goals for your new career, there are sure to be programs to suit your needs among the vast selection of nursing schools available today.

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